A. Payments Which Constitute Retirement Payments
Special retirement pay received by the claimant, which was
part of the regular pension plan, which had nothing to do
with the plant closing, and which was not received by all
severed employees but only those eligible for the regular
pension, is deductible under Section 8-1008 as a lump sum
pension. This payment does not constitute a dismissal payment
within the meaning of Section 8-1009. Jancewski v. Bethlehem
Steel Corporation, 2150-BH-83.
A special payment made to employees upon the permanent shutdown
of the employer's plant is a pension under Section 8-1008
where the money is received from the company pension fund,
where all employees participating in the pension plan
receive the benefit and where the shutdown agreement deals
with and provides for "severance pay" in a separate section.
Borkowicz v. Airco Welding Company, 1076-BR-85.
B. Payments Which Do Not Constitute Retirement Payments
At the time of the layoff, the claimant was paid a lump
sum "nonvested pension benefit." This amount was obtained
from a special employer fund for "closing costs" and was
intended to provide additional severance pay to certain
employees who did not have vested pension rights. The
lump sum is properly considered severance pay under Section
8-1009 and not a pension, annuity, retirement or retired
pay under Section 8-1008. The money was not obtained from
a pension fund and was intended as additional severance
pay to those employees, including the claimant, who lost
their opportunity to gain vested pension rights due to
the closing of the store. Carey v. Stewart and Company, 717-BH-83.
The claimant received a $366.55 lump sum repayment of her own contribution
to a new pension plan. This was not deductible from benefits.
The receipt of a lump sum amount representing a worker's
own retirement contributions is not the receipt of a pension
within the meaning of Section 8-1008. Since there was
no contribution made by the employer, this amount does
not fall under Section 8-1008. Thompson v. Hutzler
Brothers Company, 845-BR-87.
C. Contributory Pensions and Proration
A claimant's weekly benefit amount shall be reduced by
one-half of the calculated weekly pension amount, where
the claimant contributed toward the pension. Tosches
v. Baltimore City Department of Public Works, 1486-BR-82.
The claimant was receiving a pension in the amount of $807 per month.
This was a contributory pension, therefore, under Section
8-1008, only half of such a pension amount should be deducted
from benefits. Thus, only $403.50 per month should be
deducted from the claimant's benefits. This reduction
will remain in effect as long as this pension is received
in this amount and the Department of the Army remains
a base period employer. Thomas v. Department of the
The crucial question in a case where there is more than one retirement
plan is not what happened during the base period. The
crucial questions are: (1) Which plan provides the retirement
payment; and (2) Did a base period employer pay the full
cost of this plan. If a base period employer paid the
full cost of the plan which is providing the retirement
payment, it makes no difference that the claimant was
contributing to another plan of the employer during the
base year. Yaker v. Department of Housing and Community
D. Noncontributory Pensions
A noncontributory pension is directly deductible from
unemployment insurance benefits. Jancewski v. Bethlehem
Steel Corporation, 2150-BH-83.
E. Dates of Disqualification
Where a "Special Retirement Payment" is in an amount much
greater than the regular monthly pension payments normally
due between the first date of the layoff and the first
date of the receipt of the regular monthly pension, it
is appropriate to divide the "Special Retirement Payment"
by the claimant's weekly salary and to make deductions
from the first week of unemployment. Jancewski v.
Bethlehem Steel Corporation, 2150-BH-83.
Where a "Special Retirement Payment" is made for a specific three-month
period which does not even begin until the claimant's
retirement date, which is months after the date of the
claimant's layoff, the Section 8-1008 disqualification
should begin at the retirement date. In this context,
"separation from employment" means date of retirement.
Humphrey v. Bethlehem Steel Corporation, 285-BR-85.
F. Requirement That Payment Be Received
The claimant became separated from his employment on March
28, 1989 but the separation was not due to a layoff or
shutdown of operations. The claimant was entitled to a
share of the employer's profit sharing plan. The plan
was noncontributory by the claimant. The employer was
under no obligation to distribute the money to the claimant
until the claimant reached age 65, approximately 17 years
later. However, the employer could distribute the money
as early as January, 1990 and intended to do so. The amount
was $5800. Where a claimant is entitled to a lump sum
payment that is not due upon the actual beginning of the
period of unemployment, that lump sum payment should be
allocated to a number of weeks following the date of separation,
but beginning only with those weeks for which the lump
sum is actually payable. Lack of entitlement to receive
a lump sum payment prohibits the application of a Section
8-1008 penalty. Chinn v. Bedding Barn, Inc., 841-BH-89.
The claimant was entitled to receive two lump sum pension payments
after he was separated from his job. Although there was
a delay in the actual payment of the money due to administrative
processing, the claimant was entitled to the money at
the time he was separated. Where the entitlement to the
pension corresponds to the date of unemployment, but there
has been an administrative delay in the actual payment
of the money, a delay in the application of the Section
8-1008 penalty is not appropriate. Payments are deductible
beginning with the claimant's first week of separation.
Puffenberger v. Hobby House Press, Inc., 1093-BR-91.
In cases where the actual receipt of a lump sum pension or profit
sharing payments is so far in the future that the receipt
of this amount cannot be reasonably related to a current
claim for benefits, a pension reduction will not be made
from unemployment benefits. Carmichael v. Credit Bureau
of Baltimore, Inc., 495-BR-90.
The claimant's job was abolished in January, 1993. He became eligible
to receive a noncontributory periodic pension from this
employer, in the amount of $2,250.00 per month. However,
the claimant did not receive the first installment of
this periodic pension payment until March 4, 1993. This
pension amount should only be allocated beginning in the
month of March, 1993. Statutory terms should be given
their ordinary and commonly accepted meaning. Section
8-1008 states that the disqualification applies "for each
week in which...an individual...receives a retirement
payment." The statute does not state "will receive" or
"earned." The plain and commonly accepted meaning of "receives"
means that the claimant actually has possession of the
pension amount. Carr v. Tracor Applied Sciences, Inc., 2030-BH-93.
G. Divorce Decree Affecting Amount
The claimant was entitled to a noncontributory pension
in the amount of $928.99 per month. The claimant was divorced.
According to the divorce settlement agreement, the claimant's
ex-wife became an alternate payee of the pension plan.
The claimant's ex-wife thus became entitled to 40 percent
of the claimant's benefits at the time that they were
received by the claimant. The claimant's ex-wife also
became entitled to the status of surviving spouse in the
event the claimant died. The pension was paid in full
to the claimant, and the claimant then remitted 40 percent
of the amount to his ex-wife. The Board held that the
entire amount of the pension is deductible. Title to the
pension was not transferred to the claimant's ex-wife.
The 40 percent which the claimant must pay to his ex-wife
is a legal obligation which he fulfills from this pension
amount, but it does not represent the ex-wife's independent
ownership of that 40 percent of the pension. Therefore,
the entire amount of the pension must be deducted. Kimmel,