This notice is to inform you about a recent action taken by the trustees of the Seafarers Pension Plan which could benefit you. The pension plan’s records indicate that you are receiving a monthly pension benefit and that you may be eligible to take advantage of this recent trustee action. In an effort to recruit qualified mariners, the trustees decided to allow pensioners who have retired within the last five years to return to work with an SIU contracted employer without having their pension benefits suspended. To be able to return to work, you would need to have valid merchant mariner credentials, be able to work in an unlicensed position above entry level and be able to pass the required physical examination. All contractual shipping rules apply to all covered jobs; however, the SAB will make a temporary rule change which will allow pensioners to maintain the seniority level they enjoyed at the time of their retirement.
This trustee action allows eligible pensioners to continue collecting their full monthly pension benefits, earn the wage rates specified in the applicable collective bargaining agreement and, if you are receiving a wage related pension benefit, you could also earn additional $15.00 increments for every 120 days of covered employment for which you work. In addition, if you resume employment and work for 90 days, you will become eligible for active seafarer benefits from the Seafarers Health and Benefit Plan and your claims would be processed in accordance with those rules.
These provisions will remain in effect until at least until December 31, 2021; at which time, the trustees will review the manning requirements to decide if it should remain in effect for an extended period. NOTE: If you happen to be on a vessel beyond December 31, 2021, you will continue to receive your pension benefits and your wages until such time as you complete your articles or relief period if on a coastwise vessel.
Due to industry needs, inland pensioners will also be allowed to return to work in the inland sector and keep receiving their pensions; however, they will only be allowed to do so for up to 90 days in a calendar year.
The union believes that this is a wonderful opportunity and, if you are interested and have any questions, you can contact your local Port Agent.
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