State Treasurer Clint Zweifel announced House Bill 1217 went into effect last week, meaning public retirees in Missouri are now protected from the predatory lending practice known as pension advances.
Retired public employees who are drawn into these misleading agreements can now take legal action against the businesses offering them. This measure is just one step Zweifel said he is taking to protect working Missourians’ retirement security.
“Pension advances prey on the financially vulnerable, offering an up-front lump sum in exchange for part or all of a public pension, and they are generally accompanied by exorbitant fees and interest rates,” Zweifel said. “Pension advances are essentially payday loans on steroids in that the individuals taking them are borrowing against a pension instead of a paycheck. They put the individual’s retirement in jeopardy and cost them more money in the long run. Today marks a big win for consumer protection in Missouri, and I am proud of the bipartisan coalition of lawmakers who helped me make our state the first in the nation to ban this practice.”
With the law now in effect, State Attorney General Chris Koster has the authority to investigate and prosecute companies that continue to push these offers onto Missourians. Furthermore, any individual who falls victim to pension advance schemes is entitled to reclaim any money lost in a pension advance transaction.
“I commend Treasurer Zweifel for his leadership on this important issue. Missouri’s public servants should never be taken advantage of in their retirement years,” said Koster. “Missourians who have encountered a pension advance scheme should contact my consumer protection division, which stands ready to enforce the provisions of this new law.”
If you enter in to a pension advance and would like to seek legal action against the business, contact Koster’s consumer protection division at 800-392-8222 or file a complaint online at www.consumer.ago.mo.gov.