Pension Plan Summary Plan Description

6.5 Break-in-Service

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.

Current Break-in-Service Rules (Effective January 1, 1987)

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).

You will not incur a Permanent Break-in-Service if one or more of your five consecutive one-year Breaks-in-Service that would cause a Permanent Break-in-Service is attributable to a leave of absence due to disability or Military Service (excluding periods of voluntary re-enlistment), provided you have at least three hundred (300) hours of Pension Credit that would otherwise be forfeited. Separately, the Board may on a Plan-wide basis, agree to exclude a Plan Year when determining whether any Participant would incur a Break-in-Service (for example, where work hours are substantially reduced due to economic conditions).

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)
2002 350 0.17   0  
2003 1,200 1.03   1  
2004 100 1.08   1  
2005 1,800 2.25   2  
2006 1,450 3.25   3  
2007 1,550 4.25   4  
2008 0 4.25 0 4 1
2009 0 4.25 1 4 2
2010 0 4.25 2 4 3
2011 0 4.25 3 4 4
2012 0 4.25 4 4 5
2013 325 4.41 0 4 6

>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, 2012, after incurring five consecutive one-year Breaks-in-Service. Because at least 300 hours of Covered Employment was earned in 2013, 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, 2019.

Previous Break-in-Service Rules (Pre-1987)

From 1976 through 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.