The Iron Workers' Locals No. 15 and 424 Pension Plan has been a valuable source of retirement financial security for career union iron workers since it was established in July of 1956.
The discussion of various features of the Pension Plan in these pages is only a brief general description of some of the current Plan’s more important provisions. Please refer to the Summary Plan Description, SMMs and the Plan Document for more detailed descriptions of the Pension Plan. We want to stress here that different Plan rules could apply to you, because the rules in effect when you last worked in Covered Employment are generally the rules that apply to you.
When will my pension be effective?
If you are eligible to receive benefits under this Plan, have filed a properly completed Application for Benefits, and have provided the Fund Office with all of the required documentation, you will be entitled upon retirement to receive a pension from the Plan. Pensions are usually effective as soon as practicable after an Application for Benefits is filed with the Fund Office and approved by the Trustees. However, under the law, benefit payments may not actually begin until seven to 30 days after a properly completed Application for Benefits has been received by the Fund Office.
Payments under a Disability Pension will normally begin on the first day of the seventh month of disability, if an Application for Benefits has been properly filed and approved by the Trustees before that date.
Also, all retirement benefits from the Pension Fund must begin by the April 1 following the calendar year in which you attain age 70-½ under complex rules of the Internal Revenue Code. You should apply with the Fund Office before then to avoid possible penalty taxes.
When do I become eligible to participate in the Plan?
You will become a Participant in the Pension Plan on the earliest January 1 or July 1 following completion of 960 Hours of Service for a Contributing Employer during a 12-consecutive-month period of Covered Employment.
If you are married (and Vested), your Spouse is automatically your beneficiary unless you elect someone else in writing and your Spouse consents to that election.
If you are not married, you may name anyone as your beneficiary.
Note: If you are unmarried, properly name a beneficiary under this Plan (for example, a parent or child) and then get married, the law states that your new Spouse will automatically be your beneficiary and any prior beneficiary designation(s) will no longer be valid. You and your new Spouse would need to properly complete a new Plan beneficiary designation form to change this result.
To name a beneficiary, you should request a Beneficiary Card from the Fund Office, fill it in completely, and return it to the Fund Office prior to your death. Please know that the Fund will not accept any designation of Beneficiary Card filed after your death.
If you have not named a beneficiary or if your Card is incomplete or inaccurate, your beneficiary will be your Spouse or, if you have no Spouse, your estate.
The benefit amount payable to you under the Plan will depend on whether you are married at the time you retire and, if you are married, which form of payment you and your Spouse choose.
If you are married on the date you retire, the default option is the 50% Joint and Survivor Payments. If you wish to elect another option, your Spouse must consent to your election in writing, and the consent must be witnessed by a notary public. The consent must also acknowledge the dollars and cents effect of this election.
If you are not married on the date you retire, the default option is the unadjusted Ten Years Certain and Life Payments.
Note: To be eligible for benefits as a surviving Spouse under any of the Plan’s Joint and Survivor options, your surviving Spouse must be the Spouse to whom you were married when your retirement benefits initially started to you under Plan rules.
Also, if the total present value of your pension is $5,000 or less, that value will be paid to you in a lump sum without requiring your consent or the consent of your Spouse, if any. This is rare, but it can occur in certain “Pro-Rata” Pension situations for those who work in multiple jurisdictions.
What kinds of benefits are available under the Pension Plan?
The following types of pensions are available under the Plan:
You receive a monthly amount for as long as you live, with the guarantee that if you die before receiving ten years of payments (120 monthly payments), the remaining number of the 120 monthly payments will continue to be paid to your designated beneficiary.
Payments under this option are made to you on a monthly basis for the rest of your life and, upon your death, one-half of that monthly amount is paid to your surviving Spouse for the rest of his or her life.
A 50% Joint and Survivor Payment does not provide a guarantee of payments for 10 years. Instead, it calls for benefits to be paid over two lifetimes (yours and your Spouse's if he or she survives you). Because payments are spread over those two lifetimes, the amount of the monthly benefit is adjusted from the amount computed for Ten Years Certain and Life Payments. The amount of the adjustment depends on your age, and your Spouse's age, at the time of your retirement.
