REDUX–First Your Home…Now Your Pension?

My article of September 21, 2010 regarding pension overpayment recoveries produced several e-mail responses and inquiries, particularly concerning the 76 year old female Alzheimer’s patient who had been receiving a pension for 11 years.

I can now provide a few additional facts.

The pension in question started with a 1999 letter from the employer’s pension administrator that opened with, “This will confirm that you are entitled to receive a vested accrued benefit under the…Plan in the amount of $… per month…for your lifetime.” Then, as I reported previously, on September 17th of this year, she received a letter from the bank currently administering the pension advising that she had been overpaid and they were asking her to repay $42,814.42.

The bank in question is Wells Fargo. To be precise, the letter came from Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust in Minneapolis, MN. Wells Fargo recently took over administration of the pension after acquiring Wachovia. The underlying pension is an employer plan subject to the rules and regulations of  ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act).

The pensioner’s 81-year-old husband, as Power of Attorney, has filed an appeal of the decision in accordance with ERISA.  In addition, he has contacted an attorney familiar with this area of the law.

I also became aware of an advocacy group for pension rights and I am including a portion of a recent e-mail from that organization:

“Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.  As you may have seen in the Wall Street Journal article you mentioned in your blog, we work in conjunction with several legal assistance projects across the country.  The lead attorney for the Western States Pension Assistance Project was also quoted in that article.  This project, with funding from the U.S. Administration on Aging (AOA), provides free pension assistance to individuals who live in California (among several other states).”

Pension Rights Center in Washington, DC (

That’s all for now. I will keep you up to date as circumstances warrant.


4 thoughts on “REDUX–First Your Home…Now Your Pension?

  1. So sad what this Country’s Banks and Ceo’s have become.
    We have just ran into several elderly folks in their 80’s that are haveing to deal with forclosure.
    I don’t understand,,,its crazy the Government bails the banks out then the banks put the screws to the people. Wells fargo no less HA!
    I think it is time for these, to get together and file class action suits against Wells Fargo.
    For stress and bad faith.
    Reverse it on the buggers.
    You can’t do it on your own, but I bet if there were enough filing something could come out of it,
    If not! there is the good ole tar and feathers I will provide the feathers :))
    Not a funny issue just needed some humor

  2. I thought I could resist the urge to respond. However, I hear ya. Frankly, I might be willing to provide the tar to go with your feathers. At the moment I am watching the household across the street moving out due to foreclosure. The “Great Recession” may be officially over according to the government. However, its consequences are still playing out…and will continue to do so for quite some time.

  3. Let those who do not believe we are witnessing class warfare between working people and corporations/superrich who control them now remove their rose colored glasses. The Power&Money crowd are slowly returning us to the days of feudalism and serfdom. And yet again I ask, when will the peasants rise up with their pitchforks and torches and storm the castle? Perhaps during the next commercial.

  4. Pingback: Finials Fireworks Pensions & Photos « The Petaluma Spectator © Frank Simpson

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