1.13 Benefit Review Committee Charter

Meeting room

1.13 Benefit Review Committee Charter

The Board of Trustees of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund has adopted this Benefit Review Committee (“Committee”) Charter. The Benefit Review Committee of the Board shall review and reassess this charter annually and recommend any proposed changes to the Board for approval.

Purpose

To assist the Board of Trustees in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities for the process of  hearing appeals of certain staff determinations regarding members’ claims for benefits, benefit calculation errors and resulting benefit recoupment and non-ERI related return to work issues.  The Committee will review written findings and conclusions of the IMRF Hearing Officer related to employer contribution delinquencies, employer rates, accelerated payments, eligibility for participation, IMRF reportable earnings, felony forfeitures, contested beneficiary designations, ERI return-to-work violations and other appeals assigned to the IMRF Hearing Officer for determination. The Board may assign other duties to the Committee.

Authority

The Benefit Review Committee has authority to conduct or authorize investigations into any matters within its scope of responsibility. It is empowered to:

Composition

The Benefit Review Committee will consist of at least three members of the Board of Trustees. At the January Board Meeting, the president of the Board will nominate, and the full Board will elect, committee members, the committee chair, and vice-chair for one-year terms.

Meetings

The Committee will generally meet as scheduled, with authority to convene additional meetings, as circumstances require. All committee members are expected to attend each meeting, in person or via teleconference or videoconference.  In the absence of the
Chairperson, the vice chairperson shall preside. In absence of both the chairperson and vice chairperson the other members of the Committee shall designate a chairperson pro tem to preside over the Committee meeting.

The Committee will require that staff, medical consultants, and others attend meetings to provide pertinent information, as necessary. Meeting agendas will be prepared and provided in advance of the meetings. Staff will provide the Committee with a copy of the statement of claim, a statement of the position of the administrative staff, and any other documentation (medical records, etc.) available to the Fund.  For appeals heard by the IMRF Hearing Officer, the Committee will be provided with the written findings and conclusions. Members of the Committee may ask questions necessary for better understanding of the facts or law.

All Committee hearings shall be open to the public unless the chairperson, for good cause shown and pursuant to the applicable provisions of the Open Meetings Act, shall determine otherwise. The member/claimant is not required to attend the meeting, and may be represented solely by the statement of claim on file. However, he/she may appear at the meeting in person, by teleconference, or by videoconference. The member may come alone, with an attorney, or with any other authorized representative. An attorney or other authorized representative may represent the member in his/her absence.

Staff will prepare minutes for each meeting. These minutes will serve as a record of proceedings in the form of a non-verbatim report. The claimant may obtain a verbatim record of hearing taken by a court reporter provided he/she makes a timely request for a court reporter to be present. The claimant must pay the full cost for the services of a court reporter.

Responsibilities

The Committee will carry out the following responsibilities:

Hear appeals of certain staff determinations regarding members’ claims for disability benefits, benefit calculation errors and resulting benefit recoupment and non-ERI return to work issues

Review the findings and conclusions of the IMRF Hearing officer related to employer contribution delinquencies, employer rates, accelerated payments, eligibility for participation, IMRF reportable earnings, felony forfeitures, contested beneficiary designations, ERI return-to-work violations and any other appeals assigned to the IMRF Hearing Officer for determination

Staff will schedule the hearings on the meeting dates selected by the Committee.

Determination by the Committee

Upon conclusion of all evidence and arguments, the Benefit Review Committee will make a decision as to the disposition of the claim. At least a majority vote is required for any decision of the Benefit Review Committee. The Committee will render one of the following decisions: affirmance of the staff recommendation, reversal of the staff recommendation, remand of the proceedings to staff for further investigation, request the development of an alternative resolution, or, in the case of deadlock, continuation of the claim for consideration by the full Board of Trustees.  The decision will be in the form of a recommendation to the full Board of Trustees or, in the case of deadlock, without recommendation.

Immediately following each Committee meeting staff will prepare the chairperson’s summary report to the Board of Trustees.

The Benefits Manager, or other staff designee, will send written notice of the decision of the Board of Trustees to the claimant, and if applicable, to the claimant’s representative.

Reporting Responsibilities

Other Responsibilities