As with the 50% Joint and Survivor Payment option, payments are made to you on a monthly basis for your life and, upon your death, 67%, 75% or 100% (depending on the option you elect) of that monthly amount is paid to your surviving Spouse for the rest of his or her life.
A 67%, 75% or 100% Joint and Survivor Payment does not provide a guarantee of payments for 10 years. Instead, it calls for benefits to be paid over two lifetimes (yours and your Spouse's). Because payments are spread over those two lifetimes, the amount of the monthly benefit is adjusted from the amount computed for Ten Years Certain and Life Payments. The amount of the adjustment depends on your age and your Spouse's age at the time of retirement, as well as the percent option you elect.
Note: The discussion on the various forms of Pensions below assumes you are Vested under Plan rules.
You may retire on a Normal Pension on the first day of any month after you have reached Normal Retirement Age. You must also properly file an Application for Benefits with the Trustees. You reach Normal Retirement Age when you reach age 65 or on the 5th anniversary of the date on which you became a Participant, whichever occurs later.
The monthly amount of a Normal Pension depends on the number of Pension Credits you have earned (including fractions), the Benefit Rates associated with those Credits, and the benefit payment form you (and your Spouse, if any) elect. Generally, for those who retire on or after July 1, 2000, the monthly amount of a Normal Pension is determined on the basis that benefits are paid in Ten Years Certain and Life Payment form, as follows:
- $75 multiplied by each Pension Credit earned for service through June 30, 1987
- $80 multiplied by each Pension Credit earned for service on and after July 1, 1987.
Be aware that the amount of your Normal Pension will be different if your benefits are payable under one of the Plan’s Joint and Survivor Payment forms instead of the Ten Years Certain and Life Payment form.
A Pro-Rata Pension is a form of a reciprocal pension. You are eligible for a Pro-Rata Pension if your Pension Credits actually earned under this Plan combined with those earned under a Related Plan would total enough credits to qualify you for a pension benefit if all work had been in Covered Employment.
You are eligible for a Vested Pension if you are Vested, and do not qualify for any other monthly pension benefits. A Vested Pension is payable to you: (1) when you reach Normal Retirement Age (Normal Pension); (2) when you reach age 55 and have at least 10 Pension Credits (Early Retirement Pension); and (3) on the first day of any month after you have at least 30 Pension Credits (Service Pension).
The amount of a Vested Pension is calculated in the same way as a Normal Pension, Early Retirement Pension, or Service Pension depending on your age and number of Pension Credits when you elect to retire.
There are two types of pensions available to Disabled Participants—a Total Disability Pension and an Occupational Disability Pension. You may retire on one of these types of Disability Pensions if you are found to be disabled by the Board of Trustees and meet the following conditions:
- You have at least 15 Pension Credits, and
- You have earned at least 1/l0th of a Pension Credit for work in Covered Employment in one of the two Plan Years before the Plan Year in which you become disabled, and
- Your disability: (i) has existed continuously for a period of six months before the date the Trustees consider your application for a Disability Pension, and (ii) began while you were in Covered Employment or within 30 days after you left Covered Employment, and
- Your disability is not, either directly or indirectly, a result of (i) military service, (ii) engaging in a felonious criminal act, (iii) an intentionally self-inflicted injury, (iv) injuries sustained while legally intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance not prescribed by a physician, (v) declared or undeclared war or any enemy action, or (vi) injuries suffered in Non-Covered Employment.
The basic difference between these two types of Disability Pensions is the degree of your disability. For an Occupational Disability Pension, you must present acceptable evidence that you are totally unable to work as an iron worker in Covered Employment (or comparable work) due to a physical or mental impairment which is expected to be of long-continued and indefinite duration. For a Total Disability Pension, you must be prevented for life from engaging in any gainful employment as evidenced by a current, and valid, Social Security Disability Award.
The Trustees will decide if you are "disabled" based on the information you submit. You must initially supply acceptable proof of your disability to the Trustees. Additionally, you must supply proof of your continuing disability once every six months if required by the Trustees. No disability payments will be made from the Pension Fund in the event that the Trustees determine that you are no longer disabled.
