Sunday, October 17, 2021

Frequently Asked Pension Questions


Q. How do I become a Participant in the Pension Plan? 
A. You will become participant at the beginning of the Plan Year (May1), following the completion of 435 hours worked within the computation period for eligibility to participate OR on November 1, whichever is earlier. Once you become a participant, your eligibility for continued participation will be measured by Service within a Plan Year beginning with the Plan Year which includes the first anniversary of your employment commencement date.
Q. How do I apply for Benefits? 
A. You may obtain benefit application forms by writing to the Fund Office at PO Box 368 Troy, MI 48099-0368 or by phone at 866-599-3176.
Q. What types of benefits are available? 
A.

There are 7 types of benefits payable under the Plan.

  1. Normal Retirement Benefits
  2. Early Retirement Benefits
  3. Total and Permanent Disability Benefits
  4. Joint and 50% Survivor Benefits
  5. Ten Year Certain Life Benefits
  6. Death Benefits 
  7. Terminated Vested Benefits 

Q. What is a Plan Year? 
A. The Plan Year is from May 1 through April 30. 
Q. How many hours per Plan Year constitutes a full Year of Credited Service?
A.

Past Service: One (1) year granted for each Plan Year that Employee worked in the jurisdiction of the Union during May 1, 1946 to May 1, 1961.

Future Service: One (1) year granted for each Plan Year during which Employee receives contribution credits for 435 Hours Worked in a Plan Year.

Break-in-Service: As of May 1, 1976: Failure to acquire 435 Hours Worked in ONE Plan Year. (Not applicable if failure is due to accident, illness or Service in the armed forces provided notification of such is provided to Fund Office.)

Permanent Break-in-Service: Five (5) Plan Years or Rule of Parity.

Reciprocity: All hours transferred under money-follows-the-man reciprocity agreements shall be credited as Hours Worked under this Plan. 

Q. What if I am denied benefits? 
A.

You are entitled to appeal a decision of the Fund by written notice received by the Board of Trustees within 30 days of the mailing of the denial. In the case of a disability retirement benefit claim you may appeal the decision within 180 days of the mailing of the notice of a denial. The written notice only needs to state your name, address, and the fact that the claimant is appealing from the decision of the Board of Trustees, giving the date of the decision appealed from. The appeal should be addressed as follows:

Sheet Metal Workers Local Pension Fund
PO Box 368
Troy, MI 48099-0368