Last year, MetLife failed to pay penLsions payments to about 30,000 Lretirees last year, according to the Wall Street Journal, another troubling development for those whose pensions have been de-risked. Regulators in Massachusetts and New York have since launched investigations.
“Retirees cannot afford to have glitches with their pension checks,” Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, the state’s top securities regulator, told Reuters, “I want to uncover why this occurred and how MetLife is going to rectify the problem for the retirees.” In New York, Maria Vullo, the superintendent of the Department of Financial Services, told Reuters, the authorities are “currently reviewing the matter” and seeking to work with MetLifeto “remediate the issue and ensure that all MetLife’s outstanding pension obligations are fulfilled.”
MetLife, which says those affected are beneficiaries earning payments less than $150 a month, pledged to cooperate with regulators in both states. “While it is still difficult to track everyone down, we have not been as aggressive as we could have been,” MetLife said in a statement. The company said it is using “enhanced techniques” to locate and pay those who missed payments.
According to MetLife, those who were not paid are those who “have moved jobs, relocated or otherwise could not be located.” MetLife CFO John Hele said “When we realized this was a significant issue, we launched an effort to do three things: figure out what happened, strengthen our processes so that we do a better job locating retirees, and promptly pay anyone we find – as we always do.” MetLife did not say how many years of missing income was owed to those 30,000 beneficiaries. The company said in a statement that, “We are deeply disappointed that wefell short of our own high standards. Our customers deserve better.”