Your Retirement Application must be completed and returned to the Fund Office within 180 days from the date the application is issued, and no later than the end of the month before your desired pension effective date.
Because it can take time to process pension applications and issue payment of pension benefits, we encourage you to submit your Retirement Application 60 to 90 days before you want your pension to begin.
If the Fund Office does not have all of the documentation needed to process your Retirement Application, it will send you a request for the information. If you do not respond to the Fund’s request in a timely manner, your Retirement Application can be closed and you may be required to request a new Retirement Application and to restart the process with a later retirement date.
- Proof of your date of birth (copy of birth certificate from the bureau of vital statistics, copy of baptismal certificate if it contains a date of birth, passport or naturalization documents).
- Copy of a certified marriage license recorded by the county recorder and proof of date of birth of your spouse, if you are married.
- If filing for Disability Retirement, provide a copy of the Social Security Disability Award letter issued to you stating your date of entitlement to Social Security Disability Benefits. If you have not yet received your Disability Award Letter, you may submit your Retirement Application pending receipt of the Award Letter. (Note, if you are filing for an Early Retirement to be converted to a Disability Retirement, your Early Retirement will be converted to a Disability Retirement only if your date of entitlement to Social Security Benefits is no more than six months after your Early Retirement date. Please review your Summary Plan Description or contact the Fund Office for more information).
If filing for Surviving Spouse Benefits as the legal surviving spouse of a vested Participant, please complete the application as the “Applicant” and attach a copy of the following documents:
- Death certificate of the deceased Participant
- Proof of the date of birth of the deceased Participant
- Proof of your date of birth; and
- Certified marriage license recorded by the county recorder.
If you and your spouse were married for at least one year before your death, your spouse may receive a surviving spouse pension benefit called a Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity. The Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity will start on the later of the first of the month following your death, the first of the month following the date you would have become eligible for an Early Retirement benefit, or the date your spouse elects to start payment. Other Plan rules may also apply.
Processing time is generally eight to ten weeks, if the Fund Office has everything it needs to process your Retirement Application. Because it can take time to process pension applications and issue payment of pension benefits, we encourage you to submit your Retirement Application 60 to 90 days before you want your pension to begin.
For pension payments to begin, you must file a Retirement Application with your Union Local or the Fund Office, and you must terminate employment with your contributing employer, unless you have reached your required beginning date (the April 1st of the calendar year following the calendar year you reach age 70- 1/2 .)
The effective date of your pension, also called your Annuity Starting Date, is generally the first of the month following the later of:
- The date you actually terminate employment,
- The date your completed Retirement Application is filed with the Fund Office, or
- The date you elect to retire.
Your first payment should be sent six to eight weeks after your application is complete and you have completed your election choice form.
Yes, retirees and beneficiaries may have their pension payments directly deposited to their checking or savings accounts to avoid loss or delay in the mail. You can arrange for this when you apply for retirement or at any time after you retire. Generally, it takes two months to set up your electronic deposit. Your pension payment is then electronically transmitted the third month following the Fund Office’s receipt of your authorization form. Until then, your pension check is sent to your mailing address of record.
I was awarded part of my ex-spouse’s pension. Do I get the pension automatically or do I need to apply?
The Pension Fund will not pay a former spouse his/her share of a Participant’s pension unless the former spouse provides the Pension Fund with a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, otherwise known as a “QDRO,” and applies for a pension. A QDRO is a special type of order that grants a person, called an “alternate payee,” a right to a portion of his or her former spouse’s retirement benefit.
The terms of a QDRO will determine, among other things, how much you’re entitled to from your former spouse’s retirement benefit, how long payments will be made, and when you may begin receiving payments. The Pension Fund determines whether your divorce decree is a QDRO and, if it is not, you may have to return to court to obtain a QDRO.
You should send copies of any court documents that provide proof of your divorce to the Fund Office immediately. Plan representatives can verify whether the documents qualify as a QDRO, and whether you need to take further action.
No, unless the actuarial value of your pension benefit is $5,000 or less as of your date of retirement. If the value of your pension benefit is more than $5,000, you cannot receive a lump sum payment of your benefit. The Fund Office will determine whether you are eligible for a lump sum pension when processing your retirement and will automatically issue you a lump sum payment if eligible.
The Fund Office requires that every retiree complete a Pension Payment Verification form each year verifying that they are alive and receiving the benefits to which they are entitled. The Pension Plan states, in applicable part:
“Each Participant or any other claimant shall furnish to the Board any information or proof requested by it and reasonably required to administer the Plan. Failure on the part of any Participant or claimant to comply with such request completely and in good faith shall be sufficient grounds for denying, suspending or discontinuing benefits to such person. If a Participant or other claimant makes a false statement material to his claim, the Board shall recoup, offset or recover the amount of any payments made in reliance on such false statement in excess of the amount to which such Participant or other claimant was rightfully entitled under the provisions of this Plan.”
No. The benefits provided through the Pension Plan result from collective bargaining between contributing employers and Unions, and can only be changed by the collective bargaining parties. Your pension benefit is calculated at the benefit level in effect when you last worked in the industry and is based on your years of service.