By Susan Samples
Elder Law of Michigan’s Director of Client Assistance, Sandra Wisnewski, was interviewed to help assist with a pension overpayment matter.
HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — When Adeline Reed received a letter from her pension fund telling her she’d been overpaid for nearly a decade, she was shocked.
“I didn’t believe it,” said Reed, 74, of Holland.
According to the letter from the Kraft Heinz Retirement and Savings Plan Center, Reed’s monthly payment of $724 was supposed to drop by $350 when she turned 65.
“It was determined that an error was made in distributing your pension benefit,” read the letter. “We recently confirmed that your supplemental benefit did not stop at age 65 and therefore you have received benefits that are not due to you. This resulted in an overpayment to you in the amount of $38,150…. which you are obligated to repay to the Plan.”
Elder Law of Michigan, a non-profit consumer agency that helps people with pension problems in six states, advised Reed to file a “hardship waiver” with the fund.
An attorney with the non-profit consumer agency pointed out that the pension fund could choose to repay the nearly $40,000 itself.
“They don’t have to collect from the participant,” said Sandra Wisnewski.”They can make the plan whole by themselves by just putting the money back into the fund.”
A 3:32 minutes video interview is provided and you catch Sandra Wisnewski’s interview at the 1:45 video playback time. Read the full interview here.