New York law aims to protect veterans from pension poaching

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York has a new law designed to protect older and disabled veterans from so-called pension poaching.

Pension poaching occurs when financial planners, insurance agents or others claim they are assisting veterans and their families get federal benefits, but are really convincing veterans to reposition their assets to qualify for benefits they are ineligible for. The poachers then often sell the veterans unneeded financial products or services.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Friday making it illegal to receive compensation for assisting with the preparation of a claim and prohibits charging unreasonable service fees. The law requires people offering these services inform veterans and their families that state and local governments can provide free services regarding veterans' benefits.

The bill will take effect in four months.