WILL RETIREMENT EFFECT MY WORKERS’ COMPENSATION RIGHTS?
Yes. There is a special tougher definition of disability for retirees that became effective January 1, 1982. Employers may also be able to take an offset for what they pay in a pension. Because of this, it is important for workers to contact our law firm which specializes in representing injured workers to consider negotiating a settlement of their workers’ compensation rights before they retire. If your doctors believe your injuries affect your ability to work, you may have leverage to negotiate a settlement.
You also should not talk with your employer about your retirement plans. The Michigan Supreme Court said in dicta that an injured worker should not get workers’ compensation if the worker had been planning on retiring. They suggested that an injured worker who was planning on retiring would not suffer a wage loss because of his or her work injury, that the ensuing wage loss was due to an impending retirement not a work injury. Again, because of the Michigan Supreme Court’s statements, if you have been injured on the job, do not talk to or provide information to your employer about your retirement plans.