The amount of a Total Disability Pension is calculated in the same way as a Normal Pension.
If you qualify for an Occupational Disability Pension, the amount of that pension is reduced from the amount calculated for a Total Disability Pension/Normal Pension. The reduction is one-fourth of one percent (0.25%) for each full month between your 65th birthday and your Occupational Disability Pension retirement date, if that date is after you have attained age 55. If your Occupational Disability Pension retirement date is before you have attained age 55, the amount is further reduced by one-half of one percent (.5%) for each month between your 55th birthday and your Occupational Disability Pension retirement date. The maximum overall reduction for an Occupational Disability Pension is fifty percent (50%).
You may retire on an Early Retirement Pension on the first day of any month after you have reached age 55 and have at least 10 Pension Credits.
The amount of an Early Retirement Pension is reduced from the amount of a Normal Pension because you are younger when your monthly payments begin.
In order to find out the amount of an Early Retirement Pension, you first calculate the amount of the Normal Pension you would receive as if you were age 65. This amount is then reduced by approximately 0.58333% (which translates to 7% on an annual basis) for each full month between your 65th birthday and the date you start your Early Retirement Pension.
You may retire on a Service Pension on the first day of any month after you have at least 30 Pension Credits. All work counted towards eligibility for a Service Pension must be in Covered Employment in the jurisdictions of Local 15 and/or Local 424. The amount of a Service Pension is calculated in the same way as a Normal Pension.
How do I apply for benefits?
An Application for Benefits must be filed before any benefits can be paid from the Plan. The first step in obtaining benefits is to request, in writing or by phone, an Application for Benefits from the Fund Office. You should complete all questions on the Application, sign it and return it to the Fund Office at least one month before you wish payments to start. You must send proof of your date of birth with your Application and, if you are applying for 50% Joint and Survivor Benefit, proof of your Spouse's date of birth and evidence of your marriage.
If you are applying for an Occupational Disability Pension, you must submit a "Physician's Statement of Disability" form along with your completed Application. An Application for a Total Disability Pension must also include a current and valid Social Security Disability Award. The Trustees reserve the right to require an applicant for a Disability Pension to undergo an independent examination by a physician selected by the Fund. The Fund will pay for the cost of the examination. The purpose of this examination is to determine and verify the nature and extent of your disability.
In order to receive death benefits, your beneficiary will normally be required to file an Application for Benefits on a form that the Fund Office will provide on request. Your beneficiary must also submit a copy of the death certificate. To assure that payments begin as soon as possible, your beneficiary should promptly obtain an Application from the Fund Office. If your estate is your beneficiary, additional documentation may be required before any death benefits can be paid.
If your Application for Benefits is denied by the Trustees, in whole or in part, you will be informed, in writing, of the reasons why you are not eligible and what, if anything, you can do to become eligible. If you believe you are eligible for payment, or you question the determination of the amount of your payment, you may ask the Trustees for a review of your claim, and you may review pertinent documents at the Fund Office. See your SPD for more information about the Plan’s Claims and Appeals procedures.
Does the Plan offer death benefits?
Yes, it does. If you die before you retire, the Plan may provide a pre-retirement death benefit payable to your beneficiary. The benefit depends on whether you are Vested on the day you die and whether or not you are married at the time of your death.
If you die after you retire, the Plan may provide for post-retirement death benefits. The benefits depend on the form of retirement pension you were receiving when you died. For example, if you were receiving 50% Joint and Survivor Payments and pass away, your surviving Spouse will receive one-half of the monthly amount you were receiving for his or her life. If you retired and chose, with the consent of your Spouse, 67% Joint and Survivor Payments, and you passed away, your surviving Spouse will receive 67% of the amount you were receiving for his or her lifetime (see the note under How will benefits be paid at retirement? for important information on who qualifies as a surviving Spouse). If you retired on Ten Years Certain and Life Payments, and had not received 120 monthly payments, your beneficiary will receive the balance of the 120 monthly payments. If you had received 120 or more monthly payments, no further benefits would be payable.
Related Forms & Documents