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  1. #1

    Question Unemployment and retirement pension

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California
    I was laidoff after 23 years and was told that I would have to be 60 to collect my pension. I started collecting unemployment in July last year and then was able to collect my pension in Nov of last year. Can I collect both of them??? or have I done something wrong?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    The whole unemployment insurance sign up and certification process is full of questions about retirement pensions. This is for a reason. There is lots of entanglement.

    Each week that you have collected your unemployment insurance, you have filed a certification for it, filling out questions indicating that you had not worked that previous week, that you were able, available and actively seeking work, and there would probably be a few more certification questions. One of these would always be something about "have you begun collecting retirement benefits, has there been any change to a retirement benefit, pension, so on and so forth, anything you were drawing?" Because yes, drawing a pension may make you ineligible for unemployment insurance. Certain kinds do, certain kinds do not. That is why as soon as you begun getting the pension you were supposed to report it, and the unemployment system would have gotten the necessary information and made a decision about whether you could legitimately collect both at the same time.

    I gather you just didn't tell them. Right? Your bad. Because if this is a retirement pension which you report on your income taxes for the year, and based on your income tax forms, the system most definitely will cross match it with your unemployment and they very well may declare you overpaid when this happens. You can bet they'll eventually be in touch.

    My best advice? Talk to someone within the state unemployment system. As soon as possible. Oh yes, you can get through and talk to a live person somewhere at some time. Keep trying. If you are going to be overpaid, the sooner you stop the checks and get this straightened out, the better off you will be, the less likely they will be to consider this fraud. And ultimately, they may not decide you are overpaid. But having this hanging over your head is not worth it, having them come back and demand you repay all your benefits a year or two after the fact is going to be rough on you. And they will eventually catch this.

    Some kinds of retirement pensions, like Social Security retirement, are okay to be drawing and have no effect on your benefits as long as you do not remove yourself from the labor force. But other types of non-contributory retirement pension plans may definitely stop you from getting unemployment. Drawing out IRAs or 401K's in a lump sum is not the same thing as beginning to receive a regular monthly pension check, and does not affect your benefits. But in any case, they will need to make a decision, decide if you are overpaid, and then you and they can work together toward getting the money paid back if it is necessary.

    Don't worry, if you simply cannot pay back an overpayment, and you have been fully cooperative with them about the situation, they will usually work with you as much as possible, may allow you to defer the payments, get a waiver, something. But stop drawing and start calling and asking and going about fixing this situation quickly.

    Last edited by commentator; 06-23-2011 at 03:12 PM.
  3. #3

    unemployment mistake?

    Thank you for you answer and I immediatley went to the form that I fille out each week. I could not find anyplace on it that ask if I get a pension. I called unemployment office prior to getting my pension and they told me that I could have it. But this week when I talked to a guy to extend my claim he told me that I might have gotten a trainee. So I looked up the EDD law 1255.3 and not really smart on this one but as far as I can figure out my Pension is not deductible. Is this law still in effect...it was under TPU 460.55-4. (Total and Partial unemployment). If you look at this diagram my answers were Yes, No, Yes, No and I have not found a job as of yet. Thank you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by commentator View Post
    One of these would always be something about "have you begun collecting retirement benefits, has there been any change to a retirement benefit, pension, so on and so forth, anything you were drawing?"
    There is no question regarding this on the regular CA unemployment benefit form. It is the questions you previously mentioned plus a few regarding any work and pay possibly earned during the benefit weeks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    south side
    Quote Originally Posted by davew128 View Post
    There is no question regarding this on the regular CA unemployment benefit form. It is the questions you previously mentioned plus a few regarding any work and pay possibly earned during the benefit weeks.
    Hey you stole my signature

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Yep, sorry, I stand corrected. I did go and look at the weekly certification form. CA is one of the states that actually doesn't have this question on it. However, it does have a firm set of restrictions about whether or not you can receive a retirement pension while you are drawing unemployment. It appears to be based on whether it is a contributory or non- contributory pension, whether the employer from which you receive the pension is a base period employer for this claim...several issues which I would definitely say would have to be ironed out by the unemployment system.

    I feel like the person you talked to when you began getting your pension must have been a trainee, or else did not understand exactly what you were talking about, or thought you were talking about drawing out your 401K in a lump sum or beginning to receive your Social Security retirement. Because the only correct answer to this question concerning your beginning a retirement pension would be let us send you the form, let us make a decision on this. "Sure go on, you can have it," isn't something they should ever say.

    My question is also what did the person who said you might have gotten a trainee, the person who signed you up on your extension say about it? Did they say you needed to fill out a form, provide them more information, etc.?

    From looking at the subsection of the law you cited, its just saying that if it is a pension from a base period employer, which I gather it is, since it's the place you were laid off from, right? and you did not contribute to the pension yourself, which I understand you didn't, then it is probably deductible.

