February 27, 2007: While most Teamster pension plans have some type of “re-employment rule” that prohibits retirees from drawing a pension while performing certain work, the biggest problems with the rule have been with the Central States Pension Fund.
Despite a successful struggle to improve the rule, problems still exist.
Recently the fund trustees went after a Teamster retiree in Ohio who was working driving used cars—not on a truck, just driving used cars to an auction site. He had been told by his own local union that this work was perfectly OK, and the local backed him on that in writing. When the fund went after him, he immediately quit his part-time work, but that wasn’t enough for the fund. They are demanding all his earnings be paid to the fund. The case is on appeal now.
While mean-spirited problems like this persist, the Central States Pension Improvement Committee (CSPIC) and Teamsters for a Democratic Union have won great gains in making the rules more fair and understandable.
A summary of the reemployment rules are available at the www.centralstatesfunds.org or from TDU.
One question that comes up not contained in those rules is found in federal law: after age 70.5, no pension plan can impose any re-employment rule, and a Teamster can collect a pension while continuing at their Teamster job.