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HOW YOU EARN A PENSION 

You earn a pension by completing the required number of Years of Vesting Service and earning Pension and Bonus Credits. The monthly pension benefit you receive at retirement is based on the number of Pension and Bonus Credits you have earned.

 

Vesting Service
Vesting

After you earn five Years of Vesting Service, without incurring a permanent Break in Service, you are vested.  That means that you have earned the right to a person that cannot taken away.

You must have a certain amount of Vesting Service to earn the right to a pension at retirement. You earn one Year of Vesting Service for each Plan Year (June 1 to May 31) you work at least 870 hours.

Generally, you are vested if you have earned at least five Years of Vesting Service and you worked one or more hours for an employer required to make contributions to the Plan on your behalf after June 1, 1998.

However, if you work for a contributing employer in work not covered by this Plan and such employment is contiguous with your employment with that Employer in Covered Employment (i.e., not separated by quit, discharge or other termination of employment between periods), your hours of employment in such non-covered work will be counted toward earning Vesting Service.

In addition, if you were hired after January 1, 2002 subsequent to working for an employer in the building construction trades that made contributions on your behalf to another union sponsored employee benefit plan, you will be credited with Vesting Service under this Plan for your time with the other plan. If Vesting Service is granted for this building trades employment, you will be required to have at least 10 Years of Vesting Service and 5 or more Pension Credits to be eligible for an unreduced Regular Pension (see Regular Pension). If you have fewer than 5 Pension Credits, benefits will not be payable until you reach age 65.

Beginning January 1, 2007, you receive credit for Years of Vesting Service for work you perform as a material tester for an employer before working for a contributing employer under the Plan.

Once you earn at least five Pension Credits with this Plan, you will be eligible for benefits as described in this booklet. However, if you leave Covered Employment with less than five Pension Credits, but more than five Years of Vesting Service (between this Plan and your prior plan), benefits will not be payable until age 65.

If you incur any temporary Breaks in Service of one or more years before you are vested, you must return to Covered Employment after the Break in Service and reestablish participation by working at least 870 hours in Covered Employment before you can become vested.

If you worked in reciprocal service and are entitled to credit for Vesting Service, your actual number of hours you worked in reciprocal service will be combined with your hours you worked for contributing employers under this Plan in determining whether you met the 870-hour requirement to be credited with a Year of Vesting Service.

Once you are vested, you have a right to a pension when you retire at your Normal Retirement Age or, depending on your work history, you may be eligible to begin receiving a pension at an earlier age. Please contact the Pension Department of the Fund Office if you would like more information.

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Pension and Bonus Credits

The amount of your monthly pension benefit is based on the number of Pension and Bonus Credits you have earned at the time you retire from Covered Employment. You earn Pension and Bonus Credits by working a certain number of hours during the Plan Year for employers that are required to make contributions to the Pension Plan on your behalf.

Here is how you earn Pension and Bonus Credits:

Plan Year

June 1 - May 31

Hours Worked in a Plan Year

Pension Credits Earned for that Plan Year

Less than 250 hours

No Pension Credit

250 – 499 hours

¼ Pension Credit

500 – 749 hours

½ Pension Credit

750 – 999 hours

¾ Pension Credit

1,000–1,499 hours

1 Pension Credit

Bonus Credits for Hours Worked after June 1, 1986

1,500 – 1,899 hours

¼ Bonus Credit (1¼ Total Credits)

1,900 hours or more

½ Bonus Credit (1½ Total Credits)

Bonus Credits are granted in a Plan Year after June 1, 1986. Bonus Credits for working 1,500 hours or more will not be counted toward your Vesting Service or eligibility for a pension. However, they will be used in calculating the amount of your pension.

There is no limit to the number of Pension and Bonus Credits that you can earn during the time you work in Covered Employment. When you retire, your monthly pension benefit will be calculated using all of the Pension and Bonus Credits you have earned.

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Pension Credits Earned Before the Pension Plan Started

You may also earn Pension Credit, but not Bonus Credit, for periods before the Plan started. You must have been working in Covered Employment in jobs that would have been covered if the Pension Fund had existed at that time. You may submit wage and tax statements and/or the Fund Office can obtain Social Security records to verify whether you were working in Covered Employment.

It may be difficult to verify the number of hours you worked in Covered Employment during that period. In that case, absent proof to the contrary, for the period before the Pension Plan started, the Plan will credit you with one Pension Credit for each full year of your membership in the Union during which you worked at least 250 hours in Covered Employment.

 

Pension and Bonus Credits Earned During Disability

You may also receive Pension and Bonus Credits, as well as Vesting Service, for periods in which you do not work due to either an occupational or a non-occupational disability. You may be credited with 40 hours for each week that you are absent from Covered Employment because of a disability, up to a maximum of 26 weeks per disability.

The total disability may be either occupational or non-occupational. You must be receiving Weekly Income Benefits from the Chicago Laborers’ Welfare Plan to be eligible for this credit. You will also be credited with hours of work for each week of the waiting period for the Weekly Income Benefits.

 

Pension and Bonus Credits Earned During Military Service

You are also entitled to Pension and Bonus Credits when you are absent from work because you are serving in the Uniformed Services of the United States in accordance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act of 1994. See Return to work after military service for conditions under which this will apply.

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