If you suffer a Permanent Break-in-Service before you are 100% vested, you will no longer have credit for your Years of Vesting Service under the Plan. If you suffer a Temporary (One Year) Break-in-Service, the amount of your Pension may be affected.
You will suffer a Temporary (one-year) Break-in-Service if you fail to complete at least 400 Vesting Hours of Service in any calendar year. However, this rule will not apply if your failure to complete these hours is due to:
- proven disability up to a maximum of three years;
- absence due to unemployment for any cause for up to two years;
- absence due to unemployment during a period of three consecutive years between January 1, 1991 and December 31, 1994, provided you are available for employment and have been credited with 25 or more Years of Vesting Service (see Becoming Vested) prior to Retirement.
- strikes and lockouts;
- military service; or,
- absence due to pregnancy, childbirth, adoption or infant care.
You may also avoid a One Year Break-in-Service for years before 1988 during which you worked for a union contractor outside the jurisdiction of Local 26 if that work occurred after you were fully vested in this plan and contributions were made to the other plan in which you did not become fully vested.
You may not add together periods of absence from work due to any of the above reasons with other periods of absence for the same or different reasons, unless the periods are separated by a return to covered employment and you earn at least 400 Vesting Hours of Service in a plan year after you return.
Remember, interruptions in service, even though they do not affect your right to a pension because of “vesting,” may significantly and adversely affect the amount of your pension benefit when you are ready to retire.
Generally, you will have a Permanent Break-in-Service if at any time before you are 100 percent vested you incur five consecutive One Year Breaks-in-Service. However, once you have earned five Years of Vesting Service, you cannot suffer a Permanent Break-in-Service.
David begins work in covered employment in 2000 and earns three full Years of Vesting and benefit service. In December of 2003 he leaves to go to California. Unless he returns to covered employment by the end of 2008, and earned at least 400 hours in 2008, he will suffer a Permanent Break-in-Service.
Furthermore, you will not suffer a Permanent Break-in-Service if you have earned at least five years with at least 1,000 Hours of Vesting Service in each year that would not have been canceled under the One Year Break-in-Service rule described above.
DON’T LOSE OUT!
Remember, to avoid a Break-in-Service, you must work a minimum of 400 hours each calendar year.
It is important to provide documentation to the Fund Office if you suffer a Temporary Break-in-Service for one of the reasons listed, as it may affect your right to a pension or the amount of your pension.