“What’s That Sound?”
The New England Pension Assistance Project recently helped a 68-year-old African-American man living in Bridgeport, Connecticut to get benefits long overdue to him. Before getting this pension, our client’s only income was his monthly Social Security check. He had worked in the Remington Arms factory in Bridgeport for about 15 years up through the early 1980s. He was referred to us last year in late summer by Connecticut Legal Services because he did not know how to find the pension he had earned from this job.
Remington is now headquartered in North Carolina, and our research showed that it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Dupont Corporation. We contacted the corporate headquarters of both Remington and Dupont shortly after opening the case. Dupont then asked our client to complete a detailed questionnaire about his employment, and to provide Detailed Earnings information from the Social Security Administration. We spent the next seven months trying, through repeated calls and emails, to get a response and to get our client the benefits he was entitled to. We kept getting the same response and to get our client the benefits he was entitled to. We kept getting the same response, that the client’s pension was “being researched”.
Finally, in June, we wrote to the Chief Executive Officer and the Senior Vice-President for Human Resources, pointing out that the plan was not complying with its obligations under ERISA to respond to benefit inquiries, and requesting that these executives address the matter urgently. Within two weeks, we received a reply telling us that our client was eligible for a pension, and that he would receive a benefits package within the month.
Our client is now receiving a monthly pension of $256. The expected lifetime value of this pension is nearly $57,000. If it is true that the “squeaky wheel gets the grease”, sometimes we have to be just that squeaky wheel for our clients!
If you would like to request assistance from the Illinois Pension Assistance Project or the New England Pension Assistance Project, please contact us directly by calling 888-425-6067.