Arethere any legal actions I can take against my former employer for withholding my 401(k) benefits?

I have submitted all the forms signed to my employer on 3 different occasions within the past 3 months. My former employer keeps telling me I did not submit all the papers, then I re-submitted the papers and signed off on them, I sent two sets of all the completed papers certified mail twice, and then I faxed them. I am not getting any response on why I have not received my monies from my 401(k) yet.

Asked on September 7, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia


Rhonda L. Patterson / The Patterson Law Office

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

401(k) benefits are typically covered by a federal statute referred to as ERISA.  ERISA requires in most instances that a retirement plan have clear claims procedures in place.  Under those procedures you should be able to file a formal claim for benefits in which you submit all supporting documentation.  Your claim must be granted or denied within a certain time frame. If your claim is denied, it must be in writing, and you have the right to appeal.  If your appeal is denied you can then bring an action in court for payment of benefits.  I recommend referring to your plan's claim procedures as a starting point.  I've done benefits claims work for years and many times these issues can be resolved before having to resort to a courtroom.


Rhonda L. Patterson

The Patterson Law Office

* My reply to your question does not create an attorney client relationship.  I recommend contacting a lawyer in your jurisdiction to discuss the specific facts of your case. 

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