July 29, 2009: The proposed temporary withdrawal by YRC from all Teamster pension funds could have a serious impact on some Teamsters in the West.
The Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Fund requires that some Teamsters must have 1,000 hours of contributions within the last 24 months prior to retirement, or they will lose eligibility for their PEER 80 early retirement benefits. Those Teamsters who have 25 credited years are protected, and don’t have to worry. But, for example, a 57-year old Teamster with 23 pension credits has reached 80 (age + credits), but loses early retirement eligibility without that 1,000 credited hours in the last 24 months before retirement.
Furthermore, the Western Fund reports that YRC Teamsters will not be credited beyond June 10, so they are losing most of June, in addition to the 18 months which they were told.
This will make it hard for many Teamsters who plan to—or are forced to—retire before 2012 to qualify for early retirement.
The Hoffa gang didn’t choose to inform members of this important information before they voted. In their rush to get ballots out, maybe they didn't even check out what the impacts would be. We do not know what similar surprises are waiting to pop out from other Teamster pension funds.