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.
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Did You Know?
A joint-and-survivor annuity is an annuity that pays a monthly benefit over the lives of the participant and his or her surviving spouse. This is the default form of benefit for married participants in most defined benefit pension plans. Because it lasts for the life of both the worker and the spouse, a joint-and-survivor annuity typically results in a lower monthly benefit payment than a single-life annuity.