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Practitioners

Appeals Board FAQ

1. How do I contact the Appeals Board?

You may mail, fax, or email any inquiries or information to the Board at the following:

  Mail: PBGC (Attn: Appeals Board)
P.O. Box 151750
Alexandria, VA 22315
  Fax: (202) 326-4095
  Email: appeals@pbgc.gov

You may also call us during normal business hours (EST 8:00am - 5:00pm) at 1-800-400-7242 (extension 4090).

2. Can I attach additional pages or documents to the optional PBGC forms for filing an appeal and/or requesting a filing extension?

Yes, the Appeals Board encourages you to submit any information you might have to support your appeal.  The Board provides optional forms for filing an appeal or filing an extension request.  If the space provided is not enough, you may attach additional pages and any supporting documentation and mail, fax, or email the information to the Board at the addresses shown above.

3. How does the Appeals Board count the days in the 45-day appeal period?

The Appeals Board follows a strict 45-day period prescribed by PBGC regulations.  The first day of the appeal period is the date shown on the top right of your PBGC Benefit Determination Letter.  All weekends and holidays are counted as a day during your appeal period.  If your 45-day appeal filing deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, however, you will have until the next business day to file an appeal or extension request.  Your appeal is considered "received" on the day it was faxed, the postmark date, or the day it was sent via email.

If you have any questions about your appeal filing deadline, please contact the Appeals Board.

4. How do I request a copy of my PBGC file or Plan document?

You and your beneficiaries have the right to receive a copy of your PBGC participant file and/or the Plan documents pertaining to your benefits. To do so, you must submit a signed, written request by mail or fax to:

  Mail: Disclosure Officer
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
1200 K Street, NW, Suite 11101
Washington, DC 20005
  Fax: (202) 326-4042 (Attn: Disclosure Officer)

Because requests require a signature, generally a request for documents may not be submitted by email.

If you are the Participant or Alternate Payee in a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) and would like to know how the other party's benefit is calculated in order to appeal your own determination, please write to the Disclosure Office at the address or fax above and explicitly state that you are requesting information concerning the other party's PBGC benefit calculation in order to appeal your benefit determination.

5. What can I do if I have questions about how my PBGC benefit was calculated?

If you have questions about how PBGC calculated your benefit, please call PBGC at 1 (800) 400-7242 and ask to speak with the Authorized Representative for your Plan.  Please have the following information available when you call:

  • Your social security number (or the social security number of the participant, if different)
  • Your Plan's name or number (this can be found in the upper left corner of any letters that PBGC sent to you)

For some plans, PBGC can prepare a Benefit Statement Worksheet to show a more detailed calculation of your Plan benefits.  If you are interested in a Benefit Statement Worksheet, please ask your Authorized Representative if there is one available for your Plan.

6. What should I do if I need more time to file an appeal or if I have not yet decided whether to file an appeal?

If you are not sure if you want to file an appeal, or you need more time to prepare your appeal, you should request an appeal-filing extension in writing from the Appeals Board. Your request should be directed to the Appeals Board at the address shown above in Question #1 within the 45-day appeal period.

7. PBGC sent me a letter stating that my benefit is being reduced because I was overpaid in the past.  Can I appeal the amount of the reduction or the overpayment balance based on hardship, poor health, or other financial/medical circumstances?

The Appeals Board does not have the authority to change your PBGC benefit based on financial hardship or medical circumstances.  The Appeals Board can consider, however, any specific information or reasons why you think that the calculation of your overpayment balance is incorrect.

8. I have been advised that my appeal was "referred to PBGC's Benefits Administration and Payment Department" to respond to the matters raised in my appeal.  What does that mean?

In order to more quickly respond to a participant's or beneficiary's inquiry, the Appeals Board may refer your question to the Benefits Administration and Payment Department ("BAPD"), the PBGC department responsible for determining and paying benefits.  Generally, BAPD responds to participants within 30-45 days, while the Appeals Board's review may take up to one year or longer.

9. I received a response from BAPD after the Appeals Division referred my inquiry to them, but I still disagree with the response. What can I do?

If you still disagree with PBGC's explanation and your appeal to the Appeals Board was timely filed within your 45-day appeal period, you will have 45 days from the date of BAPD's response letter to you to file a written request for review by the Appeals Board.

10. Why does it sometimes take up to a year or more to decide an appeal?

Because of the large volume of appeals received by the Appeals Board and the necessary research required to fully analyze the issues raised, it can take up to one year, or sometimes longer, to complete a written appeal decision.

11. Can I send additional information to the Appeals Board while my case is under review?

You may submit additional information to supplement your appeal until the Appeals Board reaches a decision on your case.  Information sent to the Appeals Board while your appeal is pending will be considered in the Board's review.

12. Will I receive back-payments and/or interest if my appeal is decided favorably?

A participant's eligibility for back-payments is based on the facts and circumstances of his or her case.  If you are eligible for back-payments, PBGC will pay you any amount owed to you (with interest) as soon as practicable.

13. My appeal was denied.  If I still believe the Appeals Board's decision is incorrect, what is my next course of action?

Under Title 29 of the United States Code, section 1303(f), you have six years from the date of the Appeals Board's decision to file an appeal in an appropriate Federal District Court.  Neither the Appeals Board nor PBGC representatives can offer you legal advice.  If you have questions, we recommend that you seek legal advice from an attorney.

14. I just received information relevant to my case, but my appeal deadline has expired or my appeal has already been decided.  What should I do with this new information?

PBGC permits any participant to submit new specific information that shows his or her benefit should be changed.  You may send this information by mail to PBGC at:

  Mail: PBGC (Attn: BAPD)
P.O. Box 151750
Alexandria, VA 22315