Eligibility for Pension Benefits

The Pension Plan provides several different types of pensions as follows:

A Normal Pension if:

  • You are at least age 65; and
  • You are vested with 5 or more Vesting Service Credits (including one Hour of Service on or after January 1, 1999)

A Vested Pension if:

  • You are at least age 62; and
  • You are vested with at least 10 or more Vesting Service Credits without a Permanent Break in Service.

A Regular Pension if:

  • You are at least age 62; and
  • You are vested with at least 10 Pension Credits without a Permanent Break in Service.

An Early Retirement Pension if:

  • You are at least age 55 but not yet age 62; and
  • You are vested with at least 10 Pension Credits without a Permanent Break in Service.

 A Service Pension if:

  • You earned at least 30 Southwest Plan Pension Credits (no age requirements).

 A Disability Pension if:

  •   You first became totally disabled  prior to July 1, 2011; and
  •   You have earned at least 5 Pension Credits without a Permanent Break in Service; and
  •   You have earned either:
    • at least 350 hours in Covered Employment in the 12-month period immediately preceding the date of your total disability, or
    • at least 3/12 (which is ¼) of a Future Service Credit in each of the three calendar years in the period of five consecutive calendar years preceding the calendar year in which you become totally disabled; and
  • You have not worked in Non-Covered Employment after November 1, 1992.

If you first became disabled (as determined by the Social Security Administration) on or after July 1, 2011, you are not eligible for a Disability Pension. However, you may qualify for long-term disability benefits under the Health Plan.  See the Long-Term Disability Benefit.

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