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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 111468
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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Know that this is an NMU website, but wonder if you can

Customer Question

Hi, my name is***** that this is an NMU website, but wonder if you can answer a question re: Seafarers Int. Union Pension Plan. My question is; can the union plan be forced to offer a lump sum buyout option in lieu of monthly payments/ Thank you for your answer,
JA: Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: The union is headquartered in Camp Springs, Md.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: No
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: Companies have been paying into this multi employer plan for 38 years. They are offering me $3110 per month, but only half of that is I sign for the joint and survivor option, which would cut my monthlyu payment by half, and still only award my wife half pay upon my demise. Can this all be legitimate?
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Again, Camp Springs, Md. , but I think this may fall under federal guidelines.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Employment Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, no, unless your plan description provides that the member of the pension plan can opt for a lump sum payment, the plan only pays the retiree in the payment methods as stated in the plan description.
Yes, it is proper and normal that a retiree's benefit is significantly reduced if they decide to take the spousal survivorship option. This is why many financial planners suggest to not take the survivor option and to buy a life insurance policy instead in an amount high enough to cover the spouse in the event of the retiree's demise.

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