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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 117370
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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Where would I start to look into drawing early retirement

Customer Question

Hi, where would I start to look into drawing early retirement from my union pensions? I have two and I'm 58 yrs old. Also, I needed counsel if its wise to do it now or wait until I'm older. Is my pension secure in this decline of unions? Some say "get your pension before the monies are all gone." Or is my pension secured and will be there if I wait until full retirement age? I live in Loveland, CO. 80538. Would you recomend a lawyer in my area.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Under the law governing pensions, ERISA, these pensions are guaranteed and people telling you to get them now before the money is gone do not know the laws. Your pension is secured under ERISA and also by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
You cannot collect your pension early unless there is actually some provision in the pension plan description stating you can collect now. If your plan does not have a provision that you can collect now, you have to wait until you meet the qualifications set forth in your plan description according to the law.
Also, be careful and read your plan description carefully because union pensions have "union protection clauses" in them which state you cannot collect any of the pension if you are currently employed in a trade or occupation that is subject to the union coverage. So that means if you were an electrician, for example, and you are doing any type of electrical work on your own outside of the union, you could not collect the pension until you stop doing that work and they can demand proof of your other income to verify whether or not you are doing such work.

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