This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1998).






Samuel Stolis,





Bull HN Information,



Commissioner of Economic Security,



Filed October 3, 2000


Peterson, Judge


Department of Economic Security

Agency File No. 495899



Samuel Stolis, 3072 Leisure Lane Southeast, Brainerd, MN  56401 (pro se relator)


Bull HN Information, c/o R.E. Harrington, Inc., P.O. Box 182478, Columbus, OH  43218 (respondent)


Kent E. Todd, Minnesota Department of Economic Security, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN  55101 (for respondent Commissioner of Economic Security)



            Considered and decided by Willis, Presiding Judge, Crippen, Judge, and Peterson, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D    O P I N I O N



Relator Samuel Stolis seeks review of a determination that he was ineligible to receive reemployment compensation benefits[1] because he was receiving pension benefits from a pension plan contributed to by a base-period employer.  We affirm.


            Stolis was employed by Honeywell from June 1966 through March 1986, when Honeywell sold the division he worked in to respondent Bull HN Information Systems, Inc.  After the sale, Stolis worked for Bull.  In February 1995, the division Stolis worked in at Bull was sold to Wang, and Stolis began working for Wang.  Also in February 1995, Stolis began receiving pension benefits from a pension fund maintained and contributed to by Bull.  The benefits were based on his employment with Honeywell and Bull.  In May 1996, Wang laid off Stolis.  In August 1996, Stolis began working for Integris, a wholly owned subsidiary or division of Bull.  Integris laid off Stolis on September 3, 1999.

            Effective November 7, 1999, Stolis established a reemployment benefit account with a weekly benefit amount of $410.  As of January 2000, Stolis’s monthly benefit from the Bull pension was $2,979.47, which equals $687.57 per week.  The commissioner’s representative concluded that Stolis’s pension benefits were 100% deductible from his reemployment benefits and, therefore, Stolis was not eligible to receive any reemployment benefits.


            Generally, in a reemployment compensation proceeding, this court is not bound by the commissioner’s representative’s conclusions of law and may exercise its independent judgment on questions of law.  McGowan v. Executive Express Transp. Enters., Inc., 420 N.W.2d 592, 594 (Minn. 1988).  Statutory construction is a question of law.  Edward Kraemer & Sons, Inc. v. Ashbach Constr. Co., 608 N.W.2d 559, 561 (Minn. App. 2000), review denied (Minn. June 13, 2000).  An agency’s interpretation is not entitled to deference when statutory language is clear and unambiguous.  In re Werner, 571 N.W.2d 600, 601 (Minn. App. 1997).

            Minn. Stat. § 268.085, subd. 3(a) (Supp. 1999), provides:

            An applicant shall not be eligible to receive benefits for any week with respect to which the applicant is receiving, has received, or has filed for payment in an amount equal to or in excess of the applicant’s weekly benefit amount in the form of:


            * * * *

            (4) pension, retirement, or annuity payments from any plan contributed to by a base period employer including the United States government, except social security benefits which are provided for in subdivision 4.  The base period employer contributed to the plan if the contribution is excluded from the definition of wages under section 268.035, subdivision 29, clause (1), or United States Code, title 26, section 3121, clause (2), of the Federal Insurance Contribution Act.


            Stolis does not dispute that Integris is a wholly owned subsidiary or division of Bull and, therefore, Bull is a base-period employer.  Nor does Stolis dispute that Bull contributed to the pension plan from which he receives benefits.  Instead, Stolis argues that Minn. Stat. § 268.085, subd. 3(a)(4), should be construed as applying only following an employee’s separation from the employment on which his pension benefits are based and not applying when an employee later returns to work for the same employer but does not receive any additional pension benefits as a result of the later employment.

            The construction urged by Stolis is contrary to the unambiguous language of Minn. Stat. § 268.085, subd. 3(a)(4).  The statutory language is broad, making “pension * * * payments from any plan contributed to by a base period employer” deductible from reemployment compensation benefits.  Id. (emphasis added).  Adopting the construction urged by Stolis would require this court to add language restricting the base-period employer’s contribution to a pension plan to a specified time period or relating the contribution to the period for which reemployment benefits are sought.  When statutory language is clear and unambiguous, this court must give effect to its plain meaning.  Tuma v. Commissioner of Econ. Sec., 386 N.W.2d 702, 706 (Minn. 1986).  This court cannot supply a qualification or restriction that the legislature purposely or inadvertently omitted.  Johnson v. 1996 GMC Sierra, 606 N.W.2d 455, 458 (Minn. App. 2000), review denied (Minn. Apr. 18, 2000).  Because Stolis’s weekly pension payments from the pension plan to which Bull contributed exceed his weekly reemployment compensation benefits, the commissioner’s representative properly determined that Stolis is ineligible to receive reemployment compensation benefits.


[1] Effective April 7, 2000, the legislature changed the program name from reemployment compensation to unemployment insurance and redesignated reemployment compensation as unemployment benefits and reemployment compensation judges as unemployment law judges.  2000 Minn. Laws ch. 343.  Because Stolis’s claim was filed and the reemployment compensation judge issued a decision before the effective date of the amendments, we use the previous terminology.