How To Claim Your Pension And Annuity Benefits
To claim your benefits you may call the Fund Office to schedule an appointment and apply in person. You may also file a written application with the Board of Administration before you want your Pension or Annuity benefit to begin. You can obtain an application form from the Fund Office. The Plan has the right to request any information it reasonably requires to determine a right to a benefit and may deny the benefit if the information is not provided on a timely basis.
If your claim is denied, in whole or in part, you will receive written notification within 90 days of the date the Board received your claim (this period is 45 days for a claim under the Disability section of the Plan). In some cases, the Board may require more than 90 days (45 days in the case of a Disability claim) to make a decision regarding your claim. In this case, the Board may take up to an additional 90 days (60 days for a Disability claim), provided that the claimant is notified of the extension within the initial 90-day period (45-day period for a Disability claim) with an explanation of the reasons that more time is needed.
Appealing A Denied Claim
If your claim for benefits is denied, in whole or in part, you may appeal the denial in writing to the Board of Administration within 60 days after you receive the denial (this period is 180 days for a claim denial under the Disability section of the Plan). You have the right to review pertinent Plan documents and submit a written statement in support of your claim.
The Appeals Committee of the Board of Administration will conduct a full review of your claim and make a recommendation to the full Board of Administration no later than the next scheduled meeting of the Board. If the request for the review is received within 30 days before the meeting, a decision on the denial will be made no later than the date of the second scheduled meeting, after the receipt of the request. In some cases, the Board may need more time to make a decision. In this case, the Board will make a decision no later than the third meeting after the receipt of the request, provided that they notify you of the extension before the original deadline passes.
The Board can establish rules and regulations for the administration of the Plan. The Board’s construction, interpretation or application of the Fund’s Plan of benefits and its rules and regulations (including factual determinations and eligibility determinations) is final, conclusive and binding on all persons to the fullest extent allowed by law.
Lawsuits And Limitations Period
A claimant who is dissatisfied with an eligibility determination or benefit awarded, or who is otherwise adversely affected by any action of the Board of Administration, must exhaust the Plan remedies before any lawsuit. The Plan has no voluntary mediation or arbitration procedures and is not subject to nor bound by arbitration awards under collective bargaining agreements. A claimant who has exhausted Plan remedies may proceed with a lawsuit in accordance with ERISA.
The Plan has a uniform three (3) year limitations period on lawsuits, regardless of the state in which the lawsuit is filed, except to the extent that a uniform and controlling federal statute of limitation applies to a claim for benefits under the Plan or is prohibited by law. This rule applies to any administrative proceedings, arbitration, lawsuit or other legal action on such a claim or other action or for any amount claimed to be payable from the Plan or its fiduciaries in connection with a claim or other action (including without limitation, monetary remedies or awards for failure to respond to a request for documents or retroactive payments) against the Plan or its fiduciaries.
The limitations period ends three (3) years after the earliest of the following dates.
the date of an initial written determination or response by the Plan to a claim, or
the last date for a timely initial determination or response by the Plan on a claim for benefits or other request under ERISA and applicable regulations.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, no amount shall be payable from the Plan or its fiduciaries on any claim for any installment or other periodic payment for a date or period that is more than three years before the date of an initial claim or appeal for overdue or increased benefits in the past.