Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Frequently Asked Pension Questions


Q.
I am ready to retire, what do I need to do ?
A.

In order for your pension benefit to start you will need to notify the Plan Administrators Office at least 90 days before your benefit will begin.  At the time that you apply for your pension benefit it will be required that you provide satisfactory evidence of your age.  The most satisfactory evidence is a copy of your birth certificate.  If you are married, it will be necessary for you to provide evidence of your spouse’s birth date, similar in nature to that required for yourself, as well as proof of marriage.    If you have been divorced, you will need to submit a copy of the divorce decree or QDRO


Q.

How soon can I retire if I want to retire before age 65?

A.

You must have 10 years of credited service in order to elect early retirement, between age 55 and your Normal Retirement date.

Q.
Is my retirement benefit reduced if I retire early?
A.

Yes, the benefit is reduced by one quarter of one percent for each month that your retirement precedes age 65.  This is a 3% percent reduction for each 12 months.  However, if you have earned 240 hours of Service Credit during any Plan year commencing July 1, 1989, your reduction will be calculated from your 62nd birthday.  For example, if my birthday is on July 30, 1944, and I would like to retiree on August 1, 2002.  The reduction will start at age 58 to age 62 based on the fact that I have earned 240 hours of Service Credit during any Plan year commencing July 1, 1989.  So, the deduction amount would be 12%

Q.

Can I put money into my Pension Plan?

A.

This Plan is funded through employer contributions.  Your employer pays contributions, per a collective bargaining agreement, to finance the Plan.  No contributions are required by or permitted from you.  You may sign up for the 401k plan and make contributions to an account.

Q.

How often will I receive a Pension Statement from the Plan Administrator?

A.

Annually, usually in September.  Or you may receive a statement anytime upon request.

Q.

If I receive a Social Security award under the Federal Social Security Act does that make me eligible for disability pension through Inlandboatmen's Union?

A.

A participant is considered totally and permanently disabled for a disability pension if the service requirements are met and Social Security disability benefit has been awarded under the Federal Social Security Act.  There are additional requirements to being totally and permanently disabled.  One, you must be vested in the pension plan. Two, you must have become disabled while under covered employment.  For a more detailed explanation, please refer to your Summary Plan Description or Plan Document.

Q.
If I die prior to retirement is there a payable benefit?
A.

If you die before retirement, you are Vested and you are married at the time of your death, your spouse is entitled to receive a surviving spouse death benefit.

Q.

Once I retire can I return to work?

A.

You may not return to work in any industry or any craft whose members are covered by this Plan in any state bordering the Pacific after retiring on a normal or early retirement pension for more than 120 hours over a course of two plan years.

Q.

What should I do if I get married or divorced?

A.

When you get married or divorced, you may want to change your beneficiary for your pension and 401k benefits.  There is one form for each plan.  You can print the pension Beneficiary Designation Form from this website.  Be sure to fill the forms out COMPLETELY and mail them to Benesys.  If you get a divorce, be sure to file your Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) with the Trust.  The Trust office can supply you with a sample QDRO.

Q.

What should I do if I move?

A.

It is important that you get your mail from us.  So let us know where you are.  Simply contact us via email or mail, we may change our records. If you are already retired and receiving your benefit, we will only change your address after receiving a written request from you.  Therefore you must mail your change of address to us. 

Q.

What should I do if I there is a death in my immediate family?

A.

 You may need to change your beneficiary for your pension and 401k benefits.  There is one form for each plan.  You can print the pension Beneficiary Designation Form from this website.  Be sure to fill the forms out COMPLETELY and mail them to Benesys. 

Q.

What should my beneficiaries do if I die?

A.

Contact the Trust office as soon as possible.

If you had not yet retired upon your death your spouse will have benefit options.  The Trust office will send out the necessary forms, and a photocopy of the death certificate and your marriage certificate will be required.  Be sure to have an up-to-date beneficiary form at all times to ensure your benefits go to the people you intend.

If you had already retired, your benefit option selected at retirement will determine what any survivor benefits may be.  The Trust office will send out the necessary forms, and a photocopy of the death certificate will be required.

The Health Trust will send information and the necessary forms for the health insurance benefits for your survivors at the same time.