The stories featured on this page showcase individuals who have been helped by the staff of Pension Counseling and Information Projects. These stories highlight common problems that millions of Americans face, ranging from the very simple to the very complex. The expertise of counseling project staff has enabled the people featured in these stories to obtain the pensions that they have rightfully earned.
For privacy reasons, many of the names and identifying information about the individuals featured in these stories have been changed.
David Howell of Connecticut had worked in many different jobs for Stop & Shop from 1964 until 1991.
Naomi Francisco’s husband worked as an engineer for Monsanto for 35 years and began receiving his pension in 1985.
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.
Pension plans can often make mistakes when calculating pension benefits.
When Katherine* suddenly became a widow at the age of 52, she contacted her husband’s past employers to inform them of his death.
There are many details to keep track of when companies are bought or sold, and sometimes a company's pension plan can fall through the cracks.
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.
A common problem encountered by the staff of the pension counseling projects is “lost” pension plans. A pension plan can be “lost” when one company ends its business, merges with another, relocates or changes its name.
When companies go out of business or change hands, their pension plans can be affected. Sometimes, a company will terminate its pension plan and purchase annuities from an insurance company for people who are entitled to receive benefits.
In addition to working with clients living in states not covered by a pension counseling project, the Pension Rights Center often provides legal advice to attorneys working with clients who have problems with their retirement plans.
Bill was surprised when he retired in 2002 and his employer handed him a check for $500 telling him that this was the retirement benefit he had earned after 15 years of work.
As part of the Pension Counseling and Information Program, the Pension Rights Center receives calls from people who have problems with or questions about their retirement plans.