JCP&L denies full pension to former employee’s widow
by Karin Price Mueller/The Star-Ledger
Monday April 06, 2009, 9:00 PM
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How much is 17 hours of your life worth? It’s a question widow Brenda Slutter has been wrestling with for years.
Her husband, Ron Slutter, worked for Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) for nearly 36 years. He died of cancer at age 58. Knowing his death was imminent, Ron made arrangements to retire, a move that would allow his wife to receive the largest possible company pension benefit after his death. He was told by JCP&L, his widow said, that his official retirement date had to be on the first of the month — but died 17 hours and 40 minutes before the paperwork was finalized.
Thanks to a tangle of bureaucratic rigidity, legal fine print and the timing of her husband’s death, Brenda, 59, receives only half the pension benefit her husband meant for her to receive.
“If January only had 30 days, he would have made it,” Brenda said.
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Bamboozled contacted JCP&L to talk about the case, but the company wouldn’t discuss any particulars.
“We respect the privacy of all of our employees and do not publicly discuss or disclose any personal information,” said Ronald Morano, spokesman for First Energy, the parent company of JCP&L. “We work diligently to ensure that our employees and their families understand their benefits and the options available to them.”
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Brenda Slutter isn’t surprised by the company’s response, and she’s not giving up her fight.
“This is not how you reward someone for doing an excellent service for your company,” she said. “I guess First Energy needs half of my husband’s pension more than I do.”
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Argh! May I suggest that the various state and federal agencies be prompted to audit the JCP&L and it’s pension plan? Tell me that retirement dates haven’t been adjusted for the executives.
This brings me to why do we have pension plans at all. People should be paid out for their full worth and allowed to make their own arrangements.
It’s a shame to see anyone get screwed.
Pensions and “benefits” came about as a result of the gooferment’s wage and price controls of WW2. Does anyone think we still need the distortion?
Gooferment is the root of all evil.
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