Government Promises of Pension Benefits – Beware!

Federal employees and their family members run into this situation, which unfortunately is not so uncommon. In planning for retirement, the federal employee seeks verification of the amount of money to be received upon retirement. In some cases, a government agent with the Office of Personnel Management (“OPM”) or other agency will notify the employee of a guaranteed sum of monthly pension benefits. There are even cases in which the government will make this promise to the employee in writing. When the employee retires however, the government argues that the promise was made in error and that employee is not in fact entitled to the promised amount.

An equally frustrating situation involves the employee’s family members, typically the employee’s spouse, who may be planning for her future upon the death of her husband. In some cases, the spouse will make inquiry to OPM to determine her survivorship benefits upon the … Read More