Sunday, November 17, 2019

Frequently Asked Pension Questions


Q. How do I become a participant in the Plan?
A. When you have performed a total of 1,000 hours of service in any 24 consecutive months under a collective bargaining agreement for one or more contributing employers you become a participant in the Plan.
Q. How do I obtain a years of credited service? 
A. After May 1, 1976 you work at least 500 hours in a Plan Year for one or more contributing employers under a collective bargaining agreement. Prior to May 1, 1976 you worked at least 200 hours in a Plan Year for one or more contributing employers under a collective bargaining agreement. Once you have earned 5 credited years of service you become vested in your benefit.
Q. How is my benefit calculated? 
A. Your Normal retirement benefit rate is 3.3% (3% if you retired prior to 11-1-99) of the total credited employer contributions received on your behalf as a result of work performed by you.
The benefit rate for all contributions received 5/1/04 and after is 1.5%. The rate for new participants to the Plan effective 5/1/11 is 1.167% for years 1 through 15; 1.333% for years 16 through 30; and 1.5% for years 31 and beyond. 
Q. Who are my benefits paid to in the event of my death prior to retirement? 
A. If you have at least 5 years of credited service in the Plan, your surviving spouse may be eligible to receive 50% of your monthly benefit (the effective date of these benefits may vary, therefore, please contact the Pension Fund office for detailed information). If you are not married at the time of your death, there is no monthly benefit payable, unless you are survived by children under the age of 18.
Q. Are there other survivor options?
A. Yes, at the time of retirement you may select a 100% or 75% or 50% survivor option. Upon your death your spouse would receive either 100% or 75% or 50% of your monthly benefit. There is an actuarial reduction (cost) in your monthly benefit when you select these options.
Q. Are there any other benefits payable? 
A.

Yes. If you are an active participant and have at least 10 years of service the Pension Fund pays a lump sum death benefit to your surviving spouse in the event of your death. If you are not married the Fund will pay the applicable death benefit in a certain order of priority.

  • Funeral expense, or reimbursement to the person who paid for your funeral expense
  • Beneficiary you have designated with the Pension Fund office
  • Beneficiary you have designated with the Health Care Plan office
  • Children (in equal shares)
  • Parents (in equal shares)
  • Brothers and sisters (in equal shares)
The death benefit for Normal, Early or Disability retirees is $20,000.00 or the amount of the employer contributions paid to the Fund on your behalf (whichever is less).
The death benefit for Deferred retirees who became deferred after 5/1/11 is $2,500.00 or the amount of the employer contributions paid to the Fund on your behalf (whichever is less).
The death benefit for Active, vested participants is $30,000.00 or the amount of the employer contributions paid to the Fund on your behalf (whichever is less).
There are no death benefits payable for the death of the surviving spouse. 
Q. Is there a beneficiary form available? 
A. Yes. The Fund office can send you a form that will allow you to name a beneficiary for any death benefits that may be available from the Pension Fund. Whenever there is a life changing event such as a spouse's death, a divorce, or marriage you should update your beneficiary form.