Can I work after I retire?

An Early, Service or Regular Pensioner can do anything EXCEPT work as an Operating Engineer while receiving pension benefits.
The plan specifically prohibits employment as an Operating Engineer anywhere for anyone by an Early, Service or Regular Pensioner under age 65. Such employment is a violation of the rules and any member doing so is subject to suspension of pension benefits and penalties.

If you return to work as an Operating Engineer, you must notify the Fund Office within 30 days of re-employment. This does not mean employment as an Operating Engineer strictly in Local # 12’s area. It applies to employment as an Operating Engineer anywhere in the world. If you are under 65 and return to work at the trade, your pension benefit will be suspended for any month in which you work. Multiple returns to work and re-retirements will result in additional penalties. Details are available from the Fund Office.

Once you attain age 65, Federal law allows you to work less than 40 hours a month at the trade without penalty. You must notify the Fund Office of such employment and comply with all other requirements of the Plan.

If you turn 70 1/2 on or after January 1, 1996, Federal law now allows you to work unlimited hours at the trade and defer receiving pension benefits without any penalty, until you stop working as an Operating Engineer. At that time, pension payments must begin and the benefit will be actuarially increased for the period after age 70 1/2 in which you did not receive benefits. This law does not apply to a 5% owner of the employer. (Participants who were older than 70 1/2 on January 1, 1996, were treated differently under previous Federal law and may contact the Fund Office for more information.)

Disability Pensioners are treated differently. In order to have qualified for a Disability Pension, you must have proved that you were incapable of what is known as substantial, gainful employment. The Trustees currently define that as employment which results in the earning of income in excess of $399 a month.

Disability Pensioners are not allowed to be employed in any substantial capacity. They must be totally and permanently disabled and therefore, incapable of employment. A Disability Pensioner who becomes employed will have his pension benefits suspended. The Trustees do allow for trial work periods and any Disability Pensioner in that category should get in touch with the Pension Department for the specific details before starting work. Each case is judged on an individual basis.

Posted in: Pension