A 68-year-old Illinois woman contacted the Illinois Pension Assistance Project because her former employer, Solo Cup Company, informed her that she would not be receiving a pension, despite telling her some years earlier that she was eligible for a benefit. The woman had two periods of service with Solo Cup. She worked for Solo Cup for three years in the 1960s, was absent for eight years, and then came back for approximately ten years from 1978 through 1988. Solo Cup argued that the woman incurred a permanent break in service and forfeited her first three years of employment.

When she returned to work, according to Solo Cup, she did not have exactly ten years of vesting and therefore failed to earn a pension. Luckily, the client kept all the letters she had received from Solo Cup since her employment with them ended in 1988, including those stating she was eligible for a benefit.

The Illinois Pension Assistance Project wrote to Solo Cup and requested documents about our client’s benefit. Upon receiving our letter, Solo Cup immediately reversed its most recent determination and reaffirmed that the client was pension eligible. The client will soon begin to receive a lifetime benefit of $112 per month!