Bakery Drivers Local 734 - Health and Welfare Fund | Break-In-Service
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A break-in-service occurs if you fail to work 11 weeks of covered employment in a calendar year. In general, if you have a break-in-service, you lose your status as an active participant under the plan. Your accumulated benefit service and vesting service are cancelled if the break becomes “permanent.” There are both “one-year breaks” and “permanent breaks.” One-year breaks are temporary and can be repaired.

One-Year Break-in-Service
You incur a one-year break in service in any calendar year in which you do not have at least 11 weeks of covered employment. (You would not have a break-in-service if, after working in covered employment, you continued to work for the same employer.) There are also certain situations that entitle you to non-working credits and prevent you from incurring a permanent break-in-service. You can repair a one-year break in service by working at least 11 weeks in covered employment in a calendar year.

Permanent Break-in-Service
If you are not vested, you can incur a permanent break and lose your benefit service and vesting service accumulated under the plan.

If you leave covered employment and you are not vested, you would have a permanent break when your consecutive one-year breaks total the greater of five years or your years of vesting service before the break.

If you are vested, you cannot lose your vesting or benefit service.

Maternity/Paternity Absences
If you are absent from work due to pregnancy, birth, adoption or immediate post-natal child care, you will be credited during such period of absence with the additional hours of service required to prevent a break-in-service in the year of the absence or the following year. These hours are credited solely for purposes of preventing a break-in-service and do not count toward vesting or benefit service.

Break-in-Service Examples

Example 1:
You had accrued two years of vesting service and two years of benefit service. You also had five consecutive one-year breaks-in-service. Because the five consecutive one-year breaks is greater than the two years of vesting service, you would have a permanent break which cancels all years of benefit service and years of vesting service earned.

break in service

Example 2:
Because you returned to covered employment and worked at least 11 weeks in covered employment before incurring a permanent break, your temporary one-year breaks were repaired.