Pension plan benefits can help ensure your future financial security. They often play a major role in choosing to work with a certain employer or to take a particular position. Unfortunately, it can come as a shock when these benefits are denied or otherwise not available. At the Law Offices of Michael Bartolic, we regularly meet with clients facing this situation. The following highlights some of the most common obstacles in obtaining pension benefits.
Five Common Problems Concerning Pension Plans
The Department of Labor (DOL) advises that all pension plan participants take the time to carefully review their Summary Plan Description (SPD), which acts as a rulebook for your pension benefits. They also advise carefully reviewing amounts as they accrue and keeping your own files in regards to dates and hours worked, along with your salary, bonuses, or other income you receive. Common issues that can arise and jeopardize your rights to benefits include:
- Issues concerning eligibility for pension plan benefits. Keep all documents related to your pension plan and pay particular attention to those that have to deal with your eligibility. You likely have certain timelines or other requirements that must be followed before you can collect. Carefully review all documents before signing and be aware of any changes the company attempts to make.
- Problems concerning the amount you are entitled to. Calculation errors and other types of mistakes are a common cause behind pension plan disputes. The DOL warns that this can happen when one company merges with another or due to incorrect formulas used by plan administrators.
- Conflicts that result in pension plan denials. If you are let go from your job, it could impact your right to collect on pension plan benefits. Be aware that some companies terminate employees as a tactic specifically to avoid paying these benefits. Again, be cautious in signing any documents and keep thorough records on your job performance and any incidents that occur in the workplace.
- Tax errors and other mistakes. While plan administrators have a fiduciary duty to manage funds wisely, mistakes and errors can still occur. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) warns that tax errors are common and could result in a depletion of funds. These could also leave you facing potentially heavy tax debts.
Our Chicago ERISA Attorneys are Here to Help
When pension plan benefits are in jeopardy, federal laws protect your rights and provide guidelines for taking action. To find out how these laws impact you, reach out to the Law Offices of Michael Bartolic. Contact our Chicago ERISA attorney and request a free consultation today.