The Board of Trustees will complete a new, full and fair review of your application based on all information available, including any additional information you provide. The Board of Trustees will make a decision regarding the appeal at the next regularly scheduled quarterly meeting. However, if the Fund Office receives your request for review less than 30 days before the meeting, the decision may be made at the second meeting following receipt of your request for review. If special circumstances require an extension, the decision may be made at the third meeting following receipt of your request and you will be given written notice of the extension before the date of the review.
Within five days after the determination on your appeal is made, you will be sent written notice of the decision. The decision will include the specific basis for the decision and specific references to Annuity Plan provisions on which the decision was based.
In addition, you will receive a statement notifying you:
- That you have the right to request a free copy of all documents, records and relevant information;
- That you may bring a civil action suit under ERISA; and
- Of any additional voluntary appeal procedures offered by the Plan.
The decision of the Board of Trustees is final and binding. The Trustees’ decision will be given judicial deference in any later court action. You (or any person acting on your behalf) cannot bring a lawsuit against the Annuity Plan to recover benefits from the Plan if you do not timely appeal a benefit denial in accordance with the Plan’s procedures. In the event your appeal is denied in whole or in part by the Board of Trustees, you have two years after the appeal is denied to file suit to challenge the claim denial. If you do not timely file an appeal with the Plan or file suit within the two-year limitation period, you will be barred from challenging the Board’s decision.