By Christine Steinmetz, Pension Attorney at the Mid-America Pension Rights Project at Elder Law of Michigan
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 Pension Project works to find answers and solutions to your pension-related problem. Just ask Ms. S.
Ms. S knew she was eligible for a pension from her former employer. When she contacted her former employer, the employer sent her a pension packet for only two years of service. Ms. S knew that her pension should be for 15 years of service. Ms. S contacted the company about the issue. However, the company sent her another pension packet for only two years of service. Ms. S was very upset and frustrated. Would she ever get her full pension benefit?
That is when Ms. S decided to contact the MAPRP. The case was assigned to an MAPRP attorney. The attorney sent a written inquiry to the company. The company responded indicating that Ms. S only had two years of service credits. The MAPRP attorney reviewed the company’s documents and found that Ms. S should be receiving a pension benefit for 15 years of service.
The MAPRP attorney submitted a claim for benefits for the additional 13 years of benefits. Several months passed and Ms. S did not receive a response to the claim for benefits. The attorney called the company and did not receive a response. So, the attorney sent letters to the CEO and legal department of the company. The company finally responded and denied Ms. S’s claim for benefits.
The attorney disagreed with the company’s determination and immediately filed an appeal with the company on behalf of Ms. S. After several months, Ms. S received a letter stating that she won her appeal along with a retirement packet for 15 years of service!
The MAPRP attorney’s hard work paid off! Ms. S was ecstatic. She would receive her pension benefit for 15 years of service. Ms. S opted to receive a lump sum pension benefit of over $100,000 and used the money to pay off her house mortgage. Ms. S could retire comfortably knowing her home was paid for.
If you have questions about your 401(k) or defined benefit pensions, please call the Mid-America Pension Rights Project. The Mid-America Pension Rights 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 organization.
Since the program began in 1998, the Pension Project has assisted over 15,000 clients and recovered over 78 million dollars in pension benefits. The Pension Project assists clients that either worked in or are currently living 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.
Christine Steinmetz is a part-time Attorney at Elder Law of Michigan and has been a member of the Elder Law team since 2011. As an attorney at Elder Law, Christine advises clients on pension issues.