CalPERS and other public employee pension systems are continually auditing public employers and retiree pension benefits to ensure compliance with applicable retirement law. CalPERS, in particular, strictly applies these laws and will modify and invalidate pension payments based on any mistake or unintentional deviation from the rules. This can result in actions by CalPERS to reduce a retiree’s existing pension benefits both prospectively and retroactively, and to seek repayment from retirees for many years of allegedly improper payments. Problems often result from an individual’s employment as a retired annuitant and unfamiliarity with the technical requirements for engaging in post-retirement employment.
Our attorneys are well-versed in public employee pension law and appeal process available to CalPERS and County retirement system members. We have successfully represented clients in administrative appeal hearings and settlement negotiations with CalPERS and other public employee pension systems. In many cases we have achieved outcomes that allowed our clients to maintain their current retirement benefits and reduced or eliminated the obligation to reimburse the pension system for alleged overpayments. Our familiarity with retirement system appeals procedures often brings significant comfort to clients facing potentially devastating impacts to their hard-earned retirement benefits.
With such high stakes, it is critical that retirees who receive letters from CalPERS or other pension systems advising of potential problems with their pension benefits contact our office as soon as possible so that we can provide early assistance in the appeal process.
NOTE: Timothy K. Talbot is the principal overseeing CalPERS and County Pension System Appeals at RLS.