Retirement benefits are one aspect of social security benefit plans. Upon retirement, the employee’s retirement benefits can become a main or additional source of income. To become eligible for social security benefits, you need to meet a minimum number of “credits”. A person can earn up to 4 credits working each year. Thus, it takes a minimum of 10 years to become eligible for social security retirement benefits. The person must be at least 62 years of age.
Retirement plans and packages can also be privately negotiated between the employee and employer. These are often worked out and finalized into part of the employment contract. Some retirement benefits are transferrable to spouses (for instance, if the benefit holder becomes deceased). The amount of benefits paid out upon retirement will depend on each individual’s work history.
What Are Some Retirement Benefit Disputes?
Social security retirement benefits are usually calculated in a straight-forward manner. However, legal issues and disputes can still arise in connection with retirement benefits. This is especially true for benefits that are not associated with social security and have been privately negotiated between employee and employer.
Some common retirement benefit disputes include:
- Premature or forced retirement (some employers may terminate employees early, which could affect their eligibility status)
- Issues involving discrimination
- Allocation of retirement benefits upon divorce of spouses
- Disputes over calculation of amounts
How Are Retirement Benefit Disputes Resolved?
Retirement benefit disputes may be resolved through an investigation by a government agency, such as the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). This may depend on the type of legal issue involved. For instance, if the retirement benefit dispute is due to discrimination, the EEOC may likely get involved.
Other cases may require a lawsuit in order to resolve the legal issue. Retirement benefit lawsuits typically end up with a damages award to compensate the plaintiff for losses, such as lost retirement payments.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Retirement Benefits?
Retirement benefits are a major aspect of most employment arrangements. You may want to hire a lawyer if you need help obtaining benefits, or if you need help negotiating or disputing an issue. Your attorney can provide you with the legal advice that is needed to succeed on your claim. Also, if you need to attend a court hearing, your attorney can represent you as well for those processes.