    Once the decision is made that it is a deductible pension, what they do (to put it in a very general way) is divide the amount of the monthly pension by 4 and lop it off each of your weekly check amounts, which may get you paid part of your unemployment benefit each week instead of all of it. This means by now you have probably been overpaid a little.

    But no one in the world except a person who works for CA EDD can help you with this issue. So you need to get back with them and make sure this issue is being addressed. If you just signed up for something and talked to someone this week, I would suspect it has been noted and that your claim is being looked at, but it is your job to make sure. Good luck with getting this corrected, I hope it works out well for you. This is likely not going to be considered a fraud case, but it is a bit unfortunate that you got off in the wrong direction like this.

    Last edited by commentator; 06-24-2011 at 08:05 AM.
  7. #7
    you are pretty smart about the pension. I got everything taken way from me this week except 94.00 a week. They really took me good. I worked forty years and never collected unemployment...but because of a trainee, I am now 356.00 a week shorter. They took the check immediately and left me without being able to pay my rent or see the doctor. Don't ya just love it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    I'm very sorry this has happened to you. When I dealt with this situation in my work closing down businesses, it was a decision many people had to make, whether or not they would begin to get their retirement while still drawing unemployment insurance. The upside of going ahead and starting the pension as soon as you can is that your unemployment insurance doesn't reduce your pension. You started getting it quicker and will continue to get it all the rest of your life, we hope (Lord willing and the bank doesn't fail!) If you'd decided to wait to sign up on it until you ran out of unemployment benefits, those are just months, years even that you would not have gotten the pension money. And you'd never be able to go back and get it later.

    But your unemployment claim has exactly so much money in it to be drawn over the year, and only getting a small amount of money each week doesn't reduce the amount of money in the total claim, it's just dragged out a lot longer, over a lot more weeks. So you didn't really lose any money in unemployment insurance, you get the whole amount that is in the claim, but you just don't get it in larger checks, but many more weeks than you would otherwise. And then you get to start the federal extensions, which also will be at the reduced weekly rate, but there are not always federal extensions. There just happens to be one right now.

    So in the long term, you really didn't get anything "taken away" from you that you are legally entitled to, it just hurts for the first few weeks until you can get your finances straightened out to live on what you will have a week and a month.

    In the terrible recession we have just had, the unemployment services of every state had to hire a large number of new and untrained workers, and it is a fairly complicated job. Newbies really don't know the right answers sometimes. As I said, you didn't really lose anything in regard to your unemployment insurance, but it was a bad experience and I'm sorry you had to go through it.

  9. #9


    I know that it has been a few weeks but I watched each day what EDD could do to one person and here is the results. If you call EDD not one person can really answer more then one question then they put you on hold and never come back. They have now taken the 94.00 a week and knocked it down to 47.00 a week so I can pay them back 47.00 a week on the 10,000.00 they claim that I owe them.

    I guess I will win in the long run. In June of next year I will be 62 and unemployment will be over (99 weeks). I will be going on Social Security in July and then was told that I will be exemp proof from them. They said that the only person that can touch my SS is the federal government. I hope this is correct.

    Well they will have all the money that was paid into EDD for the last 40 years...hope they will start taking from that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    As I said, I'm sorry it has happened to you. But you really are not getting anything taken away from you that you were honestly entitled to. If you are overpaid unemployment by $10,000 it is because you actually were paid the money back when you were drawing both retirement and U.I. in error.

    Now you are paying it back at the same time you are being paid by the state unemployment system. So they are not taking any additional money out of your pocket, they are taking out money from your unemployment claim as you receive it. You actually received it in larger weekly sums in advance, and now they are getting it back now in very small increments as they continue to pay you a properly ajusted claim.

    There was money paid into the unemployment system over the last 40 years by your employers based on your wages, but not paid by you. No money for your state unemployment benefits came from your personal paychecks or your taxpayer dollars.

    You have been told correctly, you can draw unemployment and Social Security retirement benefits at the same time if you do not remove yourself from the job market, refuse to continue making a job search.

    Social Security retirement money, unlike a private employer's pension, (which is considered the same as still getting wages from the employer) does not have to be deducted from your unemployment amount. You won't be reporting your Social Security retirement benefits to unemployment and they will have no connection with unemployment benefits. So no, they won't be touching your Social Security. They aren't touching anything but your unemployment benefits now, but they are doing it because of the retirement pension from your employer. But if they don't have that overpayment taken care of, they will continue to take it out of any unemployment money you may be able to draw any time you draw that again for the rest of your life.

