The Flint Journal & Genesee County Bar Association’s “Ask the Attorney”
By Attorneys at MACDONALD & MACDONALD PLLC
Q. I was injured at work. I am trying unsuccessfully to do a job with restrictions, so I am thinking about just retiring and taking my pension. Can I do that and then pursue workers’ compensation?
A. Under Michigan law, there is a legal presumption that a person is not entitled to weekly workers’ compensation benefits if he or she leaves active employment to retire on a non-disability pension. If this presumption can somehow be overcome, workers’ comp benefits will still be reduced by the after-tax amount of employer-provided non-disability pension benefits. The law permits employers and employees to negotiate the effect disability pensions have on workers’ comp. Under the 2011 amendment to the Workers’ Compensation Act, under certain very limited circumstances, workers’ compensation benefits can sometimes be reduced by pension monies not actually being received if the worker is of regular retirement age. You need a workers’ compensation attorney to review your individual pension options and possible workers’ compensation entitlements before you sign up for retirement.
Atty. Robert J. MacDonald
–September 2007 column (updated April 2012)