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.
Mr. S recently turned 65 and contacted a former employer to obtain his pension benefit. When Mr. S left his employment, the employer provided him with a letter stating that his pension benefit would be $450 a month. So, Mr. S was shocked when his former employer sent him a letter stating that his pension benefit would only be $38 a month or a lump sum of $7,000. Mr. S knew there had to be an error and called his former employer. He was informed that this was the correct amount. Mr. S then mailed a copy of his letter to his former employer and continued to call them for 8 months but could not get the issue resolved. Mr. S also called an attorney but could not afford their $6,000 retainer. Mr. S did not know what to do.
That is when Mr. S decided to contact the MAPRP. The case was assigned to an MAPRP attorney. The attorney reviewed the paperwork and the facts of the case with Mr. S. The attorney sent a written inquiry to the company along with the 1990 letter stating that Mr. S’s pension benefit would be $450 a month.
Several months passed and Mr. S did not hear back from the company. The attorney made several phone calls to the company. Finally, the attorney spoke to a supervisor. The attorney was given a number to call in Puerto Rico. The attorney called the number provided and left several voice messages, but never received a response.
The MAPRP attorney again called the company back and was told that they did not have Mr. S’s inquiry and asked that the MAPRP fax the information to them. A month passed and the attorney contacted the company. The company indicated that they were still investigating the matter. Another month passed and Mr. S received a call from his former employer stating that they were sending him a letter. Mr. S finally received a letter from the company stating that his pension benefit would be $450 a month, and not $38. In addition, the company indicated that he could take a lump sum of $88,000.
The MAPRP attorney’s hard work paid off! Mr. S was ecstatic. He elected to take the $88,000 lump sum payment. This was $81,000 more than he was originally offered. The lump sum payment drastically improved Mr. S’s quality of life. He was able to pay off his bills and could retire comfortably.
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 16,000 clients and 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.
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.