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Appeals Board

The PBGC Appeals Board's Purpose and Procedures

PBGC created the Appeals Board so that persons who are adversely affected by PBGC’s determinations may tell PBGC the specific reasons why they think the determination is wrong so that PBGC can correct any errors. The Appeals Board, however, cannot provide relief based on hardship or a belief that PBGC’s determination is unfair.  An Appeals Board decision is the final step in PBGC’s administrative review process.

While the overwhelming majority of Appeals Board decisions involve benefit claims by participants and beneficiaries, the Appeals Board also decides appeals concerning: (1) determinations that a pension plan is not covered by PBGC under section 4021 of ERISA; (2) determinations of the amount of liability owed to PBGC by plan sponsors and controlled group members under sections 4062(b), 4063 and 4064 of ERISA; and (3) any other matters specifically referred to it when PBGC determines it is appropriate to do so, See 29 CFR § 4003.1. Updates to 29 CFR § 4003.1 can also be found at 77 Fed. Reg. 22488; 82 Fed. Reg. 60800, 60818; and 85 Fed. Reg. 10279.

An affected party may file an appeal after PBGC issues its formal determination. The appeal, or a request for additional time to file an appeal, must be filed within 45 days from the date of the formal determination letter. The formal determination explains the right to appeal, and it should include a copy of following publication:
Your Right to Appeal [PDF] Your Right to Appeal [Text]

You will find additional information about filing an appeal, including where to send an appeal or extension request, through the above link to "Your Right to Appeal." Additional information about the appeals process can be found in our Appeals Board FAQ.

Please note that a person affected by PBGC's determination may act on his or her own behalf, or may designate a representative. If the representative is not an attorney, however, the Appeals Board must receive a notarized power of attorney that specifically states the scope of the representative's authority.

PBGC's "Rules for Administrative Review of Agency Decisions" describe the procedures that apply to the Appeals Board. The Rules are found in Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 4003.

More information regarding the right to appeal benefit determinations is available on the Appealing Formal Determinations page.

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