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Should there be a court reporter or some method of recording what occurs during a hearing in which a claimant is requesting retirement plan benefits?


katieinny
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A claimant has gone through the process of requesting retirement plan benefits and is now up to the point where there will be a hearing. My only involvement is to watch and learn, so I have nothing at stake here. I was told that no court reporter or other mechanism for recording what goes on at the hearing is necessary. The claimant (or the attorney) makes his or her case verbally and then the Plan Administrator responds in writing at a later date. It's as simple as that. It just seems weird to me that there's nothing on the record. For those of you who have participated in this type of hearing before, is that correct?

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A claimant has gone through the process of requesting retirement plan benefits and is now up to the point where there will be a hearing. My only involvement is to watch and learn, so I have nothing at stake here. I was told that no court reporter or other mechanism for recording what goes on at the hearing is necessary. The claimant (or the attorney) makes his or her case verbally and then the Plan Administrator responds in writing at a later date. It's as simple as that. It just seems weird to me that there's nothing on the record. For those of you who have participated in this type of hearing before, is that correct?

There is no requirement under ERISA to record any hearing or to hold a hearing but the plan could get a Video recorder.

More importantly why does the plan admin allow hearings which is bad idea since the Plan admin has to come face to face with the claimant and provides documentary evidence that could be used by a court against the plan? There is nothing that can't be said in writtten materials.

mjb

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mbozek: I read the section of the plan document relating to claims. It says that if the claimant's written request for benefits is denied, he or she is entitled to request a hearing within 60 days after the denial, which the claimant did. I agree that there isn't any more to be said. The document says it all as far as I can tell, but I guess beating a dead horse is what some claimants do.

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