Pension & Retirement Claims
Pensions and retirement funds managed by employers are a primary benefit of employment and fall under ERISA. These funds typically provide monthly income after retirement. Some plans pay lump sum retirement benefits. And, some provide for the continuation of retirement payments to a spouse after the insured dies.
If you have difficulty with your pension or retirement claim, you should discuss it with an ERISA pension lawyer as soon as possible. ERISA-governed benefit claims include a variety of financial instruments such as:
Retirement funds such as 401(k) savings accounts
Stocks and bonds
Many Americans count on these sources and pension benefits, along with Social Security, to fund their retirements.
Contact our experienced ERISA pension lawyers today for help with your claim for pension or retirement benefits.
Reviewing Your Retirement & Pension Plans
1. Review the details of the plan.
Your employer is required to provide you with the details of your plan under ERISA law. If you have concerns about your plan and the payments that you are getting, it’s important to review the details that were provided to you. If you didn’t save those plan details, your employer should be able to provide them to you. Simply contact your human resources department or your plan administrator and tell them that you’d like to review a plan summary. If you can’t find the information that you need in there, ask for the detail of the plan for review. You might find that the mistake is yours and the plan didn’t work like you thought it did when you first read it over; in that case, you may need to find alternative plans for your retirement years. Don’t assume the mistake is yours, though, until you’ve spoken with a lawyer.
2. Keep all documentation you receive.
Whatever documentation you get regarding your retirement plan and pension benefits, make sure you keep it all in a safe place. You may need it if you are forced to bring legal action in order to get the benefits you are entitled to get. This is especially important if your benefits are denied because the denial letter will have additional information that can be useful in an appeal and it will also let you know how much time you’ll have to appeal the decision (usually 60 days). Make a folder where you keep all of your documentation so it’s easily accessed when needed. If you set up a consultation with a lawyer, this folder will contain everything you need to bring to the meeting.
3. Hire an experienced ERISA attorney.
Don’t put off hiring a lawyer. You might be concerned about the cost of hiring a lawyer when you are already worried about making ends meet in retirement. However, a good ERISA attorney will more than pay for themselves. That’s because they can fight on your behalf to get you the correct retirement and pension payouts, making your retirement years much less stressful. Plus, they can help you review your plan information and ensure that your employer was complying with all ERISA rules. If they weren’t, you may be able to take legal action.
4. Don’t panic.
This is easier said than done, we know. When it comes to your retirement money, you have every right to worry. You worked hard for that money and there is no reason you shouldn’t have it now. But it’s important not to panic when something goes wrong with your retirement or pension fund. That’s because in most cases, it’s a simple misunderstanding that needs to be addressed and corrected. Sometimes it takes legal action and the help of an experienced lawyer to get it resolved. But the important thing to know is that help is available and those dreams for your retirement aren’t dead.
Whether you need advice before applying for retirement benefits or you need help with a problem afterward, contact an experienced pension lawyer at The Martin Law Group today.
Pension & Retirement FAQs
Can my pension be reduced?
The Pension Protection Act of 2006 and the Kline Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 are two laws that can be used to reduce pensions. However, careful adherence to these laws is necessary in order for this to be done legally. If a pension is insolvent, its assets may be transferred to the PBGC, an independent agency of the U.S. Government. They can reduce your benefits as well. We help retirees with unlawful pension reductions. There is no substitute for experience on these matters, so you should ensure that your pension lawyer is well-versed in this complicated area of the law.
My 401(k) lost a lot of money. Do I have a case?
ERISA provides that the person in control of your 401(k) must act like a fiduciary. The standard for this person or entity in control requires them to act as “… a prudent man acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims … by diversifying the investments of the plan so as to minimize the risk of large losses …”. So if this standard was violated, yes you may have a case. But, the question becomes against whom and for what. Experienced ERISA counsel will know who the potential defendants should be and how to obtain the necessary information.
What do I need to do to sue for my retirement benefit?
It depends. Generally, you must pursue all administrative or claim remedies provided in your retirement plan documents before you file a lawsuit. There are a few exceptions. It is best to obtain experienced ERISA counsel, so you can avoid seeing your lawsuit dismissed and lost because you did not follow the correct procedure.
Whatever the facts of your case, contact us to schedule a free initial consultation.
Contact us today by completing the form below, chatting with an operator available 24/7, or calling us at 800-284-9309.