Is it legal for a pension trust fund to suspend payment if you go back to work in another bussiness?

I was a union member for 35 years and took an early retirement because of health problems. I would like to go back to work but the pension plan says they can suspend payment if I work in a similar business. They verbally told me this, but I don’t remember signing any pension papers that said this. Can they suspend payment? Is this legal?

Asked on May 29, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, California


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It's possible that this is legal, but it would have to have been properly set up in the pension trust documents.  You might well not have signed anything that said this, because those trust documents tend to be very long and what you actually signed told you that the documents existed, that you were agreeing to them, and how and where you could see them or get copies of them for yourself if you wanted them.

It might be time to get yourself a copy, and talk to an attorney who is familiar with pension plan rules.  Reliable advice has to be based on all of the facts of your case.  One place you can find qualified lawyers is our website,

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