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Date by which a claimant must file an appeal given DOL/IRS COVID guidance


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Given the DOL/IRS May 2020 guidance (85 FR 26351) extending the time under ERISA/IRC a participant can file an appeal under a retirement plan during the COVID-19 emergency, by what date does a participant have to file an appeal?  Just say 60 days after announced end of COVID-19 emergency? 

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If one edits away portions of the text about kinds of plans other than pension (retirement) plans:

Subject to the statutory duration limitation in ERISA section 518 and [Internal Revenue] Code section 7508A, all . . . employee pension benefit plans subject to ERISA or the Code must disregard the period from March 1, 2020 until sixty (60) days after the announced end of the National Emergency or such other date announced by the Agencies in a future notification (the ‘‘Outbreak Period’’) for all plan participants, beneficiaries, . . ., or claimants wherever located in determining the following periods and dates—

(5)   The date within which individuals may file a benefit claim under the plan’s claims procedure pursuant to 29 CFR 2560.503–1,

(6)   The date within which claimants may file an appeal of an adverse benefit determination under the plan’s claims procedure pursuant to 29 CFR 2560.503–1(h)[.]

Example 7 (Internal appeal—employee pension benefit plan).

(i)    Facts.  Individual F received a notice of adverse benefit determination from Individual F’s 401(k) plan on April 15, 2020. The notification advised Individual F that there are 60 days within which to file an appeal.  What is Individual F’s appeal deadline?

(ii)   Conclusion.  When determining the 60-day period within which Individual F’s appeal must be filed, the Outbreak Period is disregarded.  Therefore, Individual F’s last day to submit an

appeal is 60 days after June 29, 2020, which is August 28, 2020.

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-05-04/pdf/2020-09399.pdf

Peter Gulia PC

Fiduciary Guidance Counsel

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

215-732-1552

Peter@FiduciaryGuidanceCounsel.com

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