Pension punch for Tops warehouse employees

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) - Some 600 Tops Warehouse employees say they won't be able to collect their pension until 65.

It's a hard pill to swallow for some, like 60-year-old Glen Gerevicz.

"It just isn't fair to us," he said. "We've come in, we've worked for 30 years. We've done nothing wrong

Gerevicz says he planned to retire within the next year, but now due to Tops' restructuring with the State Teamsters Pension Plan, warehouse workers like Glenn must work until they're 65.

If they retire early they say they could sacrifice up to 60% of their pension.

"The pension fund has taken the position to not allow our members to participate any longer to the pension fund, thus denying them proper benefits at a reasonable age," said Darriin Ziemba of Teamsters Local 264.

Ziemba says union members were told last Friday they would no longer be included in the New York State Teamsters pension plan moving forward. This is after their pensions had been frozen for more than 4 years due to an on-going court battle with former owners C&S.

The Board of Trustees of the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund said it had repeatedly offered Tops the opportunity to participate in the Pension Fund as a new employer at discounted rates. But the board said Tops has refused, saying doing so went against the best business interests of the company.

At mediation last week, the Pension Fund, Tops and C&S were able to agree to contribute a total of approximately $15 million to Tops "to be used for the sole purpose of providing you with additional benefits in a different plan not associated with the pension fund."

You can read the entire letter from the board of trustees in the photo section of this article.


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