Defined Benefit Pension Summary Plan Description

15. Can I work after retirement?

When you begin your pension, you will receive a notice providing information about the industries and geographies which may cause your pension to be suspended.

It is important for you to notify the Administrative Office to obtain a determination from the Board of Trustees before you begin employment with any Employer that may cause your benefit to be suspended. Working even one hour in Non-Covered Electrical Employment after retirement can affect your pension and your retiree health benefits.

The Plan rules on suspension of benefits upon re-employment of a pensioner are based on the age of the pensioner when the work is performed, or where the suspendible activity occurs.

Suspension of Benefits Prior to Normal Retirement Age

"The Board of Trustees has established rules governing a Pensioner's return to any form of employment prior to attainment of normal retirement age. Those rules are described below. You have a right to request a determination from the Board of Trustees as to whether any proposed work will result in a suspension of benefits prior to normal retirement age. It is your obligation to advise the Fund Office of any work you intend to commence following an award of early retirement benefits."

Before accepting employment after receiving an Early Retirement Benefit, you should contact the Administrative Office to obtain a recommendation from the Board of Trustees as to whether a particular job or activity might result in the suspension of your monthly pension benefits.

If you are under age 65, except as provided in Section 9.7(a)(3) of the Plan Document, you cannot receive pension benefits from this Plan if you are engaged in any employment described in Article 9.7(a)(1) of the Plan Document, which prohibits a retiree receiving an Early Retirement Benefit due to the following:

  1. Work as an employee, Employer, consultant, sole proprietor, or independent contractor in the jurisdiction of any Union or in the jurisdiction of any other Local Union of the IBEW which maintains a Related Plan;
  2. Work of the same type performed by the pensioner on the pensioner's date of retirement; and
  3. Work which requires use of the same skills performed by the pensioner on the pensioner's date of retirement.

In addition, benefits will be suspended for any month in which an early retiree engages in the following suspendible activities:

  1. Benefits accrued on or after July 1, 1986 will be suspended for any month in which you hold a C-10 Electrical Contracting License, and benefits accrued on or after March 1, 1995 will be suspended for any month in which you hold any other form of electrical contracting license, including but not limited to a C-7 License.
  2. Benefits accrued on or after August 1, 2003 will be suspended for any month in which you hold any other license (other than a C-7 or C-10 license) that permits electrical work to be conducted, including but not limited to a B License.
  3. Benefits accrued on or after July 1, 1986 will be suspended for any month in which you are registered for employment at any hiring hall in the electrical contracting industry except registration for and/or work off of an IBEW Maintenance Dispatch list.
  4. Benefits accrued on or after March 1, 1995 will be suspended for any month in which you register for employment at a hiring hall for work off of an IBEW Maintenance Dispatch list if working off of the list would result in pension contributions made on your behalf to an IBEW-sponsored pension plan (except the National Electrical Benefit Fund).
  5. Benefits accrued on or after July 1, 1986 will be suspended for any month in which you seek employment in the electrical construction contracting industry by means other than the union hiring hall. For example, work in a Temporary Agency that places individuals with Employers that perform work for the electrical construction contracting industry is prohibited employment.
  6. Benefits accrued on or after August 1, 2003 will be suspended for any month in which you are employed as an estimator, project manager, or similar position for an electrical contractor if that contractor is signatory to a collective bargaining agreement with an IBEW Local Union. Working in this capacity with a non-signatory electrical contractor or other firm performing the same services is prohibited for all periods of benefits.
  7. Benefits accrued on or after December 1, 2004 will be suspended for any month in which you work as an Inspector under a collective bargaining agreement requiring contributions to the Plan.
  8. Benefits accrued on or after August 1, 2003 will be suspended for any month in which you register for work off of an IBEW Maintenance Dispatch List if working off of the list would not result in pension contributions made on your behalf to an IBEW-sponsored pension plan or for any month in which you perform electrical maintenance if such work does not require contributions to this Plan or any Related Plan (excluding NEBF).

