Saturday, September 19, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions


Health Care


Q.

Who is eligible to become a Participant in the Plan?

A.

This Plan covers employees working under collective bargaining agreements in positions for which contributions are required to be made to this Plan (also known as bargaining unit employees or Class A participants). The following other people may also participate:

  • Qualified contributing employers, partners, self-employed contractors and proprietors (also known as Class B participants) who are signatory to a collective bargaining agreement with the Local Union and pay the required monthly charge, and their enrolled non-bargaining unit employees (also known as Class D participants).
  • Full-time officials and full-time employees of participating local unions, qualified active trustees of the Welfare Fund and their surviving spouses, and qualified retired trustees (also known as Class C participants).
  • Retired employees and retired employers who satisfy the appropriate eligibility rules for retiree coverage and who pay the required monthly charge which applies to their coverage. Eligible dependents of all of the above, including your lawful spouse or registered domestic partner; and your natural children, adopted children, foster children and stepchildren, until age 26 for medical benefits.
Q.

If I am a bargaining unit employee, how do I become eligible for coverage under the Plan?

A.

Eligibility is based on your reserve account of hours which are reported and credited on your behalf for each hour of covered employment. A month of coverage under the Plan for Shop/Regular Status Employees "costs" 125 Hours, and for Installers "costs" 85 hours.

To qualify for coverage, Shop/Regular Status Employees must be credited with a total of 250 hours within two consecutive months. Installers must be credited with a total of 170 hours within two consecutive months.

This Plan uses a "double skip month" eligibility system. Hours worked in Month One are reported by the employer in Month Two, and provide health coverage for Month Four.

For example, let's say you are a Regular Employee and work at least 250 hours in January and February. Your work hours in January and February will be reported to the Plan in February and March. When the total of the hours reported to the Plan on your behalf reaches 250 in March, you will be covered under the Plan starting on May 1.

Q.

How do I maintain my monthly Health Care coverage?

A.

Shop/Regular Status employees maintain eligibility by having a reserve account of at least 125 covered hours at the beginning of each month. Installers maintain eligibility by having a reserve account of at least 85 covered hours at the beginning of each month. See pages 6-7 and Appendix 1, pages 47-48 of the SPD, for more details. The Plan's "double skip month" eligibility system also applies to maintaining monthly eligibility: hours worked in Month One are reported by the employer in Month Two, and provide health coverage for Month Four.

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Pension


Q.

What is the purpose of the Plan?

A.

The purpose of the Plan is to provide you with monthly income during your retirement years. This is a traditional pension plan (a defined benefit plan), not an individual account plan. There are no loans and no hardship withdrawals. Your retirement benefits are not paid in a lump sum, with certain minor exceptions.


Q.

Who is eligible to participate in the Plan?

A.

All employees who work in covered employment under a collective bargaining agreement of a participating Local Union, in a position which calls for contributions to the Plan, are eligible to be participants. The sponsoring Local Union is the Sign, Pictorial, and Display Union Local 510. An employee becomes an Active Participant when he or she has worked 500 hours of covered employment in a Plan Year. (A Plan Year starts on May 1 of each calendar year and ends on April 30 of the next calendar year). Employees working under Local 510 Installer agreements on May 1, 1995 became Participants on that date. An employee remains an Active Participant so long as he or she works 500 hours in each Plan Year. If you are no longer an Active Participant, you will still have a right to a pension if your Plan benefits are “vested.” (See Question 8 of the Summary Plan Description.)


Q.

What type of benefits are paid by the Plan?

A.

The Plan pays benefits on Normal or Early Retirement to vested employees who have met the eligibility requirements for those types of retirement (see Question 11 of the Summary Plan Description). Retirement benefits are paid in the form of monthly benefits for your life alone, or for your life followed by reduced benefits to your surviving spouse or child. See Question 12 of the Summary Plan Description for how your benefit is calculated, Question 14 for the rules for electing a form of benefit, and Question 15 for the forms of benefit available. The Plan also pays pre-retirement death benefits (see Question 17 of the Summary Plan Description).

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