Mid-America Pension Rights Project works with Department of Labor to overturn wrongful benefit denial
Like many people approaching retirement, when Margaret turned 65 she contacted her former employer to apply for the pension she had earned during her career. Margaret was surprised when she was told that her former employer’s pension plan had been terminated and annuities had been purchased for all employees who were eligible to receive a pension – and Margaret wasn’t one of them.
Even though Margaret still had a letter that she had received from her former employer assuring her a right to a monthly pension, Margaret was told that, because no annuity had been purchased for her, she was ineligible for a pension. Blaming one another for the mistake, neither Margaret's former employer nor the annuity provider would accept responsibility for Margaret's pension. Upon learning this, Margaret couldn’t believe it was true, but didn’t know what else to do.
Two years later, Margaret learned about the Mid-America Pension Rights Project and thought that its staff might be able to help her get the pension she had earned. Upon learning the details of Margaret's case, attorney Gail Webb confirmed to Margaret that her previous employer did, in fact, owe her a pension. Gail then contacted Margaret’s former employer, but received no response. Certain that Margaret was entitled to the pension she had earned, Gail contacted the U.S. Department of Labor, asking them to intervene on Margaret's behalf. Only after being contacted by the Department of Labor did Margaret’s former employer agree to pay her the pension she had earned.
Learn about the Mid-America Pension Rights Project.
Learn about the Pension Counseling and Information Program.
Looking for help with your retirement plan?
If you have a problem with your retirement plan, free help may be available from the U.S. Administration on Aging's network of Pension Counseling and Information Projects. Find help now.
PensionHelp America connects people who need help with their pension, 401(k), and other retirement plans with the pension counseling projects, legal services providers, and government agencies that can help answer their questions. Visit www.pensionhelp.org.
Retirement USA is a national initiative that is working for a new retirement system that, along with Social Security, will provide universal, secure, and adequate income for future retirees. Visit the website.
Did You Know?
A pension plan is a retirement plan that is sponsored by an employer for the purpose of providing retirement income to employees. The most common type of pension plans is a defined benefit plan. Most defined benefit plans provide retirees with guaranteed lifetime payments.