Sears Stops Insurance Benefits, Retirees to Pay for Own Plan

Sears recently announced that retirees will no longer be eligible to claim their rights to the company-paid life insurance. Following this event, affected employees belonging to the Sears retirement organization is considering to file charges on the company.

Photo Credit: NBC News

Leaving Behind a Legacy

In the fourth quarter of 2018, the company has announced its request for bankruptcy protection. As a result of this event, numerous workers employed within the company became worried about losing their life insurance benefits rather than their pensions.

Based on the findings of the Chicago Tribune, the pensions of workers will still be covered by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Individuals in their 80s and 90s will be affected by Sears announcement, as they have been expecting to receive monetary support for the rest of their days.

Lack of Support

According to CBS News, employees from the company were notified on March 15, 2019. The letter details notifying eligible retirees that their life insurance benefit has already been cancelled. Retired employees who were initially under the program were offered the two options: converting their life policy and claims or opting for a portion of the group coverage, reports CBS News.

Chicago Tribune reports that employee benefits were initially covered by the company, with life insurance policies averaging about $5,000 for the eligible retirees, notes Ron Olbrysh, chairman of the National Association of Retired Sears Employees (NARSE). However, Olbrysh also notes that the average coverage should range from $8,000 to $10,000.

CBS News states that Olbrysh is in the woods about the number of retirees being affected by this news. However, he notes that the company has shelled out around $16.6 million in 2017 for premiums for those eligible workers who have already retired.

Meanwhile, representatives and lawyers from Sears itself have declined to comment.