Western States Pension Assistance Project wins survivor's benefit for widow
When Vicki Lloyd’s family learned that her husband had a terminal illness, they wanted to make sure that Vicki was taken care of after he died. So they contacted her husband’s pension plan to ensure that Vicki would receive the 75 percent joint-and-survivor annuity that her husband had chosen. Vicki and her family were stunned to learn that, according to her husband’s pension plan, Vicki was not eligible to receive her husband’s pension because he had not begun receiving it prior to his death.
Unsure of her rights, Vicki’s son conducted an online search and found the Western States Pension Assistance Project. After learning of Vicki’s case, Western States Pension Assistance Project attorney Justin Freeborn sent a letter informing the pension plan that failing to honor Vicki’s husband’s benefit election was a violation of the Internal Revenue Code, which requires pension plans to honor participant benefit elections.
Less than a month later, and after her husband had died, Vicki was contacted by the pension plan and was informed that that it would honor her husband’s benefit election. As a result of the work of the Western States Pension Assistance Project, Vicki will now receive a monthly survivor’s benefit of $200 for the rest of her life.
Learn about the Western States Pension Assistance 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.
Get E-mail Updates
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?
Individual Retirement Accounts, or IRAs, are private accounts that allow individuals to save for retirement. Each type of IRA is governed by a unique set of rules that offer different tax benefits. Read our IRA fact sheets to learn about the different types of IRAs.