Issue with GM surviving spouse coverage. Any advice?

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Calculations says we must pay 5,866.35. letters and details available, thanks

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CarlaB, GA, Windy, good Answers! Wow! And its sounds like you all figured this out for the Original Poster! I am impressed daily with the knowledge base from you Amazing Posters! And THAT is why I keep coming back!!! You learn something new every day! WhooHoo!
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gartnaz - In a typical pension plan, the surviving spouse pension is for life, regardless of remarriage. You should confirm that with the administrator of the pension plan - you should have contact information for them if you're already receiving the survivor pension.
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receiving pension from General Motors
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what are the rules on a surviving spouse getting remarried? can they keep receiving the surviving spouse pension?
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You got it, thanks!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks very much!
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Rocky, correct me if I'm wrong. Your current spouse is younger than your deceased spouse. You started benefits after your spouse died and after you remarried, but GM did not know or did not realize that. So they calculated your benefit as if it were being paid jointly to you and your deceased spouse. Now they find out that it's being paid jointly to you and your new spouse, who is younger than your deceased spouse so is actuarially likely to live longer after your death than your prior spouse. Am I right so far?

If so, then in order to cover the likelihood of payments over a longer combined lifetime, your benefit should have been reduced by more than it was. You received in the neighborhood of $1K more than you should have, which increased to more than $5K after the refund they gave you.

These types of snafus happen fairly regularly in big pension plans, and part of my job was to figure out how to correct them in a way that made both the plan and the employee whole. Basically, to put everybody back in the same position they would have been if the mistake had not been made. I think that's the part you're not understanding. You current spouse is not being covered effective 9/1/15. Your current spouse is being covered back to the date you started receiving benefits. It's true you didn't die, but you could have, and if they discovered today that you died two years ago they'd have had to make the same correction. They're treating your current spouse as your spouse from the day you started benefits, and therefore every payment you've received was a little too much, because it should have been reduced a little bit more to account for a longer joint lifetime than the plan was assuming based on your deceased spouse's age.

This is what it looks like to me based on the facts you've given and the law as it exists. It's true every plan is different, but the basic spousal survivor rules are uniform (unless a plan wants to be more generous and subsidize it completely, for example). These rules are part of the Internal Revenue Code and IRS regulations. How to correct an error of this type falls under a general IRS rule of putting everybody back in the position they would have been in had the error not occurred.
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Rocky, there's no way you could send hard copies of information to anyone through the Forum, and generally people don't provide e-mail addresses to other posters for security purposes. I'm not saying you're a threat - just saying that most people are pretty cautious.

I think the UAW is your best bet; I believe that's part of their function to assist members. You can also call Fidelity, but I would expect this will be a convoluted process to wind your way through bureaucratic channels to find someone who can provide an answer.

Good luck!
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Great responses, thanks. Do you want me to send you the documentation? I called UAW, they said they had never heard of anybody having my problem. Fidelity administers GM pension, I have to communicate with GM through them. I am glad GM decided to make my current wife eligible for my pension benefits, but I still can't get around GM wanting the extra money. Thanks
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If you are a UAW retiree call or visit your old local or regional office or retired workers council office. They would be able to steer you to the right place. If you were a non bargaining unit, salaried employee there is surely a benefits office/phone number you can access.

With all due respect to the very wise and well informed previous advisors, you will spend the rest of your life trying to figure this out via this forum. You have to talk with someone who administrated this particular plan. I used to negotiate auto labor contracts. We used hired gun experts to come in and sort out the pension stuff. It's way beyond the capabilities of mere mortals.

These plans are ridiculously complicated and vary from one place and group of employees to the next. Don't worry about upsetting "Generous " Motors. They can't cancel your benefits for asking questions.
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Okay I will try to untangle this. (Yes, I am a lawyer, and before my retirement I had a specialty in corporate pension plans, although I don't know anything specific about GM.) I'm assuming you (not either of your spouses) are/were the employee, and that you are already retired. Or are you? Generally, the spouse who is married to the employee at the time benefits start is the surviving spouse, unless the spousal benefit is waived by both employee and spouse. Generally also, even if the spouse dies after the employee starts receiving benefits, the pension paid to the retiree continues to be reduced because that's how the actuarial reduction is figured. So I'm assuming your original spouse was still alive when your pension started and that you were receiving a reduced pension to take into account the potential death benefit for your spouse.

I'm surprised that the plan sponsor would allow the beneficiary to be changed after benefits commence, even if the original spouse dies and the retiree remarries. Maybe there are some facts here that I'm not understanding. Please correct anything I'm not understanding and fill in the chronology a bit more. Date of your spouse's death, date of your remarriage, and the date you started to receive your pension.
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