New York, Massachusetts eye MetLife's unpaid pensions

Up to 30,000 people may not have received payments from insurer

Dec 19, 2017 @ 12:30 pm

By InvestmentNews

The New York Department of Financial Services, which regulates insurers and banks in the state, and Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, that state's top securities regulator, are investigating MetLife Inc. over its failure to pay pensions owed to as many as an estimated 30,000 retirees.

The insurer, which is one of the 15 insurance companies from which U.S. corporate pension plans purchase group annuity contracts to transfer their pension liabilities, said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month that of the approximately 600,000 members of its "group annuitant population," less than 5% of those participants have not received their benefits because they "have moved jobs, relocated or otherwise can no longer be reached via the information provided for them," according to the filing.

The exact number of participants, which "tend to be" those who received $150 or less in monthly benefits, has not been provided, according to a report in Pensions & Investments, a sister publication of InvestmentNews.

MetLife, which pledged to fully cooperate with regulators, said the standard way for finding retirees who are owed benefits is no longer sufficient, Reuters reported.

"While it is still difficult to track everyone down, we have not been as aggressive as we could have been," MetLife said in a statement.

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