    Maintenance is defined as routine, recurring and usual work for the preservation, protection and keeping of any facility for its intended purpose in a safe and continually useable condition. The following are examples of work that is permissible under the definition of Maintenance:
    1. Moving receptacles; adding receptacles or lights to an existing circuit; and moving or adding switches to an existing circuit;
    2. Replacing a panel with a like-for-like panel, or replacing a motor with a like-for-like motor;
    3. Adding a circuit to an existing conduit home run.
    Maintenance does not include Electrical Construction (new or remodel). Performing Electrical Construction other than the items specifically described in Items A-C above will constitute Suspendible Employment.
  9. Benefits accrued on or after March 1, 1991 will be suspended for any month in which you work for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in any classification other than as a permanent employee. Work as a permanent employee for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will be considered to be Civil Service and will be subject to Section 9.7(b)(2)(xi) of the Plan Document.
  10. Benefits accrued on or after August 1, 2003 will be suspended for any month in which you work as an electronic or computer technician.
  11. Benefits accrued on or after August 1, 2003 will be suspended for any month in which you perform electrical work in Civil Service at the city, state, county or federal level.
  12. Benefits accrued on or after December 1, 1990 will be suspended for any month in which you engage in Civil Service employment under IBEW Local 11 – City of Los Angeles Specialty Agreement effective December 1990.
  13. Benefits accrued on or after March 23, 2000 will be suspended for any month in which you instruct in any electrical training program or retail-based electrical instruction other than IBEW-NECA sponsored training programs. For example, employment with Home Depot or a trade school would be prohibited employment. Such employment is also considered as a form of Non-Covered Electrical Employment requiring a suspension of benefits earned on or after March 1, 2005 until age 65.
  14. Benefits accrued on or after October 1, 1987 will be suspended for any month in which you engage in Non-Covered Electrical Employment (see Question 13 on page 25 for a description of Non-Covered Electrical Employment).
  15. Benefits accrued on or after August 1, 2003 will be suspended for any month in which you perform the task of inspecting electrical work for quality control purposes and no other suspendible employment. Such quality control work has always been distinguished from acting as an Electrical Inspector enforcing codes, regulations and/or ordinances on behalf of a public agency or hospital. Inspecting electrical work for quality control purposes does not include supervising the day-to-day work of the employees of Electrical Sub-Contractors. Depending upon the circumstances, any such day-to-day supervision will constitute suspendible employment and/or Non-Covered Electrical Employment subject to the applicable provisions of the Plan.
  16. Benefits accrued on and after July 1, 2015 will be suspended for that month in which you are registered on the books at any hiring hall for employment by a private or public utility or for employment with a subcontractor to a utility, whether or not such work is covered by an IBEW collective bargaining agreement, including but not limited to work to be performed under collective bargaining agreements sponsored by Locals 18, 47, and 1245.
  17. Benefits accrued on and after July 1, 2015 will be suspended for that month in which you are employed by an IBEW-NECA sponsored training program or any administrative corporation providing services to such training program on a full-time basis (30 or more hours per week).
  18. Benefits accrued on and after January 1, 2017 will be suspended for any month in which you are employed in any position by a contractor that holds, or is required to hold, any active licenses subject to the California Contractors State License Board or the comparable authority of any state, territory, locality or foreign country. In addition, benefits accrued on and after January 1, 2017 will also be suspended for any month in which you are employed in any position with a construction management firm, architectural firm, engineering firm or developer regardless of license status.

A suspension resulting from Non-Covered Electrical Employment is not only for the month in which you work in such Employment but lasts until you attain Normal Retirement Age.

The following examples help illustrate the Suspension of Benefits rules for Participants who have not reached their Normal Retirement Age:

Example 1: Bill is receiving his pension benefit and decides to go back to work as a Sales Associate for Home Depot. Bill's employment with Home Depot is considered suspendible employment because Home Depot conducts electrical clinics for the public, which are considered retail-based instruction. Bill's pension benefits earned after March 23, 2000 will be suspended for each month in which he works at Home Depot.

In addition, Bill's employment with Home Depot is also considered Non-Covered Electrical Employment, requiring a suspension of all pension benefits earned after March 1, 2005. Those benefits will be suspended until Bill reaches age 65. Bill can continue to work for Home Depot, but will only receive that portion of his benefit which is not suspended. Refer to Articles 1.16(g) and 9.7(b)(2)(xiii) of the Plan Document for more information.

Example 2: Bill is retired and decides to work for a General Contractor inspecting the electrical work of electrical sub-contractors for purposes of quality control. He is not enforcing the electrical codes, regulations or ordinances. His job is to determine whether the work is done to bid and contract specifications.

