See you later. Man’s ex-girlfriend may inherit his $1 million retirement account 35 years after they split

Jeffrey Rolison died in 2015, a few months before he retired from his job at Procter & Gamble. But now, a legal battle is being fought over whether his ex-girlfriend will inherit his multi-million dollar retirement account, 35 years after they split.

Rolison, a Bristol native, enrolled in P&G’s employee retirement plan in 1987, naming his then-girlfriend, Margaret Sjostedt, as his sole beneficiary on a handwritten form. The couple separated two years later, but Rolison never changed the beneficiary information, according to court records.

At the time of his death from a heart attack at age 59, Rolison’s retirement account had more than $750,000 and has reportedly grown in value since then. His estate, led by his brothers, has been fighting the distribution to Sjostedt, now Margaret Losinger, 68, for nearly a decade, arguing in US District Court that P&G breached its fiduciary duty by failing to properly inform need Rolison for his beneficiary designation on file with the company.

The money, they claim, should go to the non-Losinger estate, from which Rolison was acrimoniously separated decades ago, court records say. Estate attorney David Gould said Rolison would never have kept her in place as a beneficiary and believed she had been removed.

Neither an attorney for Losinger nor P&G responded to a request for comment.

Losinger and Rolison met at Tyler State Park when they were in their 20s, and the couple began dating in 1978, according to court records. After living in Newtown, they moved to Sullivan County, where Rolison had purchased a home.

There, Losinger began working as a waitress and, in 1986, Rolison took a job at a nearby P&G plant. A year later, Rolison joined the company’s employee savings and profit-sharing plans, naming Losinger as his beneficiary and cohabitant, according to court documents.

The couple split in 1989, with the estate claiming in court documents that Losinger had been unfaithful. Losinger, meanwhile, said in a 2022 deposition that he wanted marriage and children, but that Rolison wasn’t interested in that path, leading to the split. She would go on to marry in 1990 and later have two children with her husband, who has since died, court documents show.

Meanwhile, Rolison began dating another woman, Mary Lou Murray, in 1991. They split in 2014. Murray was listed as a beneficiary on Rolison’s life insurance for a time, but Rolison removed her from that account after their separation, court records show. The couple never married, and a federal court ruled in 2021 that Murray could not withdraw his retirement account money from P&G.

The fact that Rolison changed beneficiaries to other accounts after major life events shows he was mindful of his designations, Gould said. As for the situation with his pension plan, he added, P&G is to blame.

He would have chosen his family, Gould said. He has brothers, nieces, nephews.

But since Losinger remained on Rolison’s handwritten retirement plan form, she could inherit the account’s funds because of a federal law that requires companies to pay a defined benefit plan last known. P&G filed a lawsuit in 2017 asking a federal court to determine who should get the money, and in 2020, the court ordered the company to pay Losinger in a ruling that was reaffirmed in April. But an attorney for Rolison’s estate filed motions for reconsideration, as well as an appeal to the Third Circuit seeking to overturn that ruling, according to court records.

P&G, the estate argues, breached its fiduciary duty to Rolison because its communication about his benefit options was insufficient. The messages Rolison received on his accounts, the estate alleges, could have easily been misinterpreted.

One message, for example, indicated that Rolison did not have any beneficiary designations online and that any previous beneficiary designations on file with the plan would be retained by P&G, according to court documents. P&G’s messaging, Gould said, was too general.

The company, however, argues that its communications were adequate and that it regularly provided warnings to account holders when it changed service providers for the plan, which moved to a fully online format in 2015. In her April ruling, the judge U.S. District Attorney Karoline Mehalchick wrote that P&G notified Rolison of its benefit options on multiple occasions from 1989 to 2015, and that Rolison should have known how to change the designation.

Even with notice and instructions on how to do so, Rolison never designated a new beneficiary for his P&G investment plan, Mehalchick wrote. As a result, she added, Losinger is the rightful and legal beneficiary of the plans’ funds.

While the legal battle over Rolison’s retirement account continues to play out, her funds remain in escrow and have not yet been distributed.

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