By Karen Racowsky
As the Pension Rights Center’s Staff Attorney, I am usually on backup phone duty when Operations and Referrals Manager, Kyle Garrett, is at lunch or on another call. Since Kyle is in charge of most of our intake, when he’s busy, I am usually the one who talks to retirees who aren’t getting the documents they requested and refer them to the Department of Labor, or I do some research and dig up their pension plan’s phone number. Or I listen to a familiar story of, “I’ve been getting my monthly pension check for 10 years, and now all of a sudden they’re telling me they’ve been overpaying me and they want all this money back. I can’t pay it, what do I do?” And I send them to the federally-funded pension counseling project that serves their area. Other callers tell me that they don’t live in an area served by a counseling project, but they have an issue that could be resolved if they could get help from an experienced pension attorney. So what now?
This is when I refer to the Center’s handy directory of experienced pension attorneys across the country, the National Pension Lawyers Network (NPLN). I typically chat with our callers to see if an outside attorney might be the right next step, and if it is, I’ll search through NPLN to find a suitable attorney in their state. Next, I tell the caller to give the NPLN attorney a call, and let them know that these referrals are to private attorneys and that costs for their services will vary based on what that attorney charges for the service the caller needs.
But sometimes when I search through NPLN for attorneys in certain states, I come up empty. We just don’t have any NPLN attorneys in some parts of the country. Even though the Pension Rights Center is constantly on the lookout for new attorneys to add to NPLN to supplement the help available through the pension counseling projects, we need more pension attorneys in more states signed up!
Are you an experienced attorney who would like to join our no-fee National Pension Lawyers Network? Click here to sign up to receive pension client referrals from the Pension Rights Center. We are looking for attorneys who can handle all kinds of different issues involving both private and government retirement plans. We are also looking for attorneys who have experience with dividing retirement benefits at divorce and drafting qualified domestic relations orders. There is no obligation to take any case we refer to you.
Are you a retirement plan participant who needs help with a pension or retirement savings plan issue? Call our office at (202) 296-3776 or click here to send us a Pension Help Request!