Find Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Retirement
- What is the Plan Year?
- The Plan Year is January 1 to December 31.
- How many hours must I work in a year (01/01 - 12/31) to earn a year of credited service?
- 250 hours worked in a year.
- How many years do I need to be fully Vested?
5 years of service or 7,500 covered hours of employment without a break in service for Normal Retirement.
10 years of credited service or 15,000 covered hours of employment without a break in service for Early Retirement.
- What does Vested mean?
- Vested means you have earned the right to a monthly pension benefit when you are eligible to retire.
- What is Reciprocity?
Reciprocity provides a means of combining service credits earned under Locals 302/612 with service credits earned in other IUOE pension plans that have signed the International Union of Operating Engineers National Reciprocity Agreement (Related Pension Plans), so that you have a right to a monthly benefit.
You could benefit from this provision if your years of Vesting Service have been divided between Locals 302/612 and one or more Related Pension Plans.
Locals 302/612 use the pro-rata method in calculating reciprocity. To have a right to a pro-rata monthly benefit you must:
- Have service credits with Locals 302/612 that can be combined (without a break in service) with one or more Related Plans.
- Have at least one (1) year of Credited Future Service earned in each plan based upon actual participation.
- You would be paid a benefit from each of the plans separately for the Credited Future Service earned in each plan if you are determined to be Vested.
- I’m not Vested here, but I have time in another jurisdiction, can this help me become Vested?
- See "What is Reciprocity" question.
- What can I do to ensure I get the full amount of benefits coming to me when I retire?
- Each year you receive an annual statement that shows all of the hours reported on your behalf. You should compare your check stubs each year to this annual statement to verify that all hours you worked have been reported. If hours have not been reported correctly, you should send copies of your check stubs to the Administration Office so that we can bill your employer for the correct hours. This comparison can also be done each month via the Trust website.
- What are my responsibilities regarding my pension benefits?
You are required to notify the Administration Office of the following:
- Birth Date
- Address changes
- Name changes
- Marital Status changes (marriage, divorce, death of spouse)
- Beneficiary changes
- Can I add money to my pension Plan?
- Generally, Taft-Hartley Defined Benefit Plans are funded through employer contributions only. Your employer pays contributions for every hour you work (per your collective bargaining agreement) to finance the Plan. No contributions are required by, or permitted from, you.
- When I become deceased, will my spouse automatically get my pension benefits?
- Pre-Retirement Death benefits are generally dependent upon your age and Vesting Credits and in some cases if you were actively employed at the time of death.
- If you retired prior to your death, any Death benefits will be paid based upon the type of benefit you elected at your retirement.
- Contact the Administration Office for more details on your death benefits.
- Can I withdraw my pension benefits if I have a financial hardship?
- No. Pension benefits are only payable once you reach the age and service requirements and retire. They are generally a monthly benefit payable for your lifetime.
- I am planning on retiring in the next few years. How early should I apply for my retirement?
- You can apply up to a maximum of 6 months in advance of your retirement date. However, generally we recommend applying 60 days in advance.
- What types of options are available to me at retirement?
- Normally if you are married at retirement, you will be offered Spouse Options. This form of payment is reduced according to both you and your spouse's age and provides you a lifetime benefit and your spouse a lifetime benefit following your death. You will be offered the choice of a 50%, 75% or 100% Spouse Option.
- What types of documents may I need to submit when I apply for retirement?
Depending on your marital status, some or all of the following will be required:
- Birth Certificate (for both you and your spouse)
- Marriage Certificate(s)
- Name change document(s)
- Divorce Decree(s)
- Qualified Domestic Relations Order(s)
- What do I need to do to get coverage?
- You need to work the required number of hours and have contributions remitted by your employer(s) to meet the dollar bank eligibility requirements or your employer must remit the appropriate flat rate contribution if the CBA requires a flat rate rather than hourly payment.
- What do I need to do to get my dependents covered?
- Your dependents will be covered when you are. You must complete and submit an enrollment form listing your eligible dependents. You are required to provide documentation verifying your dependents’ eligibility and relationship to you, the subscriber. Acceptable forms of documentation include: marriage certificate, birth certificate, adoption decrees, legal guardianship orders, Qualified Medical Child Support Orders and/or parenting plans (if applicable).
- How do I add a spouse or child to my insurance coverage?
- Complete a new enrollment form to add new dependents. You are required to provide documentation verifying your dependents’ eligibility and relationship to you, the subscriber. Acceptable forms of documentation include: marriage certificate, birth certificate, adoption decrees, legal guardianship orders, Qualified Medical Child Support Orders and/or parenting plans (if applicable).
- How do I update my addresses or my dependents address?
- You may fill out a new enrollment form or submit the request in writing to the administration office to update addresses.
- Should my dependents have their own card with their name on it?
- No, dependents are on the data base but cards are not issued in their name, only the member's.
- How do I update my beneficiary for my Life insurance and Pension?
- You must fill out a new enrollment form to update beneficiary information.
- How do I update my hoist and shovel beneficiary?
- You must fill out a new hoist and shovel beneficiary form to update your beneficiary. You can contact the administration office for a form or download one from the website.
- How do I order a plan booklet (H&W and/or Pension)?
- You can either call or email the administration office for a booklet or they are available on the Trust website.