By Sandra Wisnewski, Director of 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 problems. Just ask Mr. M.
Mr. M received a retirement packet from his former employer, a hospital. Mr. M. was contemplating retirement but did not want to sign the documentation because he believed that the amount of his monthly life pension benefit was incorrect. Mr. M’s benefit was calculated using the wrong employment start date. Mr. M worked longer than the plan used in their calculations. Mr. M called the plan about his concerns, and he was told that the amount was correct.
At that time, Mr. M decided to get help, and reached out to the MAPRP. The MAPRP assisted Mr. M in drafting a letter to the plan. The letter was a request for employment information and plan documents. Mr. M mailed the letter to the plan. A few weeks later, Mr. M received a response, but none of the information or documents were provided to him. Because Mr. M could not get any answers on his own, the MAPRP took his case.
The MAPRP attorney sent a letter to the plan asking for the same documentation and information. Within a couple of weeks, the attorney received a response and the requested documentation. Before the MAPRP attorney could review all of Mr. M’s paperwork, the plan’s legal counsel contacted the MAPRP. Legal counsel admitted that they had made a mistake, calculating Mr. M’s pension benefit, by using the wrong employment start date. Mr. M’s pension benefit was recalculated using all his years of service with the employer. Mr. M was happy to finally get what he had earned.
Sandra Wisnewski, Director of the Mid-America Pension Rights Project at Elder Law of Michigan
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 16,000 clients and has recovered over 85 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 Mid-America Pension Rights Project.
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.
Sandra Wisnewski is the Director of Legal Services at Elder Law of Michigan. Sandra has been a staff member of the Elder Law of Michigan team since 2010. As Director of Legal Services, Sandra manages the day to day operations of the pension department and helps clients who call for pension assistance.