Bill's employment is considered suspendible employment, which requires a suspension of his pension benefit earned after August 1, 2003. Bill can continue to work for the General Contractor, but will only receive the portion of his benefit which is not suspended. Refer to Article 9.7(b)(2)(xv) of the Plan Document for more information.

Example 3: Bill is retired and decides to work for a different General Contractor performing the same job responsibilities as in Example 2. However, the General Contractor who employs Bill also employs individuals who perform electrical work.

Because the employees of this Employer perform the same work as employees of IBEW-signatory contractors, but the Employer is not signatory to an IBEW-sponsored collective bargaining agreement, Bill's employment is considered Non-Covered Electrical Employment, which requires suspension of all pension benefits earned after October 1, 1987, until Bill reaches age 65. Bill can continue to work for this General Contractor, but will only receive the portion of his benefit which is not suspended. Refer to Article 9.7(b)(2)(xiv) of the Plan Document for more information.

Example 4: Bill has retired and is working for the City of Los Angeles as an Electrical Inspector. Since he is working for a public entity enforcing codes and regulations, he can continue working for the City of Los Angeles and receive his full pension benefit. Refer to Article 9.7(a)(3)(i) of the Plan Document for more information.
Example 5: Bill has retired and is receiving his pension benefits. He decides to take a temporary position with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) as an electrical mechanic.

Bill is working in suspendible employment, which requires suspension of all pension benefits earned after March 1, 1991. If Bill was working in the same capacity as a permanent Civil Service employee for the DWP, only his pension benefits earned after August 1, 2003 would be suspended. Refer to Article 9.7(b)(2)(ix) of the Plan Document for more information.

Example 6: Bill is retired and registers with a Temporary Agency which places individuals with Employers who perform electrical work. Even though Bill never is placed with any Employers, by signing with the Temporary Agency he has attempted to find work in the electrical construction contracting industry.

Even though Bill was not working, his pension benefits will be suspended for any month he was registered with this Agency. The amount of pension suspended will be the amount earned after July 1, 1986.

If Bill is placed with an Employer that performs electrical work, the employment is considered Non-Covered Electrical Employment requiring a suspension of pension benefits earned after October 1, 1987 until Bill reaches age 65. If the work he is performing constitutes electrical work all of his pension benefits are subject to suspension during the months when work is actually performed. Refer to Articles 9.7(b)(2)(v) and 9.7(b)(2)(xiv) of the Plan Document for more information.

Example 7: Bill has retired and after a month decides to go back to work with a contributing Employer as an off-site Project Manager. The pension benefit he earned after August 1, 2003 will be suspended. He can continue to work and receive the portion of his benefit that was not suspended. Refer to Article 9.7(b)(2)(vi) of the Plan Document for more information.
Example 8: Bill has retired and after a month decides to go back to work for a non-signatory electrical contractor as a Project Manager. All of Bill's benefits will be suspended while he continues to be employed because he is working for a contractor who is not signatory to an IBEW-collective bargaining agreement.

Bill's work is considered Non-Covered Electrical Employment, requiring that benefits earned after October 1, 1987 be suspended until age 65. Refer to Articles 1.16 and 9.7(b)(2)(vi) of the Plan Document for more information.


The following is a list of types and locations of current employment that retirees receiving an Early Retirement Benefit can perform and still receive pension benefits upon prior written notice to the Board of Trustees and receipt of approval from the Board of Trustees:

  1. Electrical Inspector;
  2. Instructor or Trainer in the field of electrical work if you are employed by an IBEW-NECA sponsored training program or any administrative corporation providing services to such training program, subject to the limitations of Sections 9.7(b)(2)(xvii) and 9.7(c)(1)(x) of the Plan Document;
  3. Employment by an AFL-CIO sponsored Council at the local, state or national level;
  4. Employment by the IBEW International Office, the National Office of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) or with any IBEW- or NECA-affiliated entities;
  5. Employment as a salesperson at an electrical wholesale or manufacturing facility;
  6. Employment with the State of California Department of Apprenticeship Standards.
  7. Employment exclusively as an Examining Board Officer of an IBEW Local Union.

