Pension - Working After Retirement
Working After Retirement
In order to begin to receive your pension, you must be retired. Generally, this means that you have actually separated from service with your employer and do not have an explicit understanding that you will return to work for that employer in the future.
Once you have started to receive your pension (you are a Pensioner), you must remain retired in order to continue to receive your pension. If you have retired and later return to work in certain types of employment, you will cease to be considered “retired” and your pension benefits will be suspended under the conditions described below.
Although your pension will be suspended, if you return to work in Covered Employment and work sufficient hours to earn additional benefits, your benefit will be adjusted when you again start collecting your pension.
Before Normal Retirement Age
If you retire before Normal Retirement Age (generally age 65), your pension will be suspended if you return to work and receive more than one day’s pay in a calendar month – whether due to employment or self-employment – by working:
- In an industry in which Employees were employed and earned benefits under this Plan as a result of such employment at the time your pension originally commenced; and
- In a trade or craft in which you were employed at any time under the Plan.
- If you are receiving an Early Retirement or Service Pension and become employed by a Contributing Employer in work covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement, you shall be considered “retired” for any month prior to the month in which the cumulative amount of your wages or profit exceeds twelve days’ pay (as set forth in the Collective Bargaining Agreement) in a calendar year.
- If you are receiving a Service Pension and perform work solely as an estimator for a Contributing Employer, your pension payments shall not be suspended.
Before Normal Retirement Age, your pension will be suspended for the period of time you work in one of these kinds of jobs, plus an additional three months (the three month penalty will not apply if you received a Disability Pension prior to your employment). If you work one of these kinds of jobs for a Non-Contributing Employer, your pension will be suspended for the period of time you work, plus an additional six months (the additional six month suspension will not apply to any portion of your pension accrued prior to January 1, 1987). You must inform the Administrative Office when you start working for either a Contributing or Non-Contributing Employer, otherwise there will be a suspension of your pension for an additional six months after you stop working and retire again.
Once your pension is suspended, you must inform the Administrative Office when you stop working in order to have your pension start again.
After Normal Retirement Age and Prior to Your Required Beginning Date
You will not be considered “retired” after Normal Retirement Age if you return to work – whether employed or self-employed – 40 hours or more during a calendar month:
- In an industry in which Employees were employed and accrued benefits under the Plan as a result of such employment at the time that the payment of benefits to the Pensioner commenced or would have commenced if the pensioner had not remained in or returned to employment; and
- In a trade or craft in which the Pensioner was employed at any time under the Plan; and
- In the geographical jurisdiction of the Fund.
After Your Required Beginning Date
Your “Required Beginning Date” is the April 1 following the Calendar Year in which you become age 701/2. Under provisions of the Plan, your benefits must commence at that time – whether or not you are still working. After your Required Beginning Date, your benefit cannot be suspended, regardless of the number of hours worked or the type of work performed in a month.
It is important that your benefit commence by your Required Beginning Date, not only because it is a Plan rules, but also because the failure to do so may expose you to significant tax penalties.
Working After Retirement and Earning Additional Benefits
If you retire, begin receiving your pension and then return to work in Covered Employment, you will accrue additional benefits on the same basis as any other Participant working in Covered Employment.
When you again retire, your prior benefit will remain payable in the same form that you previously elected – even if your life circumstances may have changed in the meantime (e.g., you may have gotten married, re-married, divorced or widowed). If your previous Annuity Starting Date was prior to your attainment of Normal Retirement Age, you have the opportunity to make an independent payment form election with respect to your new post-retirement benefit accruals. If your previous Annuity Starting Date was after your attainment of Normal Retirement Age, your new post-retirement benefit accrual will be paid under the same payment form applicable to the prior benefit accrual – again, even if your life circumstances may have changed in the meantime (e.g., you may have gotten married, re-married, divorced or widowed).
Working After Retirement Notice Requirements
Notices from the Plan
- When You Retire – When you retire, you will receive information concerning the types of employment and conditions under which your pension may be suspended. You should read this material closely as it is an important part of your decision whether or not to retire. As part of the application process, you will be asked to sign a statement indicating that you understand the Plan’s return to work and suspension of benefits provisions.
- After You Retire – After you retire, you will receive annual notices reminding you of the Plan’s return to work and suspension rules.
- Participants Who Have Not Yet Retired – If you have attained Vested Status and are approaching Normal Retirement Age, but have not yet retired, you will receive a notice informing you that as a vested Participant, you have a right to receive payment of your pension benefits at Normal Retirement Age. However, if you work in the type of employment and under conditions described in the notice, your benefits will be treated as if they are suspended and you will forfeit the payment of any benefits for this period.
Notices Required Upon Your Return to Work
- As a Pensioner, you are required to notify the Administrative Office in writing within 31 days of starting any work that may be prohibited – regardless of the number of hours being worked. If you work in prohibited employment and fail to notify the Administrative Office, the Plan will presume that you are working at least 40 hours in a month until such time that you provide information proving that this is not the case.
- The Administrative Office shall inform you of any suspension of your benefits by notice given by personal delivery or first class mail during the first calendar month in which your benefits are withheld. Such notice shall include a description of the specific reasons for the suspension, copy of the relevant provisions of the Plan, reference to the applicable regulation of the U.S. Department of Labor, and a statement of the procedure for securing a review of the suspension. In addition, the notice shall describe the procedure for you to notify the Plan when your prohibited employment ends. If the Plan intends to recover prior overpayment by offset, the suspension notice shall explain the offset procedure and identify the amount expected to be recovered, and the periods of employment to which they relate.
Review of Work
You may request in writing an advance determination as to whether working in a specific job is prohibited. The Administrative Office will provide you a response in writing.
If your pension benefits are suspended, you have the right to a review of the determination by filing a written request within 180 days of receiving the suspension notice.
Recovery of Overpayments
There are a number of situations that may result in the overpayment of benefits to you or or Spouse. For example, pension payments continued to you if you failed to notify the Plan that you have returned to work in suspendible employment. Another instance is when pension payments continue to you after your death because your survivors fail to notify the Plan of your death.
Under federal law, the Trustees have an obligation to stop overpayments and to restore the Plan by recovering any overpayments and interest. If not otherwise recovered, deductions will be made from future pension payments. If the overpayment is not recovered during your lifetime, deductions may be made from any payments due your surviving spouse.
Exception: If you have attained Normal Retirement Age, a deduction from your monthly check shall not exceed twenty-five percent, except for the first check issued to you upon resumption after a suspension.