years credit if he received Workmen's Compensation benefits or black lung benefits. However, in order to qualify for service credit while receiving compensation, the miner must have been employed in a classified job when injured and may not work regularly in jobs outside the coal industry while receiving compensation.
Plaintiff argues that he has satisfied the 20 year classified service requirement. It is on the second (5 year signatory service) requirement that the two parties disagree. The trustees have credited him with 33/4 years of signatory service. Stacey claims that he satisfied the other 11/4 years when his credit for disability is added to the 33/4 approved by the trustees. The plaintiff does not explicitly state whether he computed his disability between 1965-1970 and/or 1972-1974 into his service credit. However, neither will give him the necessary 5 years in a classified signatory.
The plaintiff was injured in a mining accident in 1965. He received Workmen's Compensation from the state of West Virginia between Feb. 27, 1965 and May 2, 1970. However, he was not given service credit for this time because he was performing non-classified work at the time of injury and was receiving a salary from another source while receiving disability payments. This disqualified him from being given credit for that time and therefore Stacey did not satisfy the requirements for service credit under Resolution No. 83. The plaintiff was eligible and received Workmen's Compensation a second time beginning on July 7, 1972 and continuing for 120 weeks thereafter. He filed his application for benefits on April 30, 1973. Although Stacey would have satisfied the 5 year classified signatory requirement if he had been receiving Workmen's Compensation for 11/4 years, at the time he filed his application he had only been receiving benefits for eight months. Consequently, he did not have a vested right to benefits under Resolution No. 83 when he filed his application on April 30, 1973. The trustees may enact new eligibility requirements for pension benefits as long as they are related to the purposes of the trust. Roark v. Boyle, 141 U.S. App. D.C. 390, 439 F.2d 497 (D.C.Cir.1970). These amended requirements will be retroactive unless rights have already vested. Kosty v. Lewis, 319 F.2d at 748. Therefore, because the plaintiff had not satisfied the requirements of Resolution No. 83 when he filed his application, the newer and more stringent "year of service" definition was applicable to him.
The modified definition of "year of service" in Resolution No. 90 provides that service credit will be given only if a miner has accumulated 10 years of classified signatory service. Stacey had only 33/4 years of classified signatory service. The substitution of the new definition does not deprive Stacey of any earned pension credit. The requirements of Resolution No. 90 have been found to be reasonable and to further the purposes of the Fund. Pete v. UMWA Retirement Fund, 517 F.2d at 1284.
In all of the cases relied on by plaintiff, miners were divested of pension credit already earned. It is clear from these cases that the trustees may not adopt rules which divest or cancel time which has been earned. Lavella v. Boyle, 144 U.S. App. D.C. 35, 444 F.2d 910 (D.C.Cir.1971), cert. denied 404 U.S. 850, 92 S. Ct. 84, 30 L. Ed. 2d 89 (1971); Norton v. I.A.M. National Pension Fund, 553 F.2d at 1357. Likewise, in Gracie Robinson v. UMWA, the Court of Appeals found that a denial of permanent health benefits to widows made pursuant to a 1974 wage agreement was arbitrary and capricious. However, in that case the miners worked until their deaths and never applied for health-care benefits. According to the trustees' interpretation of the wage agreement, the miners must have either applied for or received benefits before becoming eligible for permanent health benefits. The Court found that as a result of a decision to work until death the widows of these miners were denied any opportunity to receive permanent benefits. However, this is not the situation in the present case. Stacey knew or should have known that he was required to serve at least 5 years in a classified signatory.
In sum, Stacey was given notice that Resolution No. 63 would no longer determine his eligibility for pension benefits. He chose to continue working after the adoption of Resolution No. 83 and thus his eligibility for pension benefits was determined under the rule of Resolution No. 83. At the time plaintiff filed his application he failed to satisfy the 5 year classified signatory requirement of Resolution No. 83 and also the newer eligibility requirements promulgated under Resolution No. 90.
The Court finds that the 10 year signatory requirement for award of service is not arbitrary or capricious on its face or as applied to plaintiff. Accordingly, plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is denied. Defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted.
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