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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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As a vested union member,can my retirement be denied because

This answer was rated:

As a vested union member,can my retirement be denied because I ran a non union shop 225 miles away in a non union area?

Good morning Mike,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. Yours is a very typical complaint about union pension plans, and I empathize with your dilemma, and with the fact that the unions do attempt to prevent competition with these rules.

However, union pension plans uniformly contain a requirement that for you to qualify for present benefits under the pension plan, that you not be employed in a business as an owner, manager or employee of a non-union business in the same trade as you worked while in the union. This applies even in areas where there are no unions operating.

While the pension is not lost, during the time that you participate in the non-union position, you remain ineligible for monthly pension benefits. When you cease the non-union employment, you again become eligible for monthly benefits.

This is a typical clause in Union Pension Agreements, and has been fount to be legally enforceable in all state of the US. I'm sorry.

I wish you the best in 2013.

I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.

You may reply back to me using the Reply to Expert link if you have additional questions.

Kindly take a moment to rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided. Please understand that I have no control over the how the law impacts your particular situation.

Thank you,


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm sorry I neglected to say I'm retiring now (I'm 65) & don't know how to proceed.Should I just apply after a few months when all my jobs are complete,and hope for the best?,or be represented?. Thank you

Hi Mike,

If you are in the process of wrapping up your jobs, and you will be working a non-union job for a few more months, then all you will need to do is postpone applying for your monthly pension benefit until you are no longer working a non-union job.

There should not be any need for you to hire an attorney, as the limitations on collecting a pension while employed in a non-union position are going to be upheld by the courts.

As soon as your employment stops, under the law, they must begin paying you your pension.

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

I wish you the best in your future,

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