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PENSION BASICS – A BRIEF SUMMARY 

Covered Employment

Work for an employer that is required to make contributions to the plan under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.

This section gives you an overview of your pension benefits and how you earn a pension under the terms of the Plan. See the sections that follow this summary for more about Plan benefits. 

 

Becoming a Participant

You become a participant in the Plan on the first June 1 or December 1 following a 12-consecutive month period in which you work at least 870 hours in Covered Employment.

 

Earning Vesting Service
Years of Vesting Service

Generally, you earn one Year of Vesting Service for each Plan Year during which you work at least 870 hours for an employer that participates in the Plan and contributes on your behalf.

Vesting Service determines your right to a benefit from the Plan. You earn one Year of Vesting Service for each Plan Year (June 1 to May 31) that you work at least 870 hours in Covered Employment.  Generally, you are vested if you have earned at least five Years of Vesting Service and you worked one or more hours after June 1, 1998 for an employer required to make contributions to the Plan on your behalf.  However, if you incur a temporary Break in Service of one or more years before you are vested, you must return to Covered Employment after that Break in Service and reestablish participation in the Plan by working at least 870 hours in Covered Employment before you can become vested.

 

Earning Pension Credits

Pension Credits determine the amount of your pension benefit from the Plan. You earn Pension Credits based on the number of hours you work in Covered Employment each Plan Year.  You earn one Pension Credit if you work at least 1,000 hours in a Plan Year. You may also earn a partial Pension Credit if you work less than 1,000 hours in a Plan Year (see How you earn a pension / Pension and Bonus Credits).

 

Earning Bonus Credits

Bonus Credits are added to your Pension Credits to determine the amount of your Plan benefit. You earn ¼ Bonus Credit if you work 1,500 to 1,899 hours in a Plan Year after June 1, 1986, and you earn ½ Bonus Credit if you work 1,900 or more hours in a Plan Year after June 1, 1986. Bonus Credits for working over 1,499 hours will not be counted toward your Vesting Service or your eligibility for a pension. However, they will be counted in calculating the amount of your pension.

 

Past Pension and Bonus Credits

Past Pension and Bonus Credits are those that you earned since you:

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When You Can Retire

Generally, once you have earned at least 10 Years of Vesting Service or 10 Pension Credits, you may retire as early as age 50. However, your pension benefits may be reduced for each year you retire before age 55.

If you have been credited with Years of Vesting Service due to work for which no contributions were made to this Plan, to be eligible for a Regular, Early, or Deferred Pension based on Years of Vesting Service, you may need at least 10 Years of Vesting Service and five or more Pension Credits (see How you earn a pension)
 
Types of Pensions

The types of pensions provided by the Plan include:

Please note that not everyone is eligible for a Regular Pension at age 55 and an Early Pension at age 50.  If you do not meet the work requirement of earning at least ½ Pension Credit between June 1, 1997 and May 31, 1999, or you did not work at least 1,000 hours in Covered Employment in two consecutive Plan Years between June 1, 1999 and May 31, 2004, then your Regular Pension will be payable at age 56 and your Early Pension will be payable at age 51.
IMPORTANT!
The eligibility rules for a Disability Pension benefit are different depending on whether you started working as a Laborer before June 1, 2008.  If you were hired on or after June 1, 2008, you need at least 10 Years of Vesting Service or at least 10 Pension Credits to qualify.  If you were hired on or before May 31, 2008, you need at least 5 Years of Vesting Service or at least 5 Pension Credits to qualify. 

 

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Benefit Amounts

Your pension benefits are based on the total number of Pension and Bonus Credits you have earned up to the time you retire and the Benefit Accrual Rate in effect when you earned those Credits. However, if you meet certain requirements, the Benefit Accrual Rate associated with your Past Pension and Bonus Credits may be increased to the current rate (see Appendix). Effective June 1, 2008, the Benefit Accrual Rate for Pension and Bonus Credits is $107.

If you retire on an Early Pension, your benefit is reduced based on your age. In addition, if you elect to receive your pension in any form other than the Single Life Pension, your benefit is reduced.

60-Payment Guarantee

No matter what payment form you choose for your pension, the Plan guarantees 60 monthly payments will be made.  This means that once you begin receiving a pension, a minimum of 60 monthly payments will be made (see How Benefits Are Paid / 60-Payment Guarantee). 

 

Payment Options 

The Plan offers the following payment options:

The 100% Husband-and-Wife Pension is the normal form of payment for married participants.

Qualified Spouse

The person to whom you have been married for at least one year. 

If you are not married when you retire, your pension benefits will be paid as a Single Life Pension, unless you elect another payment option.

If you are married when you retire, your pension benefits will automatically be paid as a 100% Husband-and-Wife Pension, unless you and your spouse reject this form of payment in writing and elect another payment option.

 

Survivor Benefit Before Your Retirement

Your surviving spouse or beneficiary may be entitled to benefits if you have earned a pension before your death. You do not need to be actively at work at the time of your death for your spouse, minor children, or beneficiary to be eligible for survivor benefits. Survivor benefits available include the:

For your information on surviving benefits, see In The Event of Death.

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