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.
Whether a retiree has "received" his pension benefits should be a simple question to answer. Right? Not always. It all depends on what you mean by "receive," as illustrated by the following case.
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.
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).