Thursday, September 3, 2015

Despite divorce decree, she got none of her retired husband's pension

DEAR HARRY: I was divorced in 1995. It hit me for about $10,000 in lawyer's fees and other expenses. In my final decree, the judge awarded me part of my husband's pension. My husband retired in 2011, but I got none of his pension. I went to court (on my own) to get this straightened out. I soon found that I was out of my league, and I retained a lawyer for $1,200. He later charged me an additional $800 for correspondence. Really? Yes, really!

To date, this problem is not resolved. I have sent countless emails, faxes, voice mails both to his employer and to the pension-plan custodian. I have received no response. He's been getting his full pension for more than two years, and I have gotten goose eggs. There has to be something that I can do to get my court orders obeyed and get what I'm entitled to.

WHAT HARRY SAYS: In the vast majority of divorces, men are better off financially and women are worse off. The story of men who were "cleaned out" is mostly a myth. He could have helped you by intervening with the plan administrator. Instead, he chose to profit by deficiencies in law enforcement.

Contact the Employee Benefits Security Administration at 215-861-5300. They have helped others in similar situations.

Email Harry Gross at, or

write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.

Daily News Personal Finance Columnist
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