UFCW Midwest - Midwest Health and Pension Funds

United Food & Commercial Workers

Unions and Employers

Midwest Health and Pension Funds

Reemployment after Retirement

The Pension Plan is intended to pay benefits to employee-members who have stopped working. For this reason, benefits may stop during periods when you work after retirement. However, there are provisions that allow you to return to the work force and still continue to receive a pension.

Types of Reemployment

There are two types of reemployment that can affect your eligibility for a pension and cause suspension of your pension:

  1. Covered Employment is the type of employment you worked in as an active employee—your employer pays contributions into the Pension Fund for your hours worked.
  2. Industry Employment is employment in any capacity involving industry or related operations that is located within this area of the country or work while participating in any pension plan with which we have a Reciprocity Agreement. For example:
    • working as a cashier in a non-union store.
    • working as a manager in a union store.
    • working in a store that participates in the Kansas City Area Retail Food Store Employees Pension Plan.
Work “in any capacity” within the industry includes both union and non-union employment such as truck driving, warehousing, accounting, inspection and human resource work. However, once you attain age 65, Industry Employment is limited to the same trade, craft or job position in which you worked as an active employee-member under the Pension Plan.

“Industry or related operations” includes employment or self-employment in businesses involving products or services substantially similar to those provided by employers participating in the Pension Plan, whether or not the products or services are provided at all locations at which the business operates. Some examples are:

  • a retail business which involves food products that are substantially similar to those sold by employers participating in the Pension Plan and that can reasonably accommodate a family’s grocery needs, including items such as fresh produce or meat.
  • the business of a florist, retail meat market, pharmacy or bakery.
  • the business of a nursing home or assisted living center.
  • any retail business that includes grocery operations which can reasonably supply a family’s food needs even though a substantial portion of the business is non-food related. Examples of these retail businesses include Walmart, Target, Costco and similar “big box” retailers.

Additionally, when you are retired and working in a business that is the same type of business from which you earned your UFCW pension, that business will be considered Industry Employment specifically for you as long as any employer in that type of business continues to participate in the Pension Plan.

If you begin working in a business that is not considered Industry Employment at the time you are hired but the business subsequently evolves into a grocery business or other business considered to be Industry Employment, then that business may be considered Industry Employment. In other words, it does not matter that the business was a non-industry location at the time you were hired. Continued employment at that business could result in suspension of your pension.

If you retire and then begin working in a completely unrelated industry—for example, as a bank teller or in a doctor’s office—your pension eligibility is not affected.

If you are retired under a Disability Pension, special provisions apply to your reemployment—contact the Fund Office.

Suspension of Your Pension Benefit

Your pension will be permanently withheld for each month that you work more than the allowable hours in Covered or Industry Employment. The allowable hours you may work each month depends on your age:

  • Prior to Age 60—you can work up to 39 hours per month.
  • On and After Age 60—you can work up to 99 hours per month

Exception

If you are age 70½ or older, you can work at any job for any amount of hours and still receive your pension. See the Age 70½ Benefit page of this website.

Right to Appeal

You may submit a written appeal to the Board of Trustees within 180 days of the suspension of your pension. Your appeal must include your reasons for disagreement with the suspension decision and should include any supporting documents.

Send your appeal to:

Board of Trustees
United Food and Commercial Workers
Unions and Employers
Midwest Pension Fund
18861 90th Avenue, Suite A
Mokena, IL  60448

The Board of Trustees will review your appeal at a quarterly meeting and will inform you in writing of their decision.

Resuming Your Pension Payments

If your pension is suspended, you must notify the Fund Office that you have stopped working or are working within the allowable hours and want your monthly pension to begin again.

When you have stopped working in Covered Employment, your pension will be recalculated to include any additional Credited Service you may have earned.

If you received pension payments for months when you were not eligible prior to the actual suspension of your pension, you will have to reimburse the Pension Fund for these erroneous payments. This is done by withholding a percentage (maximum is 25%) of each monthly payment until the total amount has been repaid.

Termination of Employment, Retirement and Reemployment

To comply with Plan requirements and with Federal tax laws, you must terminate your employment and apply for your retirement benefit in order to receive a pension benefit (unless you are at least age 70½). Any later return to work is then considered reemployment and is subject to all provisions of the union’s collective bargaining agreement, including seniority, waiting periods, and any health or pension contributions.

  

(Updated 09/26/13)