Workers Comp Can't Be Reduced for Pension Benefits, MN High Court Holds

Minnesota case law summary by Attorney Richard Clem: workers comp, old age benefits.

Gary Ekdahl v. Independent School District #213. MN workers comp, old age benefits

Also, Sharyn Hartwig v. Traverse Care Center and Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust.

The Minnesota Workers Comp statute, Minn. Stat. 176.101 allows the amount of the award to be reduced by amounts received as "old age and survivor insurance benefits." In these two cases, the Court of Appeals had held that this phrase allowed the employee's benefits to be reduced due to a pension he was receiving from his former employer. The Minnesota Supreme Court reversed, holding that the reduction is permitted only for social security benefits under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 401, et seq.

Nos . A14-0089 and A14-0090 (Minn. Aug. 13, 2014).

Please see the original opinion for the court's exact language.


Richard P. Clem is an attorney and continuing legal education (CLE) provider in Minnesota. He has been in private practice in the Twin Cities for 25 years. He has a J.D., cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota. His reported cases include: Asociacion Nacional de Pescadores a Pequena Escala o Artesanales de Colombia v. Dow Quimica de Colombia, 988 F.2d 559, rehearing denied, 5 F.3d 530 (5th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1041 (1994); LaMott v. Apple Valley Health Care Center, 465 N.W.2d 585 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991); Abo el Ela v. State, 468 N.W.2d 580 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991).

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