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Breaks in Employment

Incurring a Break in Employment

The following will cause a Break in Employment:

    • Failure to Work 500 Hours in Three Consecutive Plan Years: If you do not receive credit for 500 hours of Covered Service in a period of three consecutive Plan Years, you will have a Break in Employment. The Break takes effect on the last day of the third Plan Year if that last day is before July 1, 1990. If the last day of the three Plan Years is after July 1, 1990, the Break takes effect retroactively to the last day of the Plan Year before the three-year period began.
  • Work for Non-Contributing Employers: You will have a Break in Employment if you:
    1. Work in any employment after January 1, 1990 for an employer who does Operating Engineer work but who has not signed a collective bargaining agreement with Local 12 requiring contributions to this Plan or a Related Plan recognized by the Trustees;
    2. Work as an Operating Engineer after January 1, 1990, for an employer,whether or not signatory, if the employer is not obligated to pay contributions for the work to the Plan or to a Related Plan. (For information, refer to Western States and International Union Reciprocity Agreements.)

The Break takes effect on the last day of the Plan Year in which you work in the employment described above unless the employment is after July 1, 1994, in which case, the Break takes effect on the last day of the month before the month of the prohibited employment.

You must provide documents or other information requested by the Trustees to prove what type of work you are doing. If you fail or refuse to provide requested documents or information, the Trustees may presume you have done work which causes a Break in Employment.

Exceptions: You will not incur a Break in Employment for:

  1. Work done at the request of Local 12 in an authorized organizing effort
  2. Work for an employer which has terminated its Collective Bargaining Agreement as long as Local 12 continues bargaining with the employer and does not tell you tostop working
  3. Work for which a Collective Bargaining Agreement temporarily requires that contributions be remitted to the Operating Engineers Health and Welfare Fund instead of the Pension Plan.

Effects of a Break in Employment

If you have a Break in Employment, your pension will be calculated using the Pension Factors in effect at the time of the Break rather than the Pension Factors in effect when you retire. This means your pension will be lower than it would have been if you had no Break. However, in no event will the Pension Factors be less than $8.00 for each Prior Service Credit and $12.00 for each Pension Credit unless you have more hours reported to a Related Plan than to this Plan, in which case, payment will be based on the Pension Factors in effect at the time the Credits were earned.

Waiving a Break in Employment

The Trustees may waive a Break in Employment for the following reasons:

  1. Temporary or Total Disability, unless the disability occurred during or after employment for a Non-Contributing Employer
  2. Military Service
  3. Participation on a picket line authorized by Local 12 on or after July 1, 1969
  4. Unavailability of Operating Engineer employment on and after June 1, 1969, provided the following:
    • You submit the evidence required by the Trustees to prove that you were on Local 12’s out-of-work list
    • Continuously available for employment as an Operating Engineer
    • You did not work in employment
  5. Employment by National Steel and Ship building Company for a non-contributing employer between July 1, 1975, through June 30, 1978 if you were dispatched to work thereby Local 12
  6. Work as a teacher providing instruction in Operating Engineer skills if the teaching is at the requestor direction of the administrator of the Operating Engineers Training Trust.

If you believe you qualify for a waiver of a Break in Employment, contact the Fund Office.