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Pension Rights

For more information visit the Upper Midwest Pension Rights Project website.

The project provides free of charge counseling, claims help, and advice on pensions and retirement income in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota regardless of age, income or value of claim.

Pension counselors provide free:

  • Information about pensions and laws governing them.
  • Counseling to help fully understand answers to tough pension and retirement income questions.
  • Advocacy to be sure that people receiving pensions know their rights.

Help can be found at:

Pension counselors can help answer many questions, including:

  • Am I entitled to a pension?
  • What happens to my pension when I change employers?
  • Can I get pension benefits from my ex-spouse?
  • How can I claim my pension from a company that has merged with another or gone bankrupt?
  • What happens to my pension when I die? What happens to my spouse’s pension?
  • What if my pension is miscalculated or denied altogether?
  • Where can I get pension forms I need?
  • Who can help me with other questions I have about my pension?

Anyone that lives or works in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, or South Dakota or lived or worked in these states while earning a pension can get help. Anyone outside these states can find a local pension rights program at or

Pension counseling projects provide personalized assistance:

  • Answering questions about complicated pension laws and how they affect your retirement;
  • Obtaining and explaining hard to find retirement plan publications, forms and other documents;
  • Correcting pension miscalculations and claiming retirement benefits that have been denied; and
  • Tracking down benefits from past employers.

Pension counselors can assist with retirement income plans offered by private and government employers, including:

  • Traditional “defined benefit” pension plans;
  • Cash balance and other “hybrid” pension plans;
  • 401(k) and 457 “defined contribution” plans; and
  • Money purchase and other profit-sharing plans.

The project is a joint effort of the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging and Iowa Legal Aid. The Minnesota Senior Federation managed the program until its 2009 transition to the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging. The Administration on Aging funds the project.

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