Employee pension and benefit plan administrators have a duty of trust to act in both the employee and the company’s best interests. Unfortunately, when mistakes resulting in overpayments are made, it is often the employee who suffers the most.
If you are facing recoupment efforts due to pension or benefit overpayments, you need to act fast in obtaining legal help. At Kantor & Kantor LLP, our California employee benefit attorneys provide the professional, experienced representation you need at a time you need it the most, to help ensure both your rights and your interests are protected.
Defending Your Rights In Overpayment Disputes
When disputes regarding potential pension and benefit overpayments arise, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) helps to protect employee interests. Overpayments may be detected months or even years after the mistake has been made, and the first action often taken is to immediately stop future payments. Under ERISA guidelines, benefit plan administrators have a fiduciary duty, which is a duty of trust, to manage plan assets and payments both competently and honestly. When a mistake occurs, ERISA places the responsibility for inaccurate reporting and mismanagement solely on the plan administrator, which works in your favor when it comes to resolving the dispute.
Protection Against Recoupment Efforts
Recoupment efforts for overpayments pose a serious threat to your financial security. Fortunately, ERISA requires your plan administrator to provide grievance and appeals procedures in the event disputes arise.
If you have been informed that an overpayment has been made, or if your pension and benefit plan payments have been suspended, you may dispute the claim itself, or even dispute whether the overpayment must be repaid. A Bloomberg report on benefit overpayments advises that there are several factors the U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled should be considered before plan administrators seek recoupment for overpayments:
- The amount of the overpayment;
- The nature of the mistake on the part of the administrator;
- The amount of time that has passed since the mistake occurred;
- The employee’s income, and the impact recoupment efforts would have on their ability to provide for themselves and their loved ones.
We Can Help You with Your Case
If you have been notified of a pension or benefits overpayment, or have had your benefits stopped as the result of recoupment efforts, contact Kantor & Kantor LLP today. Our California benefits claims attorneys provide the kind of professional legal representation you can count on to defend your rights, while acting as a strong legal advocate to protect your financial security. Call or contact our office online today to schedule a case consultation.