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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19168
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I am 68 and I have been working in the construction industry

Customer Question

My name is***** am 68 and I have been working in the construction industry for the past 50 years. I am looking to retire in a few years. My question is: I was in the Carpenters union local 1020 in Portland, Ore. for 9 years. I contacted them and they told me that I would have needed to have 10 consecutive years to be eligible for a pension. If this is so ok but they should have to pay me the money that they have been holding in my name all this time. What do you think?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and nearly 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

This really is a matter of contract law. When a union holds money for retirement purposes, it is only held in trust for those that actually qualify for retirement. They do not hold individual accounts for people and if they later become eligible for retirement pay from that account. So, the issue here is that your statement that they have been holding money in your name is ***** ***** accurate unless you had reached some level of tenure or vesting which contractually gave you a right to the funds.

So while I certainly understand your desire to access any funds you can, for you to have any sort of legal argument here, you'd have to point to some contractual provision that would entitle you to a prorated portion and not require the full 10 years to be vested. Regrettably, without any sort of contractual provision to point to, you would not have any sort of claim you could make against them.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required.

If you need further assistance, please use REPLY and ask me for any additional information you may need. If not, take care and have a great day.