A woman wearing a hard hat works in a factory.

(Mid-America Pension Rights Project): Mr. K’s Story

By Sandra Wisnewski, Director of the Mid-America Pension Rights Project 

The Mid-America Pension Rights Project (MAPRP) assists clients with pension and 401(k) issues. There are no age or income restrictions, and there is never a charge for the services. The MAPRP works to find answers and solutions to your pension-related problems. Just ask Mr. K. 

Mr. K. worked for a company located in Michigan and was a member of a union. He left the company in 1986. When Mr. K. got ready to retire, he was shocked that he could not find the company that had his pension. The company had been bought by several other corporations, and Mr. K. was unsuccessful in tracking down who to contact. Mr. K. knew that he was eligible for a pension benefit. At 67 years old, he could really use the money. After Mr. K. totally exhausted his search, he decided to call the MAPRP. 

After much research, many phone calls, and letters, the MAPRP attorney was able to track down the 3rd party administrator that was holding Mr. K.’s pension benefit. The MAPRP ran across a bit of a snag, the administrator had no records of Mr. K.’s employment and didn’t believe that he was owed a pension. Mr. K. had no paperwork to substantiate his eligibility. The MAPRP suggested that Mr. K. fill out a form and request an Earnings Report from the Social Security Administration. Although these reports are not absolute proof that a pension is owed, they help to show employment history. The MAPRP closed Mr. K.’s case until the report was received. 

A few months later, Mr. K. called the MAPRP back, reporting that he obtained the earnings report. The report showed that Mr. K worked for the company for over 10 years. Mr. K.’s case was reopened and the MAPRP submitted the report with a claim letter. Several months passed and the MAPRP kept checking with the company for an updated status of the claim. Finally, after the company had exhausted its research, Mr. K. was sent a benefit packet! Mr. K received over $10,000 in a retroactive payment and over $400.00 a month going forward.   

The Pension Project is funded by the Federal government through a grant provided by the Administration for Community Living, and is a program of Elder Law of Michigan, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit. 

Since the program began in 1998, the Pension Project has assisted over 13,000 clients and has recovered over 67 million dollars in pension benefits. The Pension Project assists clients in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. For more information, visit www.mid-americapensions.org

If you need help with, or information about, your pension or 401(k) benefit, please call the Mid-America Pension Rights Project at 866-735-7737 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys. 

The information in this article is general and not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. In any legal matter you should always consider consulting with an attorney for specific advice.