A pension administrator has broad discretion in deciding whether to accept or reject conflicting proof of age, a New York federal court has found.

In Zdzienicki v. Consolidated Edison Company of New York, 05 Civ. 3221, Maria Zdzienicki, a former employee at Con Edison who immigrated to the United States from Poland, sued the electric company after trying unsuccessfully to gain access to her pension benefit. She had originally told the company she was born in 1939, but in 2003 she claimed she was born in 1934, and, therefore, was entitled to a larger pension. As proof of her 1934 year of birth, Zdzienicki provided Con Edison’s administrator with copies of her Polish birth certificate, Polish marriage license and Polish passport.

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