Does time on approved leave of absent (LOA) count for year in service for the purpose of pension benefit?

Asked over 1 year ago - Long Beach, CA

I worked for a company under Union contract started in 2000 as a part time and became full time in 2004. in 2006 I was injured at work and was on LOA until now. I only have health benefit from the union until 2007. what benefits am I entitle to? under Union contract I should have pension benefit . but Union said I was no longer in their system because my LOA was expired in 2007. My employer said during LOA they don't pay anything. Is this true? what is my legal/benefit right? Doesn't time on approved LOA count for year in service for the purpose of pension benefit? Thank you very much for your time. do I need an attorney? what an attorney can do for me?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Marilynn Mika Spencer

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It depends on the terms of the pension plan, so someone will have to read the Summary Plan Description (SPD) or the full plan to know for sure. That said, I cannot imagine any plan awarding service credits for six+ years on a LOA. The most I have ever seen is one year, and that is increasingly rare. Most plans require an employer to contribute toward the employee's pension based on hours worked.

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  2. Adam Kielich

    Contributor Level 18

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It depends on what the plan rules include for leave of absence. You should take a look at the pension plan's summary plan description (SPD) and see what it says about LOA. There may be more specific rules in the plan's formal plan document but the SPD is a good place to start. I am not sure I fully understand the transition that occurred in 2007 but it may be the case that you did not accrue service after that time. It wouldn't hurt to review your situation with a local employee benefits lawyer.

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