Can I Sell, Assign or Pledge My Rights to Benefits Under the Plan?
No. Benefits cannot be sold, assigned, pledged or used as security for a loan. Under most circumstances, your benefits are not subject to attachment by decree of a court or otherwise. However, if the Fund receives a proper “Qualified Domestic Relations Order” (“QDRO”) from a court it will have to abide by that order and pay benefits to the specified alternate payee such as your spouse, former spouse or children. When the Plan receives a proposed QDRO, the Fund Office follows specific procedures required by federal law to determine if the domestic relations order is qualified. The Plan also has a model QDRO that is available to participants and their attorney. If you have any questions about QDROs, you should contact the Fund Office.
Yes, but only if your surviving spouse elects to have his or her Pre-Retirement Surviving Spouse Pension payable in a lump sum. In such a case, your surviving spouse may authorize the Plan to directly roll over the present value of the benefit into an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), a 403(b) tax-deferred annuity, a 457-deferred compensation plan or another qualified pension plan within a certain time period. If your surviving spouse does not elect to directly roll over the benefit, the lump sum distribution will be subject to mandatory 20% federal income tax withholding. A surviving spouse who is eligible to receive a Pre-Retirement surviving spouse pension will receive additional information from the Fund Office on “eligible rollover distributions” if he or she elects a lump sum payment.
May I Roll Over Monies into this Pension Plan?
No. Rollover contributions may not be accepted into this Plan since individual accounts are not established for any participant.
Is the Amount of My Pension Benefit Subject to Maximum Limits?
Yes. As a qualified Plan, your pension benefit amount may be limited to certain maximum benefit provisions prescribed by IRS regulations. Few Plan members may be affected by these limitations. If you are affected, the Trustees will notify you in writing.
Can The Plan Be Amended or Terminated?
Yes. While the Board of Trustees intends to continue the Plan, the Board of Trustees reserves the right to amend, modify, discontinue or terminate the Plan, when it considers these actions necessary. However, no amendment can decrease the benefit which has already been earned by you.
Can My Pension Benefit Be Subject to Benefit Increases?
Generally, the amount of your pension is determined by the provisions of the Plan in effect when you “separate” from Covered Employment. You have separated from Covered Employment on your last day of work in Covered Employment which is followed by (A) a One-Year-Break-in-Service or (B) the first day of the month as of which your pension becomes payable, whichever is sooner. However, if you have not yet retired on a pension, separate from Covered Employment and then return to Covered Employment and earn additional Pension Credits, the Plan provisions under which your pension will later be calculated will depend on how many additional Pension Credits you earn following your return to Covered Employment.
If you return to Covered Employment following a separation and earn less than three Pension Credits, only your additional Pension Credits will be applied to the Plan’s monthly benefit rate in effect on your last day of work in your most recent period of Covered Employment. The portion of your benefit earned before your separation will be determined under the provisions of the Plan in effect on your last day of work in your prior period of Covered Employment.
If you return to Covered Employment and earn an additional three or more Pension Credits, all your years of Pension Credit will be determined under the provisions of the Plan in effect on your last day of work in your most recent period of Covered Employment.
If you are a Pensioner who remains in or returns to Covered Employment and earns additional Pension Credit, this additional Credit will be applied to the Plan’s monthly benefit rate in effect at the time you again leave Covered Employment. If the Plan’s monthly benefit rate has increased since the date as of which you originally retired, only your additional Pension Credits earned after that date will be applied to the new, increased rate. If the total of your additional Pension Credits earned after you originally retired, plus the Pension Credits you had earned up to that date are in excess of 40 (25, in the case of Participants who separated from Covered Employment prior to July 1, 2001), then the more recent Pension Credits in excess of 40 or 25, as the case may be, will be “traded” for older Credits if they are more valuable – that is, if the more recent Credits are eligible for a higher monthly benefit rate. The time at which your benefit will be recalculated will depend upon whether or not you have reached your Required Beginning Date.
Will I Still Be an Active Participant if My Employer is Sold or Merges with Another Employer?
If your Employer is sold, merges or changes company identity, you will remain an Active Participant in the Plan as long as the successor company is bound by a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Union and is required to contribute to the Pension Fund.
Do Social Security Benefits Reduce My Plan Benefits?
No. Your Social Security benefit, paid to you by the United States government, is in addition to any benefits you receive under this Plan. Likewise, your pension payable under this Plan is not reduced by your Social Security pension benefit.