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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 19483  
Subject: Re: Collecting a pension Date: 10/3/2012 10:14 AM
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so far he has received no information regarding the small pension that is owed to him

Does former employer agree that your husband worked there between the dates specified at his correct starting and ending salaries? Do they acknowledge that he earned a pension? Has he applied for his pension but not received it yet, or did he just call for information? Did they roll the pension monies over to a 401k plan at some point? Is the company still in business? Many (most? all?) employers outsource their pension plans to professional management. My husband's from a private company is managed by Fidelity. I believe his state pension is managed by the state.

About 10 years ago, at age 53 and many years after leaving their employ, my husband contacted the former company that owed him a pension (actually, he called the company that bought out the company that his company merged with~). They acknowledged him as being owed a pension immediately and had the correct dates and salaries for his employment history, even though the original company no longer exists. Customer service was quick, responsive, friendly, and knowledgeable, providing details such as the amount of pension if started at different ages, the lump sum equivalent that he could take instead, how long it takes to start receiving the pension after you apply (you apply about 3 months before a birthday and payments begin the month following your birthday). He checked back recently as he now has his retirement date set for this spring, and all remains as they said 10 years ago and last year.

So it seems odd to me that your husband's former employer is dragging their feet. I wonder if the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp is now or may soon be involved--is DH's old company bankrupt or the pension plan underfunded? I would try googling for that information. You can also look for his company on the PBGC list:

http://www.pbgc.gov/wr/trusteed/plans.html

Also, is there a state agency that monitors pensions in your (former?) state? If you can't find one, perhaps there's a consumer hot line in your phone book or at a local newspaper that can point you in the right direction.

I would make another call to the company to at least find out who manages the pension. Maybe they are in the process of changing managers? Or to find out if they ever morphed the pension into a defined contribution plan, maybe after your husband left the company. Or maybe your husband missed the window of opportunity to apply before his 65th birthday and now has to wait for his 66th??

Good luck. Maybe someone here has more specific info. Let us know what happens.
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