Plan Administrators, If Your Plan Contains a Statute of Limitation for Bringing an Lawsuit It Should Be in the Benefit Denial Letters

October 20, 2015

The Third Circuit recently held that plan administrators must include any plan specific statute of limitations in the benefits denial letters. There is some uncertainty currently as to whether ERISA Section 502(a) requires denial letters to contain both the statute of limitation for brining suit against the plan in addition to the explicitly required notice of a right to bring a lawsuit under ERISA. However, courts have been trending towards reading ERISA as requiring both if the plan wants the statute of limitation enforced in the suit. Courts have not yet substantively addressed whether the letter must contain the statute of limitation that would be generally applicable if the plan does not contain a specific statute of limitation. To err on the side of caution, if a plan contains a statute of limitation for filing suit, include that information in all benefits denial letters.

 

Mirza v. Ins. Admin. Of Am., Inc., No 13-3535 (3d Cir. Aug. 26, 2015)

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