Pension Action Center

at the University of Massachusetts Boston


Pension Counselors


Ellen A. Bruce, JD
Senior Fellow, Pension Action Center
617.287.7315 ;

Ellen A. Bruce serves as a senior fellow of the Gerontology Institute; she was the former director of the Gerontology Institute and its Pension Action Center and was an associate professor in the Gerontology Department, teaching law and public policy courses in the graduate programs. Her primary areas of interest are income security for older adults, pensions and retirement income, older women, and elder law.

In 1993 she founded the Pension Action Center, which houses the New England Pension Assistance Project, the Illinois Pension Assistance Project, and the National Pension Lawyers Project, and serves as a base for pension and retirement income research. The center brings together services for participants, retirement income research, and policy work. Bruce's work focuses on participant-related problems, including lost pensions, diminishing plan participation and survivor benefits as well as more general research on income security for older adults including the development of the Elder Economic Security Standard Index (Elder Index).

To read her complete bio, please visit her faculty listing.

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Emily Brown, JD
Staff Attorney
617.287.7309 ;

Attorney Brown is the newest staff attorney at the Pension Action Center, serving clients in its Illinois Pension Assistance Project and New England Pension Assistance Project. Prior to coming to the Pension Action Center, she completed a fellowship at Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association. Attorney Brown has experience in serving low-income and pro se clients, as well as research experience with Westlaw Court Express. She holds a BA in Psychology and History from The College of William and Mary and a JD from William and Mary Law School.

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Louise Cataldo
Development and Community Education Coordinator
617.287.7311 ;

Louise Cataldo serves as the development and community education coordinator for the Illinois Pension Assistance Project (IPAP) and the New England Pension Assistance Project (NEPAP). She began working with the Pension Action Center upon the founding of the Illinois project, in July 2012. She is currently conducting outreach to this new service area, by establishing relationships in the elder, legal, and employment networks, as well as maintaining partnerships in New England. Ms. Cataldo also assists with pursuing grant funding to sustain the pension assistance projects.

Ms. Cataldo has extensive experience in a variety of fields relevant to her position at the center. In the past, she has assisted the vice president of development and alumnae relations at Emmanuel College and the director of planned giving at Boston College. She is also an accomplished human resources professional, with over ten years experience managing the human resources department at Direct Federal Credit Union. In addition to her experience in the fields of fundraising, development, and human resources, Louise also spent five years in the legal services field, as an intake worker for the Boston College Legal Assistance Bureau. She holds a BA in Business and English from Westfield State College.

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Tyler A. Compton
Legal Intern

Tyler Compton, a Boston College Law School student, began her internship with the Pension Action Center in May, 2015. She assists clients with tracking down and obtaining their pensions, as well as with finding answers to questions on their retirement benefits.

Compton's past experience includes working at The WilmerHale Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School and the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, giving her expertise working with older adults and low-income clients. She received a BA from Smith College in English Language and Literature and Italian Studies.

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Jeanne M. Medeiros, JD
Director and Managing Attorney
617.287.7332 ;

As the director of the Pension Action Center, Attorney Medeiros manages the operations of the Pension Action Center, including supervising the case handling staff. She has been with the center since 1998, working exclusively in the area of private and public pension law, and is an expert on ERISA and retirement benefit issues. She develops and presents trainings on pension law and policy for project staff, as well as outreach presentations to attorneys, elder service groups and community organizations.

For over twenty years, Medeiros has worked as an advocate for low-income clients. Her previous experience includes her work as deputy counsel for Cambridge Rent Control Board, staff attorney for Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services and for Rhode Island Legal Services. She completed her JD at Boston College and holds a BA in History from Brown University.

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Tania Mendez
Legal Intern

Tania Mendez, a Suffolk University Law School student, began working for the Pension Action Center in May, 2015.  She helps clients find and obtain their earned pension benefits, as well as answers questions related to their retirement benefits.

Mendez's past experience includes an internship at the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office. She is fluent in the Spanish language. Mendez received a BS from Syracuse University in Child and Family Studies. 

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Michele Tolson
Program Coordinator

617.287.7305 ;

Michele Tolson joined the Pension Action Center in December 2011. She provides a wide range of support for the center and its pension counseling projects. Ms. Tolson received her BA from the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she double majored in ethics, social and political philosophy and economics and received Awards of Distinction from both departments.

She is now studying for a PhD in public policy at UMass Boston's McCormack Graduate School.

Before joining the Pension Action Center, Ms. Tolson was a research assistant intern for the Gerontology Institute. Her past experience also includes internships with the Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Office and the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group.

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Giving to the Pension Action Center

Help people understand their retirement benefits through a gift to the center. Read More 

Need Help Now?

Call the Pension Action Center toll-free at 888.425.6067.

Request help online from the New England Pension Assistance Project or the Illinois Pension Assistance Project. Read More