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ERISA Pension Lawyer

Best and Worst Cities for Retirement In the U.S

Analysts for WalletHub recently surveyed our nation's 150 most populated cities for four attributes retirees typically seek when considering where to retire: (i) affordability, (ii) activities, (iii) quality of life, and (iv) health care (the Survey). The analysts utilized 40 different metrics, grading each on a 100-point scale, with 100 being the most favorable. The cities were then ranked by their total point score, with a rank of 1 being the best and a rank of 150 being the worst. Based on this ranking, the top ten cities for retirement were:

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U.S. Retirement Security Slipping

Natixis Global Asset Management and CoreData Research recently released their 2017 Global Retirement Index (Index)--their fifth such Index to date assessing retirement security in 43 developed countries. The Index utilizes 18 drivers of retirement security, grouped into four categories: health, finances, quality of life, and material well being. The data respecting the United States is disappointing.

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Whether You Are An "Employee" Or, Instead, An"Independent Contractor" Could Impact Your Right To Pension Benefits

ERISA [the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which governs most private-sector pension plans] seeks to protect employees' interests in their employer-provided pension benefits. Therefore, in order to recover pension benefits under an ERISA-governed plan, one must be an employee of the sponsoring employer. The same holds true if you work for a governmental employer; that is, you must be an employee of the governmental entity.

Disputes sometimes arise when parties disagree as to whether a worker is an employee or, instead, an independent contractor. A recent case illustrates how the problem might arise, and the factors courts consider in deciding the question, at least where the claim is for ERISA plan benefits. Jammal v. Am. Family Ins. Group, No. 1:13-cv-437. 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120684 (N.D. Ohio, Aug. 1, 2017).

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Nurse Who Worked 20 Years For The Same Employer Never Vested In Her Pension

Pension plan participants sometimes call me about a dispute they are having with the plan administrator as to whether they are vested in their pension benefits. As part of their inquiry, they want to know the rules governing pension vesting. Here are the general rules, along with a real-life example of how they worked for a caller who, after 20 years of service with the same employer, was denied a pension on the ground that she was not vested.

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Older Americans May Be More Financially Well Off Than Previously Thought

The typical method of learning people's financial well-being is to conduct a survey and ask them questions about their savings, assets, and income. However, people are often confused by survey questions. This is especially true when knowing what counts as income.

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Pensioner Had TWO Wives When He Died. Which One Gets His Pension Benefits?

When a pension plan participant dies, disputes sometimes arise as to the rightful beneficiary of the participant's pension benefits. However, things get extra messy when it is discovered that the participant had TWO wives when he died! Here's how one court sorted things out.

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This May Be The Biggest Monkey Wrench In Many Americans' Plans For A Comfortable Retirement

According to the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, retirees are the fastest-growing segment of our population filing for bankruptcy, and 39% of bankrupt retirees do so on account of medical expenses. This sad statistic is largely attributable to (i) a lack of awareness regarding the amount of money needed to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses in retirement; (ii) misunderstandings about Medicare coverage; and (iii) failing to consult with a certified financial planner, estate planning attorney, and/or elder care attorney well before planned retirement.

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Foot Locker Slammed For $180 Million For Misleading Pensioners About Their Pension Benefits

Playing hide-the-doughnut was fun when we were kids. However, it is totally unacceptable when explaining pension benefits to plan participants, as one large corporation recently learned the hard way. Osberg v. Foot Locker, Inc., No. 15-3602, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 12041 (2nd Cir. July 6, 2017).

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Pensioner Denied $1.3 Million In Vested Pension Benefits Based On A Release He Signed; Read How The Court Ruled

In Post #84 on my Pension Justice 4 You Facebook Page,, I explained the pension risks of signing a separation agreement that includes a broad release of claims against the employer or related persons or entities. A recent case involving $1.3 million in vested pension benefits illustrates the problem. Buster v. Comp. Comm. of Bd. Of Dirs. Of Mechs. Bank, No. C 16-101146 WHA (N.D. Ca. July 14, 2017).

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