Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Pension
A year of Service is earned based on twelve (12) months of participation.
You may either call the Fund Office at 1-866-614-2105 or register on our secured website at (add link) and personally view your contributions along with all employer contributions made on your behalf. You may also check your annual benefit statement that is mailed from the Fund Office against your paystubs. Keep in mind any years prior to 2008 are computed on the Plan Year July 1 – June 30. All years after 2008 are computed on calendar years (January – December).
Please contact the Fund Office at your earliest convenience, 1-866-614-2105 Option 2.
Each Participant shall contribute to the Joint Council No. 53 Retirement Plan through weekly payroll deductions in the amount of 5% of their weekly gross pay.
A Participant is unable to make a loan or borrow from this Plan.
To be eligible for any type of Pension Benefit, you need to have earned at least three (3) years of Service.
The earliest age a participant can collect Pension benefits under the Joint Council No. 53 Benefit Program is age 55, provided, however, you are not working in Suspendible Employment more than 39 hours per month.
First step is to complete an initial application. You may access the initial application directly from this website under the Forms Gallery. You may also contact the Fund Office directly at 1-866-614-2105 Option 2 and request one be sent to you. After the Pension Office processes your initial application, we will then mail to you Option Election Forms for you and if applicable, your spouse to complete.
You must provide a copy of your birth certificate and a copy of your social security card. If you are married, we will also need a copy of your spouse’s birth certificate and a copy of their social security card along with a copy of your marriage certificate. If you are divorced, we will need a copy of the divorce decree along with any property settlement agreement that might be attached. If you are widowed, you will need a copy of your spouse’s death certificate.
Under Federal Law and under the provisions of the Pension Plan, a spouse is required to give consent to a participant’s election. Calculations of various benefit options must be made which require substantiation of the spouse’s date of birth. If the spouse is deceased or if the parties were divorced, substantiation of that fact is required under Federal Law.
Since the application process is a two-step process, you should apply for your benefits at least three (3) months in advance of your intended date of retirement.
AFor those members that are married, you will elect between a 50% Joint and Survivorship, a 75% Joint and Survivorship and a 100% Joint and Survivorship benefit. You will also have the option of choosing a Single Life Annuity with spousal consent. A Single Life Annuity is payable for the lifetime of the Participant only. Unmarried Participants may only elect the Single Life Annuity option.
No, an election becomes irrevocable upon the earlier of 90 days after you make your election or the commencement of your benefits.
In order to sign up for Direct Deposit, you simply need to access the Direct Deposit form on our website then complete the form for Direct Deposit and return it to our office. You may also contact the Fund Office and request a form be mailed to you at 856-382-2400 Option 1. Once we receive the properly completed form, we will process your request. Keep in mind that this process will take approximately one to two pay cycles depending on what time of the month we receive your request. In the meantime, your check will be mailed directly to your home.
Yes, the Fund will still need a way to get in touch with you for various reasons, especially for the mailing of your 1099R form for tax purposes. For security purposes, any changes of address must be sent in writing, signed by the member or accompanied by a Durable Power of Attorney.
Just complete the W-4P form located on our website in the Forms Gallery and return it to our office. You may change your taxes as many times as you like, changes just must be made in writing on the W-4P form.
Yes; provided you are not performing the type of work you were performing while earning service credits under the Fund’s Plan in excess of 100 hours per month. The 100-hour per month restriction does not apply with respect to any other employment – only the type of employment through which you earned credits under the Fund. If you plan to work after you begin to collect monthly benefits, you should check with he Fund office to insure that you are not in violation of the Fund’s Suspension of Benefits rules.
Those participants who have worked in covered employment after age 50, and have earned at least ten years of covered service under the Joint Council 53 Pension Benefit Program will be eligible for health and welfare coverage for life upon payment of a stated monthly premium. Coverage may commence upon retirement, but no earlier than age 55.
Yes. If the retired member is eligible, the spouse of that member is also eligible for life(upon continuing payment of the required monthly premium). If the retired member is married at the time coverage first commences, the spouse may continue the coverage for life even after the retired member’s death. However, should the retired member marry or remarry after coverage initially commences, coverage for the spouse of that retired member will end upon the earlier of (i) the death of the retired member or (ii) non-payment of the required monthly premium. However, such spouse may continue coverage under the Fund’s program after the member’s death for the COBRA continuation period of up to 36 months upon payment of the applicable COBRA premium.
For those eligible participants under the age 65 (or otherwise not covered by Medicare), medical coverage is provided through a Blue Cross PPO Program. For those age 65 and older, the Fund provides supplemental coverage to Medicare (that is, coverage of the Medicare deductible and 20% coinsurance obligations). In addition, prescription drug, dental and vision benefits are also provided for those both under age 65 and over age 65 participants. For more information, please refer to the summary Plan Description.