Due to recent changes enacted to my pension plan, by the teamster pension managers, I've been told that I can't retire until I reach 62 years of age. Until 3/24/2011 the plan allowed for 30 and out at any age. Do I have any recourse? Thank you, Vince
State/Country relating to question: Michigan
I have not tried anything
I hope this message finds you well, present circumstances excluded. Unfortunately, this is one of the drawbacks of the union. You will probably have no recourse, but that does not mean that you should sit by and not push the issue. I would first request a sit down meeting with you union rep in which they explain why legally they have the right to take such a drastic action in view of your employment.
You should not only ask them to tell you why they have the legal right to do this, but ask them to provide written proof as well. Moreover, I would make them provide, in writing, how this will benefit you from a pension standpoint as far as money in the bank.
Obviously, you will not be the only person affected by this policy change and you should try to gauge the opinions of others as well. If you can organize a meeting with a union reps in which a number of your fellow workers are present, it may help your cause.
If you signed a union contract that specifically states that you will have "30 and out" and there is no other language which trumps or allows for change from that agreement, you may have a law suit for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. Particularly if you were not consulted prior to this sea change in policy. The more people you can get to join in such a suit, the better off you will be and the more likely you can attract a top notch attorney in your area.
In summary, try to set up a sit-down with the union reps in which they address in writing and verbally the issue at hand. You need to get a copy of the original agreement as well as the new agreement. If they answers do not appear to hold water, I would suggest organizing a group and retaining an attorney to represent you in a breach of contract law suit.
In-House Counsel for State's Largest Agency
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