If you are a retired state employee, and you believe the state has calculated your benefits incorrectly, be careful that you don’t miss any deadlines to complain. If you wait too long, your claim may be time-barred.

In Bouchard v. State Employees Retirement Commission, 328 Conn. 345 (2018), retired state employees brought an action against the retirement commission claiming that their retirement benefits should be recalculated based on the case of Longley v. State Employees Retirement Commission, 284 Conn. 149 (2007). In Longley, the court held that the defendant, the retirement commission, had improperly interpreted statutes governing retirement benefits by failing to directly add a retiree’s final, prorated longevity payment to the salary earned in the retiree’s final year of state employment for the purpose of calculating the retiree’s base salary.

The Supreme Court held that a six- year time limitation applied. The six – year period began to run when the plaintiffs’ claims for retirement benefits were approved and finalized. The Court declined to apply the continuous course of conduct doctrine to toll accrual of their causes of action.  Accordingly, the plaintiffs’ claims were time barred.

This case means that a retired state employee cannot delay if the state has calculated benefits incorrectly. The clock starts ticking for a court action when retirement benefits are approved and finalized. A claimant will most likely need to bring a claim to the agency before going into court. Proceedings at the agency level can take years. Once agency proceedings are done, then a claimant may be able to bring a lawsuit in court. This must be done within the six-year period from the date when retirement benefits are approved and finalized.

If you have questions about the calculation of your disability retirement pension amounts, contact Zimberlin Law LLC at (860)783-5999.

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