In Missouri and across the country, many department store moguls are closing their doors due to economic crises. For many business owners, filing for bankruptcy is a valuable tool that can help eliminate debt while laying the groundwork for a stronger financial future. J.C. Penney has filed for bankruptcy, leaving some of its employees worried about retirement income.
The retail giant is traditionally known as a company that offers its employees lucrative retirement benefits. Such benefits include pensions and 401(k) programs. However, since the company filed for bankruptcy, numerous employees have filed legal claims regarding retirement income that is not defined in these programs. On a recent Monday, a judge ordered J.C. Penney to pay bonuses to more than 4,200 employees.
The retirement incomes in question are reportedly part of plans that are not part of the secured claims included in the pension or 401(k) programs. These benefits were apparently awarded to employees for loyal service to the company. Some of the benefits enabled retirement at age 60 with bridge benefits to supplement income until an eligible employee begins to collect Social Security benefits.
A former employee who had worked for J.C. Penney for more than 35 years told the judge that many elderly employees do not even realize their retirement incomes are at risk. So far, the bankruptcy judge has approved more than $40 million in bonuses to thousands of workers. Any Missouri employee concerned about similar issues may reach out for legal support by requesting a meeting with an attorney who is well-versed in bankruptcy and employment laws.