What You Need to Know
As a member, you have a defined benefit pension plan. For every hour you work in covered employment, your employer contributes to the Pension Plan, which results in pension credits that affect your retirement benefit. The pension is a defined benefit because the monthly amount you’ll receive when you retire is fixed—which helps to ensure your financial security and stability. You may also be eligible to receive some of your benefit as a lump sum.
You’re eligible to participate in the Pension Plan if:
- You work under a collective bargaining agreement requiring your employer to make contributions to the Fund; or
- You are an employee of the Union or the Funds, and your employer has signed a participation agreement with the Pension Plan.
How the Pension Plan Works
For every year you are credited with at least 1,000 hours in covered employment for a contributing employer, you earn one year of vesting service and one full pension credit. The number of pension credits you have determines the size of your pension benefit when you retire.
You’re vested in the pension when you have five years of vesting service. Once vested, you have a non-forfeitable right to a pension under the Plan.
Breaks in Service
You must work at least 501 hours of service per plan year to keep your vesting service and pension credits. If you do not work 501 hours in a plan year, you’ll incur a one-year break in service. You’ll regain your vesting service and pension credits once you work 1,000 hours in a plan year.
Generally, you can lose your vesting service and pension credits permanently when both of the following apply:
- You have five consecutive one-year breaks in service.
- You’re not vested in the Plan.
In some circumstances, you may be able to repair a permanent break in service.
Types of Pensions