Should Pension Benefits Reduce Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

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 employer fully funded the injured York, Pennsylvania truck drivers’ Teamsters pension, the employer would be entitled to a full dollar for dollar credit of monthly pension benefits received against monthly workers’ compensation benefits payable. This would drastically reduce the amount of compensation received and reduce the lump sum settlement for the injured York truck driver.

Workers’ Compensation is intended to compensation for loss of earnings caused by a work injury and a pension is deferred compensation for past work performed. They have nothing to do with each other.

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 compensation.Why should the truck drivers workers’ compensation benefits, or any injured workers benefits, be stopped because he or she took an early pension earned when every one agrees they will never be able to return their occupation due to the work injury?  This is another reason why it is so important to talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney before making a mistake that will jeopardize your benefits. There are two ways to avoid this result. We, at Calhoon and Kaminsky P.C., are available for free workers’ compensation legal advice.