If you leave Covered Employment before you are vested and incur a Permanent Break-in-Service, your accumulated Pension Credit and Credited Service is canceled. If you then return to Covered Employment, you will commence accumulating Pension Credit and Credited Service as though you had not been previously employed. Once you become vested, however, these Break-in-Service rules will no longer apply to you and you cannot lose your vested benefits due to a Break-in-Service.
Effective January 1, 1987, a "Permanent Break-in-Service" results if you incur the greater of either (i) five consecutive one-year Breaks-in-Service or (ii) a number of consecutive one-year Breaks-in-Service that exceeds the number of years and months of Credited Service or Pension Credit you accumulated before the first of those Breaks-in-Service. A "one-year Break-in-Service" results for a calendar year when you both fail to earn (i) 500 hours of Credited Service in that year and (ii) 300 hours of Pension Credit in the two-year period that includes that year and the prior year. The effect of this rule is that a non-vested Participant who earned at least one hour of service after December 31, 1997, will incur a Permanent Break-in-Service only if his or her number of years of Breaks-in-Service equals or exceeds five (since the Participant will become vested upon accumulating five years of Pension Credit or Credited Service, and the Break-in-Service rules will then no longer apply).
Example of Break-in-Service Rules
The following work history illustrates how the Break-in-Service rules apply based on accumulated Pension Credit and Credited Service.
|Year||Hours of Covered Employment||Accrued Pension Credit||Accrued Breaks (PC)||Accrued Credited Service||Accrued Breaks (CS)|
In this example, no Permanent Break-in-Service resulted because the Participant returned to work before incurring five consecutive one-year Breaks-in-Service based on accrued Pension Credit. If Credited Service alone determined a Permanent Break-in-Service, the Participant's Accrued Benefit would have been canceled on December 31, 2002, after incurring five consecutive one-year Breaks-in-Service. Because at least 300 hours of Covered Employment was earned in 2003, however, a Permanent Break-in-Service was avoided. In this example, the earliest that a Permanent Break-in-Service could next occur is December 31, 2009.
Previous Break-in-Service Rules (Pre-1987)
From June 1, 1961, through December 31, 1975, you incurred a Permanent Break-in-Service if you failed to earn at least 300 hours of Covered Employment in any two consecutive calendar years.
After December 31, 1975, and through December 31, 1986, a one-year Break-in-Service resulted in any calendar year if you failed to earn either 500 hours of Credited Service or 300 hours of Pension Credit during the two-year period that includes that calendar year and the preceding calendar year. During this period, and unless you were vested, you will have incurred a Permanent Break-in-Service if your consecutive one-year Breaks-in-Service equaled or exceeded the number of your Years of Credited Service or Pension Credit accumulated before the end of the consecutive one-year Breaks-in-Service which resulted in a Permanent Break-in-Service.
Special Rule for Participants Retiring After December 31, 1993
If your Pension Credit earned before June 1, 1973, was canceled under prior Plan rules and you are retiring on or after January 1, 1994, your pre-June 1, 1973, Pension Credit will be restored for the purpose of determining eligibility and your Accrued Benefit if (i) you earned 10 or more years of Pension Credit before June 1, 1973, (ii) you left Covered Employment to accept employment in non-Covered Employment, but are otherwise covered by an IBEW Local 6 Memoranda of Understanding or Collective Bargaining Agreement, (iii) your Pension Credit was canceled solely as a result of your failure to attain age 55 before June 1, 1973, and (iv) after June 1, 1973, you returned to Covered Employment and earned at least one year of Pension Credit before January 1, 1994.
You may be eligible for a grace period under the Break-in-Service rules, which would extend for up to two years the time in which you have to earn the required service to avoid a Break-in-Service. To request a grace period, file a written request with the Plan Office before you incur a Permanent Break-in-Service and explain in your request why the Board should grant you a grace period. Possible reasons to award a grace period are permanent and total disability, military service, pregnancy, birth of a child, placement of a child in connection with an adoption for a period beginning immediately after the birth or placement, the caring of a child on or after January 1, 1987, your inability, despite reasonable efforts, to obtain Covered Employment, and your transfer directly from Covered Employment to non-Covered Employment with the same Employer (provided the Employer continues to contribute to the Plan for Covered Employees). The Board will make its determination on a nondiscriminatory basis in its sole discretion.