    Last edited by commentator; 08-05-2011 at 04:51 PM.
  11. #11


    Well back again and this time it is because I appealed EDD and they sent me a new date. Now, I am basing this whole thing on that I was sent paper tellling me that I am eligable for $450.00 a week. But it seems that no matter what I do I am only allowed to earn 1900.00 a month. 1500.00 in pension and 400.00 a month in unemployment. I am not sure what I am doing. Can they take money from my Boeing pension? After I hit 62 and collect Social Security I will not be looking for a job so I am done...this means that I will still owe EDD about 10,000.00 dollars. I am scared and do not know how to fight this issue. Can they not issue me the full 450.00 a week and take back 350.00 and give me the 94.00 dollars that is left. This will pay them off and I will be free again. But if I have too...can I file bankruptcy against EDD??? That is the last thing that I want to do but will do it as a last step.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Okay, gin, it appears that you have a new date for a hearing about your overpayment, right? Which means they haven't actually set up your overpayment yet. They haven't actually established and set in stone your $10,000 overpayment.

    And yes, all you are entitled to in unemployment is the $400 a month, because in their eyes, you are still being paid by your employer those wages of $1500 a month, that pension from Boeing is considered as wages, just as much as if you were still going in there and working for them part-time every week. That's the way the unemployment law sees it, always has, whether or not they should or shouldn't.

    What you received from unemployment was a monetary determination that said, all things being aboveboard, and you meeting the weekly eligibility requirements, you are qualified for an unemployment claim that sets up for $11,700 (or some gross amount close to that) or a WBA (weekly basic allowance) of $450 for some number of weeks, I'm guessing 26.(?)

    It will do no good to argue in the overpayment hearing that you should have been eligible because you got that monetary determination. Because whether or not you got that $450 a week was always going to be contingent on whether or not you met the criteria, which included reporting all pensions, wages, changes in your health, offers of work, etc.

    But the more important issue is the person who misled you, the one that you called, (by the way, try to determine exactly when you called, try to remember exactly what you were told) Because that makes the whole difference here with the overpayment unit.

    Unlike most of these bozos who just figure that what the system doesn't know won't hurt them and they really need the money, and they are going to take a chance about getting caught, you actually made a good faith effort to report to EDD that you had begun getting a pension. You actually called and tried to report this to someone, and were misinformed about how to handle it.

    So you can argue that you really did not have an intentional fraud overpayment, okay? You did not intentionally commit fraud, did not deliberately conceal from the system the fact that you were receiving this retirement pension. You have an overpayment because you had been told by a staff person from the unemployment system that your retirement pension did not affect your benefits and you acted in good faith based on this information. (Like I said, I suspect this person misunderstood the question and thought you were talking about a Social Security retirement pension and just shot you an answer from the hip.)

    Then, of course, you reported it again when you began your second series claim, and at that point the overpayment was discovered. It was not discovered later by the system cross matching. So you actually were proactive about it, you weren't ever deliberately cheating the system. This is an important consideration.

    Okay, now. Calm down. You are jumping way ahead here, and trying to visualize a future in which you are hounded into debtor's prison by the EDD for this $10,000 overpayment. Ain't gonna happen. I'll stake my 30+years of experience on it.

    Okay, first they set up the overpayment. They put it on your unemployment record. You keep filing for benefits. You continue to make work searches and look for other work, etc, so that you can draw your unemployment benefits as long as you are eligible for any of them. This money will not be received by you each week, it will go toward this overpayment. If you did this for six months or so, until you had absolutely no more benefits to draw out, this would bring down that overpayment a little bit. They've recouped a little bit on it. They really like this.

    Then you run out of unemployment benefits totally. Okay, you'll still have an amount of overpayment on the books. But it is not a fraud overpayment. You have been cooperative about paying for it with your remaining unemployment eligibility. You have made every good faith effort to respond to them and to repay the money. Will they, at this point, send out the police, begin garnishment procedures on your Boeing pension, try to prosecute you? I strongly doubt it. Taking bankruptcy would be sort of silly, since they are not at this time doing any collection process on you, and very likely will never.

    They will probably just let it stay on the books. If they call you about it, you can ask for a waiver at that point, explain your financial situation, that you are retired and live only on your pension and Social Security retirement. If worst came to worst, you could offer a tiny amount of money to them each month, which will be a lot less than they would ever take in garnishment.

    They probably are not going to vigorously pursue you anyway, since you are not a heavy fraud offender who has refused to cooperate, has told them to talk to your attorney, has really worked yourself into a position where they want to force you to pay the money back.

    Of course, if you ever try to get a state tax refund, they could get that to apply to the overpayment. If you ever apply for a state business license, they might refuse it until the overpayment was paid. They might, at some point down the road, as CA goes broker and broker, hire a collection agency to try to recoup these overpayments that remain on the books. But that certainly hasn't happened yet, and it certainly isn't something you should be losing sleep over right now.

