Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Frequently Asked Pension Questions


Q. How do I become a Participant in the Plan?
A. A covered employee becomes a “Participant” in the Plan once he starts employment and has completed one (1) hour of service for a Contributing Employer.
Q. I am going through a divorce, what happens to my pension?
A. If you are currently going through a divorce, please contact the Trust Fund office for a copy of the procedures in preparing a Qualified Domestic Relations Order which is an order by the court instructing the Trust as to how the benefits shall be divided subject to community property interest.
Q. Does the Pension Plan affect Social Security benefits in any way?
A. No.
Q. Can pensions be paid or assigned or garnered to others?
A. Except in the case of a QDRO, your interest in the Plan cannot be assigned or encumbered.  This means that the Plan cannot be forced to use assets in your account to pay any of your debts.  Also, you cannot give anyone else the right to your Plan benefits.
Q. If benefits are denied, may a retiree or beneficiary appeal?
A. Yes.  Any Participant or beneficiary who is denied a benefit or disagrees with the type or amount of benefits allowed, has the right to appeal to the Board.  This must be done within 60 days of the date shown on the letter notifying the Participant or beneficiary of the decision.
Q. How far in advance should I request an application for retirement?
A. A Participant may make application for a Normal or Early Retirement Pension no more than six (6) months prior to his Pension effective date.  
Q. In addition to the application for retirement, what other documents do I have to submit to the Trust Fund office?
A. The Trust Fund office will require proof of age for Participant, and if married, proof of age for your spouse, and a copy of the marriage certificate. If you were previously married, copies of complete divorce documents will be required for each previous marriage.
Q. I am currently receiving a monthly pension benefit from the Plan and would like to change the tax withholding. What needs to be done?
A. A Participant may change their tax withholding by completing a new W4-P which can be obtained from the Trust Fund office or downloaded from the website.  Once this form is completed, return it to the Trust Fund office for processing.
Q. I am currently receiving a monthly pension benefit from the Plan and would like to change the bank account information. How do I change this information?
A. A Participant may change their direct deposit information by completing a new Direct Deposit Form which can be obtained from the Trust Fund office or downloaded from the website.  Once this form is completed, you must return it to the Trust Fund office for processing.
Q. I am currently receiving a monthly pension benefit from the Plan, what happens if I do not receive my check?
A. If for any reason you do not receive your pension check, please contact the Trust Fund office so that a replacement check can be mailed to you.
Q. I recently moved, how do I change my address?
A. For your protection, all address changes must be submitted to the Trust Fund office in writing.  You may change your address via mail or fax to the Trust Fund office. The form may be obtained from the Trust Fund office or downloaded from the website. 
Q. Whom should I contact if I'm getting a divorce and what documents do I need to submit?
A. If you are contemplating a divorce or are party to any other domestic relations action that may involve the Trust Fund, you should contact the Administrative office for additional information before any such domestic relations order or decree is signed by the judge.  Any Participant or beneficiary may obtain from the Administrative office, without charge, a copy of the Plan’s procedures for processing QDRO’s.