There are many kinds of pensions. Most plans fall into one of two categories: single-employer plans or multi-employer plans.
You have a single-employer plan if you work for one company that provides a pension plan for its employees.
Example: Dave works for Company C. He goes to work at Company C from 9-5, works from one place, and gets his paycheck from Company C. Dave has a single-employer plan.
Multi-employer plans cover workers who do not work for the same employer. Labor unions often use multi-employer plans to provide retirement benefits to their members.
Example: Joe is an electrician who is a member of XYZ Union, Local #1. XYZ Union has one pension plan for all members of Locals 1, 2, 3, and 4 – regardless of where they work. The plan is called XYZ Union Plan. Joe is part of a multi-employer plan.
A pension plan will either be private or public. If you work for a private company, you will have a private pension plan. If you work for a local government employer or State employer, you will have a public pension. Some professions which have public pensions are public school teachers, city and state police officers, and judges.
Example: Allison works for the Vermont State Police. She has a public pension. Andrew works for the Brattleboro Fire Department. He also has a public pension. Jonathan works as a librarian for the Waterbury public library. He also has a public pension.