Beware of scams offering cash for your pension

The North American Securities Administrators Association has issued an investor advisory on pension advance scams that could promise upfront cash to retirees for their pensions.

While the association’s role is to protect investors, its advice applies to pension recipients as well.

Scammers target pensioners by encouraging them to give up future pension payments in exchange for a lump sum of cash. In addition, they entice investors to provide funds for the money advances.

Too often, pensioners receive lowball offers for their pensions, loss of future pension income, and potential investors are misled because the assignment of some government pensions is prohibited by federal law.

In fact, OPERS has issued similar warnings in the past. Our retirees should know that OPERS offers members a partial lump option payment at the time of retirement, in which they can receive a portion of their retirement benefit in cash in exchange for lower monthly payments.

Also, Ohio retirement law prohibits the assignment of Ohio pensions. OPERS can issue pensions only to its retirees, not to third parties such as factoring companies.

Ohio law states that OPERS pensions “shall be unassignable” except in certain cases. The exceptions do not include factoring companies, which sometimes accumulate multiple income streams and package them as an investment.

Michael Pramik

Michael Pramik is communication strategist for the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and editor of the PERSpective blog. As an experienced business journalist, he clarifies complex pension policies and helps members make smart choices to secure their retirement.

Michael Pramik

Communication Strategist

  • To OPERS
    Thanks for being our watch dog and for listening to and responding to our many complaints, comments, and yes, kudos during this difficult and stressful time. I believe that in time things will work out for everyone’s benefit. Many thanks.

    • I join Susan Williams to thank OPERS for their concerns over our issues and i pray that members would exercise a little patienceand give OPERS time to sort through everything to everyone’s benefits. Remain Blessed. Amen

  • This is an FYI for all new enrollees in Medigap plans. I was in the hospital March of this year, overnight. I was not aware of this, but if they give your medicines you take on a regiment daily basis, Medicare or your Medigap policy will not pay for it. I had all my daily meds over that stay, and the charge was $ 265. Now, the best part, only 2 of them were actual prescriptions. The rest were vitamins I was told, if you get permission from the doctor or nurse you can take your own. My wife is the new enrollee with Tower. I have had a Medigap for years.

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