If I hand in my resignation to a facility where I have been employed for 29.5 years and then they decide to fire me will that stop me from getting my pension

After employment of 29.5 years I handed in my resignation only to be terminated then by employer will this affect my pension

1 answer  |  asked Jul 12, 2018 2:30 PM [EST]  |  applies to Ohio

Answers (1)

Neil Klingshirn
Ouch. Once upon a time they would give you a gold watch when you left.

Whether or not you are entitled to a pension depends on the employer's pension plan. They come in two flavors. One is like a 401(k), where you contribute to it, and the other is based on years of service and provides a defined benefit.

If you have a 401(k) or similar plan, the money in it belongs to you. That does not change whether you leave your employment due to retirement, resignation or termination.

Defined benefit plans are becoming rare these days, but since you worked there almost 30 years, you might have one. If so, your benefits (that is, pension) is defined by the plan. You are entitled to ask for a copy of the Plan. You should do so. It will tell you whether you are eligible for benefits.

Without seeing the Plan I cannot tell you what it says. As a general rule, though, such pension plans are based on your years of service and not the reason for your separation from employment. I doubt that being terminated will stop you from getting your pension.

If, however, you submitted your resignation effective on your 30th anniversary AND you would get a better benefit then as compared to now AND your employer fired you for the specific purpose of preventing you from getting that better benefit, then you may have a claim for interference with your pension benefits, which is prohibited by a law called ERISA. In that event, contact me.

Best regards,

Neil Klingshirn

posted by Neil Klingshirn  |  Jul 12, 2018 7:54 PM [EST]

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