This woman lived in a different state than her daughter and son-in-law. After it was evident that she wasn't doing well living out of state on her own, they arrived there at her home. One of the many things they discovered that was amiss was that this woman had a pension plan that she was not using, e.g. she should have been receiving a monthly annuity. However, she had no idea of how to implement the monthly "payments," let alone the fact that she even possessed a pension plan FOR THREE YEARS. That said, I wanted to mention this in the event that others may benefit from it.

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One more point that I wanted to mention in regard to pension plans, when the payee sets up the annuity payments, they may wish to have Federal and State taxes taken out up front in an effort to reduce their year end tax liability.
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JoAnn: For the insurance policy that I do keep in force for the company that I worked for for over 30 years, yes, I do pay a small premium to keep it in force (less than $10).
And while this elderly lady may have received documents from the SSA, she had no clue what they were for, let alone to set payment plans up for herself. When the family arrived at her Michigan home from Maryland, that's when my cousin found out about the pension plan and set it up so that she could start receiving the annuities.
Oftentimes, incoming mail so upsets elders to the point of tears. It did my mother until I took over.
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freqflyer: You're welcome. When recently I saw my cousin at a niece's High School Graduation Party, he told me about this and I knew that it was worry of a mention here. So although the elder "has" a pension plan, they need to do the steps necessary (and if it has to be done on line, they can get their younger relative to assist, as in the case of my cousin) to begin receiving payouts.
And yes, you are correct. Many companies offered insurance policies to their employees. I still carry one that the company I worked for offered.

My late mother lived alone in another state and she was managing okay, except for the fact that a cleaning girl was taking advantage of her and she had such a poor checkbook balancer that she was off to the tune of $859 FOR EIGHT MONTHS. Long story short--before my mother's health got quite poor, she knew she had 3 small insurance policies, but any piece of mail confused her, no matter the content. I easily got the matter squared away in order for her to get a small cash dividend on one because its valuation was not worth keeping in effect.
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Freqflyer, The only way the insurances would have mattered is if they ever applied for Medicaid. Even then though, if employer owned, they can't be cashed in because Dad didn't pay for them. So congrats. Nice surprise and no taxes on insurance policies.

Now for the pension question. When I applied for SS I received a letter from SS telling me I had a pension with the last company I worked for. I would assume this lady got one too. If you know the company the pension is for, call their benefit department. They should be able to send her forms to fill out. The company holding the pension might be able to help. I have a small one, $75 a month, that I haven't filled out paperwork for yet because of all going on with Mom. Couldn't deal with another form.
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Llamalover, thanks for the heads-up on that. I wouldn't be surprised if there are other elders out there who have such a plan either from their own work background or that of a late spouse. Also, insurance polices that one has forgotten.

For myself, my Dad had told me "no" that neither he nor my Mom had any insurance policies. I was trying to update my parent's finances so that I would know what is what.

When my Dad had passed, I called the company that Dad had worked for for many decades to let Human Resources know that Dad had passed.... to stop his pension payments as my Mom had also passed [otherwise she would have been entitled to his monthly pension payments]. Much to my surprise, Human Resources said there were two insurance policies where I was the benefactor. Apparently my Dad had forgotten about those policies.
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