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How to Claim Pension Benefits

Arnett & Arnett, PC Dec. 29, 2022

In Arizona, employers are required to establish and make regular contributions to a pension plan on behalf of their employees. Upon retirement, the funds available in the pension plan may be available to the employee. However, there are specific rules addressing how and when to file a claim and the requirements for processing pension benefits in the Grand Canyon State. 

For more than three decades, we have been providing experienced legal services and reliable advocacy to clients in the legal matters of pension claims and retirement benefits. Our practiced Arizona pension claim attorneys can help you understand how to claim your pension benefits as well as what to do if your claims are denied. We're proud to serve clients across Chandler, Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tucson, and surrounding areas throughout Arizona. 

The Pension Claims Process in Arizona    

A pension plan can be described as a retirement plan which provides monthly income for an employee upon retirement. The pension plan will be established and maintained by the employer, who will make regular contributions to a pool of money on the employee's behalf. The funds available in the pension plan will serve as a retirement income or benefit for the employee after they retire. 

If you participate in an employer-sponsored defined benefit plan, here are the steps involved in seeking your pension benefits: 

  1. Check your SPD: For most employer-sponsored defined benefit plans, the plan sponsor will outline the necessary requirements to file a claim for benefit. This will be outlined in the Summary Plan Document (SPD), as required by ERISA. Hence, before filing a claim seeking pension benefits, check your SPD to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements of your pension plan. 

  2. Note Necessary Details: In addition, note necessary details regarding seeking pension benefits. These include where to file, what to file, and who to contact with questions. When filing, ensure that you provide the necessary information and supporting documentation. You will not be charged any fee when you file your claims. 

  3. Contact Your Plan Administrator: If the needed information isn't available in your SPD, you may need to write your plan administrator or your employer's HR department. Inform the appropriate entity that you have a pension claim. Request and keep copies of all request emails, letters, records, and documents.  

  4. Wait for Your Benefits: After you submit your claim, there is usually a waiting period for your benefits to be processed. Sometimes, it may take about 90 days after your retirement date before your pension benefits are finalized. If you're approved, you can check your SPD regarding when and how your benefits will be paid. 

  5. Hire an Attorney: In addition, it is often advisable that you retain a trusted pension claims attorney to help file your claims, submit the necessary documentation, and guide you through the legal steps involved from start to finish. Also, if your claim is denied, your lawyer can help file a petition appealing the denial. 

What if My Pension Claim Is Denied?  

If your pension claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal. Your attorney must file your appeal within 90 days and provide factual evidence to dispute the denial. The plan will review the appeal and inform you with written notice of whether your appeal was denied or granted. 

If it is denied, you may file another appeal at the next level of the appeal process until you exhaust your appeal rights. Upon exhausting your appeal rights, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit against the plan. A skilled attorney can help file your petition and walk you through the appeals process in pursuit of the best available outcome. 

Standing in Your Corner: Arnett & Arnett, PC 

Pension plans can provide financial security and lifetime income for employees upon retirement. However, there are several complex procedures involved in claiming these pension benefits. Therefore, working with a practiced pension claim attorney is imperative for detailed guidance and to help you navigate crucial decisions. 

At Arnett & Arnett, PC, our attorneys are poised and ready to assist and guide clients through the complexities of filing pension claims. As your legal counsel, we can help file your claims and walk you through the legal procedures involved. Even if your claims are denied, our trusted team will help appeal the denial and improve your chances of achieving the most favorable outcome. 

Contact Arnett & Arnett, PC today to schedule a simple consultation with experienced pension claim attorneys. We can offer you the personalized legal counsel and brilliant advocacy you need in your claims. Our firm proudly serves clients throughout Chandler, Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Tucson, Arizona.