Claims and Appeals
Claims
To receive a benefit from the Plan, you generally must complete an Application for Retirement and any additional information needed to process your request and withhold taxes. If your request for a benefit is denied, in whole or in part, you have the right to appeal that decision.
Appeals
To make a formal claim of benefits, you must submit your claim to the Benefits Department within at least 60 days after your first receive the information on which your claim is based by writing to:
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Benefits Department
Retirement Plan Appeals
1850 Gateway Blvd., 7th Floor
Concord, CA 94520
No special form or format is required in submitting a written claim for benefits; you may submit written comments, documents, records, and other information relating to your claim. You may also request, free of charge, access to, or copies of, all documents, records, and other information relevant to your claim for benefits. The review will take into account all comments, documents, records, and other information submitted by you relating to your claim, without regard to whether such information was submitted or considered at the initial benefit determination. Please note, however, that it is the obligation of the Benefits Department to administer the Plan fairly, consistently, and in accordance with the provisions of the Plan.
If the Benefits Department denies your claim, you will receive written notice of the denial within 90 days of receipt of the initial claim unless, due to special circumstances, an additional 90 days is required. Such notification will set forth:
  • the specific reason(s) for the denial of the claim;
  • a reference to the Plan provisions which apply to the denial;
  • a description of any additional material or information necessary for a participant or beneficiary to perfect the claim and an explanation of why such material or information is necessary;
  • a description of the Plan's review procedures and the time limits applicable to such procedures; and
  • a statement of the participant's or beneficiary's right to bring a civil action under section 502(a) of ERISA following an adverse benefit determination on review, and after exhausting your administrative remedies under the Plan.
If you are not satisfied with the Benefit Department's decision, you may then submit a written appeal for review (within 90 days of receiving the Benefits Department's notice of denial) to the Employee Benefit Appeals Committee (EBAC), the final adjudicator in the appeals process, stating the reasons for your appeal and enclosing all documentation and any additional information to support your appeal.
Send your appeal to:
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Benefits Department
EBAC Appeals
Benefits Department
1850 Gateway Blvd., 7th Floor
Concord, CA 94520
You will receive a final ruling from EBAC within 60 days of EBAC's receipt of your appeal unless, due to special circumstances, EBAC requires additional time to respond, up to another 60 days.
If EBAC denies your appeal, you will receive a written response which will include:
  • the specific reason(s) for the denial of the claim;
  • a reference to the specific Plan provision(s) on which the denial is based;
  • a statement that you are entitled to receive, upon request and free of charge, reasonable access to, and copies of, all documents, records and other information relevant to your claim for benefits; and
  • a statement of your right to bring a civil action under section 502(a) of ERISA.
The administrative remedies described in this section must be exhausted before any legal action can be taken by a claimant. If a claimant timely exhausts all levels of appeal available to the claimant under the Plan's claims procedures (including appeals to both the Plan Administrator and the EBAC), any permissible legal action under ERISA section 502(a) must be initiated within the applicable statute of limitations. The review procedures described in this section are the exclusive administrative procedures provided under the Plan.