The start of May marks the beginning of Older Americans Month, a celebration of the contributions older Americans make to society. Sponsored by the U.S. Administration on Aging, the theme of this year’s Older Americans Month—“Unleash the Power of Age!”—highlights the significant positive ways that older Americans influence their communities. 2013 happens to be the 50th anniversary of Older Americans Month and it’s the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Administration on Aging’s Pension Counseling and Information Program. To celebrate, the Pension Rights Center will showcase the role that the pension counseling projects play in helping older Americans unleash the power of age by posting case studies of the ways the cousneling projects have successfully helped their clients receive the retirement benefits they are entitled to.
Without pensions and retirement savings plans to supplement Social Security, many older Americans would lack the resources necessary to “unleash the power of age” at home and in their communities. They would not be able to pay for important medications, basic necessities, actively pursue their favorite hobbies, visit family and friends, buy gifts for their grandchildren or afford those small indulgences that enrich their lives. That’s what makes the work of the Pension Counseling and Information Program so important. Since the program was started in 1993, it has recovered more than $175 million in benefits for nearly 50,000 clients. The six pension counseling projects that make up the program currently cover 30 states.
Many of the 14 million Americans who are currently receiving income from pensions and other retirement plans have encountered problems when trying to access their benefits. Whether the obstacle they encounter deals with a miscalculation or denial of benefits, an unfair recoupment of overpayments, or finding a pension plan that has been “lost” due to the relocation, merger, or the name change of a former employer, the staff of the pension counseling projects are available to help, free of charge.
To kick off Older Americans Month, we are proud to share a video we have created about the pension counseling program. Watch it below or on our YouTube channel.