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Administrative Appeal Procedure: Matters Related to Retirement Benefits

Overview

There may be occasions when an individual disagrees with LACERA's decision on matters related to his or her allowance payments, retirement benefits, refunds, or record adjustments. In such cases, the individual may file an administrative appeal with LACERA.

This Administrative Appeal Policy is established in accordance with the Board of Retirement's duty to administer the retirement fund pursuant to the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 and Board Regulations.

Who may file

Any LACERA member, former member, survivor, or beneficiary may file an administrative appeal. The process is designed to facilitate a member filing an administrative appeal without the services of an attorney. However, a member may engage legal representation at his or her discretion.

Administrative Appeal Process

*If you disagee with the MS Manager's decision, you may send your appeal to the Assistant Executive Officer.
**If you disagree with the AEO's determination, you may request an administrative appeal to the Board of Retirement.
***You have the right to seek judicial review of the Board's action by filing a petition for writ of mandate.

Procedure for Appeal

There are three levels to the administrative appeal process.

The Administrative Appeal Process

First Level:

  • Applicant must submit a written appeal to the Manager of our Member Services Division.
    • Appeal should provide clear description of the matter being appealed.
    • Any supporting documentation should be included.
  • Division Manager or his or her designee will provide written response within 60 days of receipt of appeal.

Second Level:

  • If the applicant finds the Division Manager's written response unsatisfactory, he or she may submit an appeal to the Assistant Executive Officer (AEO) within 60 days of the date of the Division Manager's response.
    • Appeal should provide clear explanation of why the applicant disagrees with the Division Manager's response and may include whatever supporting documentation is available for executive review. If a reason is not submitted, the applicant's request for a Second Level review may be denied. In the event of a denial, the applicant will be notified of his or her right to appeal to the Board of Retirement.
  • If the AEO determines the information supplied by the applicant is appropriate for review, the AEO and LACERA's Legal Office will review the appeal and provide a determination.

Third Level:

  • If the applicant disagrees with the determination by LACERA's AEO and Legal Office, he or she may submit a written request for an administrative appeal to the Board of Retirement.
    • The request must be mailed to the LACERA Legal Office within 60 days of the date of the determination signed by the AEO:
      LACERA Legal Office
      300 N. Lake Avenue, Suite 620
      Pasadena, CA 91101
    • The request must contain a statement of the facts and the basis upon which the appeal is established.
  • The matter will be placed on the Board of Retirement agenda.
    • The applicant will be given the opportunity to address the Board in open session.
    • Following the open session, the Legal Office will discuss its analysis and recommendations with the Board in closed session.
  • The Legal Office will provide the applicant with written notice of the Board's decision and of the right to seek judicial review of the Board's action by filing a petition for a writ of mandate.

This policy does not apply to appeals regarding the pensionability of specific pay items or matters involving disability retirement. To learn about the disability appeal process, read the Procedures for Disability Retirement Hearings brochure.

12/23/14