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May an employer reduce an employee pension by the amount of…

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May an employer reduce...

May an employer reduce an employee pension by the amount of the employer"s contribution to FICA ?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

New York

Lawyer's Assistant: Is the employment agreement "at will," union, full time or part time?

My department was not unionized and I was full time.

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Employment Law
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11/20/2017
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,392
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Could you let me know if this is public or private employment?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Private
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Just want a simple response, can an employer reduce an employee's pension by the amount the employer contributed to FICA?
I worked for a private company for 18 years. I took my pension at age 55,so it was reduced by 50%. The pension was based on 1.6% multiplied by the 18 years by the average earnings over the 18 years. I made about $10,000 in 1973 and averaged over $50,000 from 1986-1990. I took a 15 year life certain so my pension was reduced from about $207 a month to $198.49.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
My employer was rather large. If the pension has been incorrectly reduced there is perhaps a basis for a very large class action suit. If you wish to contact me you may do so at(###) ###-#### or my cell(###) ###-#### Thank you, ***** *****
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

Thanks for so much for the delay. I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Generally, there's no law that prohibits a company from reducing your pension. The thing that is going to control is the company policy. An employer who reduces an earned wage unlawfully is not allowed to do so. If you have deferred income, then the employer is required to take out whatever taxes are necessary. Accordingly, if there is a miscalculation, my recommendation would be not to hire a lawyer yet, but to contact your local department of labor and file a wage complaint. You may be able to speak with them about your checks and find out whether they are being accurately deducted. If not, then you would be able to file a claim and recoup that money. So, the bottom line is there is no law that prohibits them from reducing your pension if the company policy allows them to do so for some reason; however, if they are reducing it without any authority, then it is illegal.

What other questions did you have for me?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
In a document that I have regarding how my pension was determined it does state that the company's FICA contribution negatively effects the pension calculation. Have you ever heard that a FICA contribution has reduced a pension in the way I describe?.It seems to me the company set up the rules of the pension ,and how the pension amount was determined. If the company reduces the pension as a result of its contribution to FICA it is ultimately making a net contribution to FICA of zero. How is that legal? I'm obviously biased, but I think there is a case here. May I fax the pension agreement to you?
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Based on the format of the pension calculation there is no miscalculation. I've been told twice that my pension amount is correct. Because the pension is based on my entire term of employment average salary from 9/72-11/90, and not the average for the last 5 years of my employment the average is about $30,000 and not $50,000. I think that's immoral, but not illegal. With the FICA deduction it is both immoral and illegal.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
The company I worked for was privately owned for its first 30 years. The company was then sold to The Times Mirror Company.TMC later sold it to The Chicago Tribune Company. If you're not interested in this case perhaps you can refer me to someone that may be. Thank you, ***** *****
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
The nature of my complaint is not about wages. It is about how my pension was figured. I now live in Florida. The dispute I have involving how my pension was figured has to do with my employment in the state of NY. Please respond to my sending you or someone like you a copy of the pension agreement.
Employment Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 7 months ago
Hello, I sincerely ***** ***** patience with this question. I unexpectedly and surprisingly had to leave town on short notice for a person matter. However, you are still my number one priority. This means that I won't be able to engage in a conversation with you today, but does mean that I will be able to get back on tomorrow and you will have my full attention. I promise. I take care of my customers and I will take care of you. I appreciate your patience and apologized tremendously for the inconvenience. I will be sure to work with you soon.
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