Settlements for Retirees
Gregory Reed and Jane Olfene are able to breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy greater affluence in their retirement, thanks to the MEA’s advocacy.
Both had been improperly denied benefits by the Maine Public Employee Retirement System (MPERS); both were represented by MEA retained counsel Don Fontaine on their appeals; and, both received all their money back plus 7.8% interest.
In his letter of appreciation to MEA, Reed recounted the history of his case:
“In December of 2007 I received a phone call from an employee of the MPERS informing me that though I had been receiving benefits since August of that year, an irregularity indicated that I was in fact not retired and that my benefits would cease and I would have to repay some $17,000 in benefits that would be recouped. Merry Christmas!
I am sure that you are aware that an individual such as myself would never have reached such a positive resolution without the financial and political support of the MEA. I cannot really describe the relief I felt when Don notified me two weeks ago that MPERS has agreed to settle the case and that I would be receiving the money plus interest and that a number of sick days previously taken away would be restored.
As I sat in a legislative hearing in April of 2009, it became clear to me how many others had found themselves in a position like mine and how integral the MEA was in giving us a voice. You have made it so others will not feel the same desperation and frustration that I did on that December afternoon in 2007.
Again, please accept my deepest thanks.”
An appeal over the denial of benefits for Gail Quinney based on similar circumstances continues.