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Gary

Benefit Entitlement

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a former employee would like to have his pension reviewed, but the employee terminated over 10 years ago. My understanding is that an employer must maintain records for six years, thus that being the period of time for the statute of limitations. Any comments as to if it makes sense to review this pension and what is likelihood of employer making a correction?

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I don't believe the statute of limitations determines the required record retention period. Take a look at Section 209 of ERISA and DOL regulation Section 2530.209-2 -- "records ... shall be retained ... as long as any possibility exists that they might be relevant to a determination of benefit entitlements." I'm not sure how long this means in a particular situation, but taken to its logical extreme it could be argued that you could never get rid of records until a former employee were dead and it was established that there was no spouse, even for a non-vested participant; how else could you determine that the person was not vested and thus not entitled to benefits!

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Why not? Seems to me that it always makes sense to review. In this business, I call that customer service.

If this former EE is a vested term entitled to a future benefit, there should be some records available to let the plan sponsor know what has been earned and what has been promised.

Has the EE already been informed of his benefit and rights under ERISA? If so, use that as the starting point.

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