Pension Struggle

Bill would restore pension benefits denied widow after paperwork delay

Proposed legislation would change how state retirees may add their spouses to their pension plans if they marry after retirement. The separate House and Senate bills introduced yesterday seek to prevent another denial of benefits like one that hit a Perry County widow last year. David Arnett applied to switch his plan so his wife could keep getting payments after he died. But the papers arrived July Second, five days before he died. State law says the switch could only take effect the first day of the following month. Both bills would make the change effective the day the application is received. They also require couples to apply within one year of marrying. The Senate bill also a section retroactively applying the benefits to couples like the Arnetts. That's not in the House version.