ERISA agency surprises former employee with overdue pension

Investing years of time and effort working for a Tennessee company has its rewards. Often, long-term employees feel a certain pride in their work, a loyalty to the employer and a development of important, marketable skills. Additionally, they often expect a pension when they retire. When that pension does not come through, an employee may be concerned about how to manage in the future, especially if the company ceases operations. In some cases, however, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)  may cover them.

One man in another state spent 13 years working as a visual merchandiser for a clothing company. He left the company for a rewarding but less lucrative and physically taxing career. When the clothing company closed its business some years later, the man let go of his hopes to take a vacation with his wife and make other plans for retirement with the pension he might have received.

However, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, a government agency responsible for enforcing ERISA, contacted the man to inform him that the clothing company owed him a pension. Under the ERISA law, employers can transfer their pension plans to PBGC, and that agency attempts to locate and pay the participants what they are owed. The man received a lump sum of over $21,000 with the promise of a $342 monthly benefit for the future.

Those in Tennessee who believe they are due a pension may not have to wait for the money to find them. With the help of an experienced attorney, they may be able to obtain the benefits they rightfully deserve. An attorney with experience in ERISA law will be able to inform and guide those who are seeking to reclaim pensions, 401(k)s or other benefits wrongfully withheld.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor Blog, "Found Pension Will Fund Retirement Dreams", Rhonda Burke, May 25, 2017

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