    The only thing you mentioned that I would discourage, and I would certainly not mention in my appeals hearing is that when you turn 62 and begin getting your retirement pension, you'll stop filing for unemployment. This is what is called voluntarily removing yourself from the labor force. Why would you do that? You're mighty likely not going to find a job and make the earnings that would prohibit you from drawing Social Security retirement anyhow, and if you did, then at that point, you could stop drawing unemloyment if you didn't want to accept the job.

    It would be dumb of you, even if you're not actually getting anything at all at that point from unemployment to stop receiving the benefits, because they're taking it to cover this overpayment.

    For a minimal amount of trouble, a few job searches, and the off chance you might actually find another really good job at this age and stage in life, you're getting money to pay this overpayment back, at least some of it. And that, as I explained, is going to be helpful in your not being garnished and not being hounded for the money.

    As I said, if you're sincere, and you make it clear to them that you want to do the right thing, if you don't spend a lot of time whining and complaining about the sorry old government who is treating you so bad, if you are as helpful about getting this taken care of as possible, I do not think it will go badly for you. Good luck on this next hearing, keep me posted.

  13. #13
    Thank you for coming into my life...If it was not for you I would never know what to do or what to say to this board. I will follow your advice and hope that all goes well. I even tried to stop my retirement (which I can'T) in order to pay EDD back. Oh well, I will not worry because I truly feel that I did what they said to do. I will go back on my verizon bills to see if I can find where I called them starting in last June. I will keep you posted so have a great couple of weekends. Thanks again.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Wow, I am so glad I found this thread after a week of Googling with only confusing results! I am 31 years old, live in California and have a similar unemployment problem. I've also called EDD and no one seems to have a definite answer...

    2 months ago, I was laid off from work after 8 years with the company due to outsourcing. I'm currently receiving Unemployment Benefits and I'm desperately considering withdrawing/cashing out (lump sum) my retirement 403(b) plan. Plese note, I did not contribute into my retirement and it was fully funded by my past employer of 8 years.

    I've read the California "Pension Law Section 1255.3" and the "TPU 460.55" section in the EDD website and it's very confusing.

    It says regarding UI benefit deductions: "Subdivision (a) shall not apply to any pension retirement, or retired pay annuity or other similar periodic payment if the individual has made any contribution to the pension retirement or retired pay, annuity or other similar periodic payment."

    It also says, "Where an individual receives his/her entire pension in a lump sum, or if an employee is separated prior to retirement and is paid a lump sum from the pension fund covering his/her full entitlement, the lump sum pension payments are not deductible under Section 1255.3. Under Section 1255.3 (a), a pension payment is deductible only if it consists of a "periodic" payment. Inasmuch as a lump sum the entire pension due cannot "periodic" payment, it is not deductible."

    My question is:
    --In my situation, my UI benefits will be deducted because I did not contribute into my retirement even though I will be withdrawing/cashing out my retirement as a "lump sum?"
    --Or does it mean, my UI benefits will not be deducted because I will be withdrawing/cashing out my retirement as a "lump sum" even though I did not contribute into my retirement.

    Also, if I do choose to withdraw/cash out my retirement, do I have to report it to EDD via the "Continued Claims Form?"

    Thanks so much for your time and help and after a week of searching, this thread has been the most helpful so far!!!

    Last edited by youaintd0wn; 12-03-2011 at 03:08 AM.
  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    We strongly prefer that people start their own posts, it relieves confusion and keeps them from getting way too long. -- But in short, all you have to do is roll over your pension. Or, if you want to, call and discuss the roll over with anyone in the unemployment system and ask them the same question, you should have gotten something that wasn't this confusing. BUt I guess it could happen, as it happened to the poster above.

    But at your age, rolling over you pension to another place or taking it out as a lump sum is NOT considered reportable wages for unemployment purposes. It's a stupid financial move, but I understand that many people are having to do this to live in the present economy.

    At this other lady's age, she was eligible to and actually began to draw out her pension, in periodic monthly increments, and that DID turn out to have an effect on her unemployment benefits, it turned out to be the kind of penion that counted, and she got overpaid on her unemployment benefits.

    But at the age of 31, you are not eligible to receive the pension that way. So you can get it out, you do not have to report it anywhere in your unemployment certifications that you are making. All pension and tax forms cross match with unemployment system forms, so it will all be cross matched so they'll know about it, but it will be okay. You did not have to report it. It was not wages for pay or a penion you began receiving in increments. You just cashed it out. And you will of course pay a great big old tax penalty at the end of the year. But quit agonizing about this. You don't need to report the money you're taking out to the unempoyment system.

    Last edited by commentator; 12-03-2011 at 09:48 AM.
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