Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, receipt of pension benefits can drastically reduce or even eliminate you right to weekly wage loss workers compensation benefits and can have the same effect on any workers compensation settlement leverage.
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act permits an employer to take a credit “for the payment of pension benefits to the extent funded by the employer directly liable for the payment of compensation.” For example, if the trucking company fully funded the injured Teamsters truck drivers’ pension, the employer would be entitled to a full dollar for dollar credit of montly pension benfits received against monthly workers’ compensation benefits payable. This, of course, would drastically reduce the amount of compensation received and reduce the lump sum settlement negotiating leverage for the injured truck driver.
In addition, recent case law permits a stoppage of all weekly compensation if the injured worker is deemed to have retired (removed themselves from the labor market) and permits the collection of a pension as strong evidence permitting the suspension of compensatation. This is another reason why it is so important to talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney before making a mistake that will jeopordize your benefits. there are two ways to avoid this result. We, at calhoon & associates, are available for free workers’ compensation legal advice.