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Pensions Ask Retirees to Pay Back Tens of Thousands

Business  (tags: retirees, pensions, overpayment, recoupment demands, Mid-Atlantic Pension Counseling Project, Pension Rights Center, sheet metal workers )

- 1669 days ago -
Some pension plans have overpaid retirees for years -- now they're demanding their money back. For retirees, it can mean owing tens of thousands of dollars. And with little warning, their pension checks are being slashed to cover their debt.

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Roseann d (178)
Thursday October 24, 2013, 10:34 pm
Sounds like another shady Wall Street rip-off.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Friday October 25, 2013, 6:47 am


"Since the pension fund is forecasting that many of the retirees will die before their debts are repaid, it is asking many of them to make large upfront payments."

And callous too!

A big percentage of the money is actually interest. Since the mistake was that of the pension plan administrator, shouldn't they take some of the responsibility (such as writing off the interest as bad debt)?

Ugh! I am so sick of watching the most vulnerable citizens treated even more harshly, while the wealthy get all the breaks.


PrimaAWAY B (1278)
Friday October 25, 2013, 11:22 am
OMG. I cannot believe this. This is insanity!!! Leave the people alone . I'm not surprised this would be done but it's so wrong and i hope there is a way out. this is not OK and people will /could end up homeless for sure. So wrong.

This was a mistake and the people/businesses respoinsible need to just get over it and take the responsibility for it. I read this early this morning and I still am as as shocked as I was earlier. My feelings wont change. This is wrong. Leave the people alone.

Jaime Alves (52)
Friday October 25, 2013, 12:03 pm

Malgorzata Zmuda (198)
Friday October 25, 2013, 1:01 pm
w Polsce jest jeszcze gorzej

JL A (281)
Friday October 25, 2013, 1:03 pm
Should at least have decent warning

MareCad T (2)
Friday October 25, 2013, 1:27 pm
These idiots are totally insane. DO NOT PAY THESE THUGS ONE PENNY!!!

Colleen L (3)
Friday October 25, 2013, 1:37 pm
Amazing how these money issues get so out of hand. The people who were responsible for the over payments, need to be released from their positions and the company need to move forward and not ask for past issues. Thanks Judy

Nelson Baker (0)
Friday October 25, 2013, 1:45 pm
It was not their fault and they should not have to pay it back. They definitely should not have to pay interest.
Sounds like a rip off.

Birgit W (160)
Friday October 25, 2013, 2:10 pm
Unbelievable. Leave those people alone.

Lynne Buckley (0)
Friday October 25, 2013, 2:28 pm
They shouldn't have to pay back the isn't their fault.

Sheri Schongold (7)
Friday October 25, 2013, 2:49 pm
This is the big guy picking on the little guy and getting away with it. If it took them that long to find out that they screwed up then their accounting systems are just a delight. If they want their money back, they should 1) notify the retiree of the error, 2) state the overpaid amount minus interest and 3) make a payment schedule that the retiree can handle. They have no right to expect the retirees to pay for their errors. They have no right to demand payment up front. They have no right to cut out the amount of repayment from the check without notice. They have no right to demand interest. They sure would fight paying any if the situation was turned around. The biggest thing they can do is admit they blew it and start over clean and fresh and leave us seniors alone and our dignity. Don't impoverish us for your screw ups.

Mari L (192)
Friday October 25, 2013, 4:27 pm
SHameless! Outraged! This is not the fault of seniors. I see a thread here: let's pick on the innocent, profit any way we can, and treat them all like dirt! Isn't it interesting that society finds a way to excuse exposing their seniors, children and animals to as much harm, hardship and ridicule as possible. When did the earth fall off its axis?

Roger G (154)
Friday October 25, 2013, 5:09 pm
noted, thanks

Julia R (296)
Friday October 25, 2013, 5:54 pm
I think that this is very unfair to these retirees. It isn't their fault. It is the pension administrators' fault. As this article relates, Karen Ferguson, director of the Pension Rights Center, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group, said that, in most cases, retirees have no idea they are being overpaid since "the way a benefit is figured in a typical pension plan is impossible for an ordinary person to fathom." Just think about all the retired executives that were paid millions of dollars, for lack of oversight, when Americans bailed out Wall Street who got away with being multimillionares and don't have to pay anybody back!

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Friday October 25, 2013, 6:30 pm
Thank you for the shocking news. This is frightening for retirees. (n, p, t)

Sheila D (194)
Friday October 25, 2013, 7:32 pm
Why did it take so many years to find the accounting errs??Agree that the people in their accounting departments need to be fired...and they should pay the interest due, since it was an accounting error. None of the retirees should be charged interest when th mistake was the companies. Just another way for companies to profit off the little people.

Dogan Ozkan (5)
Friday October 25, 2013, 11:56 pm

Carlene V (202)
Saturday October 26, 2013, 6:55 am
As the wife of a Sheet Metal Union retiree, we would be gob-smacked if we got a letter like that. Although if we were over paid, since my husband retired in 1995, I do think somehow we would owe something back as if we were overpaid, we were taking from future retirees income. Charging interest on the amount is preposterous and should not be allowed. Working with those that were overpaid so they can repay what is owed at a reasonable amount would be somewhat fair. There are stacks of papers to sign and we did not try and figure out how our retirement benefit was calculated thus if they made a mistake it is not our fault. I would try and pay it back but at a amount not to hurt us financially.

Thomas M (8)
Saturday October 26, 2013, 8:33 am
How do we know the administrator of the pension is telling the truth? There is a political movement afloat to eliminate public and private pension programs and reinvest these funds to benefit Wall Street. This must be watched. I retired to live off pension, minor investment and SS. I do not trust politicians with public pensions as they are easy targets for elimination, especially by many business and republican/tea party conservatives who can't stand to see the middle class citizens survive in retirement. Remember, we are their economic slaves. They want our money to make more money for themselves.

Scott haakon (4)
Saturday October 26, 2013, 1:57 pm
The people need to promote a pension responsibility laws to punish the incompetent and restore public trust.

Judy C (97)
Saturday October 26, 2013, 3:46 pm
Thanks you, everyone. I just found this incredible. It does sound like a scam that could catch on, so look out, everyone with a pension. The administrators bear the responsibility, and the recipients should NOT have to pay this. I hope there is legal recourse for these people, and I hope they fight it!
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