New Name for Pioneer Group Reflects Broader Constituency and Services

MetLife, the nation’s largest life insurer, announced today that its nationwide group of highly trained Special Needs Planners serving families and individuals will operate under a new name, the MetLife Center for Special Needs PlanningSM. MetLife has been a pioneer in serving families with special needs through the former MetLife Division of Estate Planning for Special Kids, or MetDESK®, one of the first dedicated groups of its kind in the financial services industry.

“Awareness of the true scope of the special needs community has expanded dramatically in the past dozen years, and our services and expertise have evolved as well,” noted Lori Epstein, vice president, MetLife. “Families caring for dependents with special needs want guidance to help meet planning challenges. While caregivers are aging, dependents are living longer. We want to be there throughout life’s journey for special needs individuals, helping them to have a more secure financial future and giving the entire family a level of comfort,” Epstein said.

“MetLife has a central role in the special needs community as a financial services provider and trusted source of guidance,” noted Kelly Piacenti, director, MetLife. “We have heard the concerns from the families our Special Needs Planners work with, as well as from our non-profit partners. We want to be able to provide the most comprehensive service to all the families we touch.” In addition to meeting stringent training requirements, many Special Needs Planners are either parents of children with special needs or have close relatives with special needs, Piacenti observed.

“Over the years, MetLife Special Needs Planners have demonstrated their compassion, commitment and dedication and offered valuable guidance to many in making often difficult decisions,” noted Kari Carlson, President and CEO of the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance. “I know our members will welcome the launch of the Center and the expanded services it represents.”

About the Center and its Special Needs Planners
Special Needs Planners are knowledgeable about many facets of special needs financial planning, including eligibility for Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid. By working with a qualified attorney, MetLife Special Needs Planners can help families address critical issues, including how to protect future government eligibility and ways in which a special needs trust can provide for lifetime care.

Special Needs Planners work with local non-profit organizations and service providers to give support and to secure the highest level of independence for the special needs individual. National non-profit partners include The ARC, Autism Society of America (ASA), Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA), National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC), National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD), TASH, Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance (TS Alliance), and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP).

MetLife is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), a leading provider of insurance, employee benefits and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife, Inc. reaches more than 70 million customers around the world and MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States (based on life insurance in-force). The MetLife companies offer life insurance, annuities, auto and home insurance, retail banking and other financial services to individuals, as well as group insurance and retirement & savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. For more information, visit


Public Relations
Patrick Connor