Suspension of Benefits on or After Age 65

Between your Normal Retirement Date and prior to the first day of the month following the month you reach age 70½, your pension will be suspended only if you work 40 or more hours in a calendar month in Suspendible Employment as follows:

  1. Work as an employee, Employer, consultant, sole proprietor, or independent contractor in the State of California;
  2. Work of the same type performed by Plan Participants on the effective date of your retirement; and
  3. Work which requires use of the same skills performed by Plan Participants as of the date of your retirement.

Working in otherwise Suspendible Employment at age 65 or later outside the State of California is not considered to be Suspendible Employment.

In addition, all or part of your pension will be suspended if you work in the State of California for 40 or more hours per month in the following types of employment:

  1. Benefits accrued on or after August 1, 2003 will be suspended for any month in which you are employed as an estimator, project manager, or similar position for an electrical contractor if that contractor is signatory to a collective bargaining agreement with an IBEW Local Union.
  2. Benefits accrued on or after December 1, 2004 will be suspended for any month in which you work as an Inspector under a collective bargaining agreement requiring contributions to the Plan.
  3. Benefits accrued on or after August 1, 2003 will be suspended for any month in which you perform electrical maintenance if the work does not require contributions to this Plan or any Related Plan, excluding the National Electrical Benefit Fund.

    Maintenance is defined as routine, recurring and usual work for the preservation, protection and keeping of any facility for its intended purpose in a safe and continually useable condition. The following are examples of work that is permissible under the definition of Maintenance:
    1. Moving receptacles; adding receptacles or lights to an existing circuit; and moving or adding switches to an existing circuit;
    2. Replacing a panel with a like-for-like panel, or replacing a motor with a like-for-like motor;
    3. Adding a circuit to an existing conduit home run.
    Maintenance does not include Electrical Construction (new or remodel). Performing Electrical Construction other than the items specifically described in Items A-C above will constitute Suspendible Employment.
  4. Benefits accrued on or after March 1, 1991 will be suspended for any month in which you work for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in any classification other than as a permanent employee.
  5. Benefits accrued on or after August 1, 2003 will be suspended for any month in which you work as an electronic or computer technician.
  6. Benefits accrued on or after August 1, 2003 will be suspended for any month in which you perform electrical work in Civil Service at the city, state, county or federal level.
  7. Benefits accrued on or after December 1, 1990 will be suspended for any month in which you engage in Civil Service employment under an IBEW Local 11 – City of Los Angeles Specialty Agreement effective December 1990.
  8. Benefits accrued on or after March 23, 2000 will be suspended for any month in which you instruct in an electrical training program or retail-based program other than IBEW-NECA sponsored training programs.
  9. Benefits accrued on or after August 1, 2003 will be suspended for any month in which you perform the task of inspecting electrical work for quality control purposes and no other Suspendible Employment.
  10. Benefits accrued on and after July 1, 2015 will be suspended for that month in which you are employed by an IBEW-NECA-sponsored training program or any administrative corporation providing services to such training program on a full-time basis (30 or more hours per week).

The following is a list of types and locations of current employment that retirees receiving a Normal Retirement Benefit can perform and still receive pension benefits upon prior written notice to the Board of Trustees and receipt of approval from the Board of Trustees:

  1. Electrical Inspector;
  2. Instructor or Trainer in the field of electrical work if you are employed by an IBEW-NECA sponsored training program or any administrative corporation providing services to such training program, subject to the limitations of Sections 9.7(b)(2)(xvii) and 9.7(c)(1)(x) of the Plan Document;
  3. Employment by an AFL-CIO sponsored Council at the local, state or national level;
  4. Employment by the IBEW International Office, the National Office of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) or with any IBEW- or NECA-affiliated entities;
  5. Employment as a salesperson at an electrical wholesale or manufacturing facility;
  6. Employment with the State of California Department of Apprenticeship Standards.
  7. Employment exclusively as an Examining Board Officer of an IBEW Local Union.

Suspension of Benefits on or After Mandatory Commencement Date

If you have reached your Mandatory Commencement Date, there are no restrictions on your employment that would result in a suspension of your pension.

Your Mandatory Commencement Date is April 1 of the year after the year in which you attain age 70½. Your benefit will not be suspended beyond your Mandatory Commencement Date. However, if you are still working in covered employment and are not considered a 5% owner, you may choose to begin pension benefits after your Mandatory Commencement Date. Please contact the Administrative Office regarding your specific situation.