ERISA • Employment Law

Retirement Plan Claims and Overpayment: Understanding Your Rights

09 Apr 2019

Imagine that you are receiving monthly benefits from your employer-sponsored retirement plan. One day, you receive a surprising letter in the mail stating that you have been “overpaid” all along. Your plan administrator wants to reduce your benefits going forward and, worse yet, wants you to repay to make up for the overpayment.

What happens now? Do you always have to repay the plan? What are your rights as a retirement plan beneficiary? Here, our Philadelphia retirement plan claims attorney explains the key steps that you should take if you have received an overpayment notice from your retirement plan administrator.

Did You Receive an Overpayment Notice? Here is What You Should Do Next

  • Do Not Panic: Carefully Review the Notice
    Unexpectedly receiving a notice that your retirement benefits will be reduced and/or that your plan administrator is seeking recoupment for the overpayment can be stressful and deeply frustrating. Do not panic. You should carefully review the notice and make sure that you understand exactly what is happening and why.
  • Ask for a Full Accounting of the Mistake/Calculations
    Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), you have the right to get basic information on how your plan administrator reached its conclusion regarding the alleged overpayment. You should never hesitate to ask for a more detailed explanation of how the mistake happened or to ask for a full accounting of the calculations used by your plan.
  • Explore Your Right to Get a Hardship Waiver
    Depending on the nature of your situation, you may be entitled to a hardship waiver. Under federal rules, pension plans and retirement plans may be able to waive recoupment if the beneficiary would face significant financial hardship by being required to make payments. If you are in a financially difficult position, this type of option should be explored.  
  • Get Professional Legal Help
    If you received a recoupment notice, you should be ready to seek professional legal support. Overpayment cases are among the most complex types of retirement plan claims. An experienced Philadelphia retirement plan lawyer will conduct a comprehensive assessment of your case and help you determine what options are available. Among other things, you may be able to negotiate a settlement, or you may even have the right to avoid paying back the plan at all.  

Speak to Philadelphia Retirement Plan Claims Lawyer Today

At The Garner Firm, our Pennsylvania ERISA attorney has experience representing beneficiaries in the full range of retirement plan litigation, including in overpayment cases. If your retirement plan administrator is seeking the recoupment of an overpayment, we can help. For a free, no obligation review of your case, please contact us at our Philadelphia law office today.

Experienced Counsel

Mr. Garner is an ERISA employee benefits and employment attorney with over a decade of experience. The laws governing employee benefits, the employment relationship, and the workplace are complex.

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