You become a participant in the Plan either on the date you complete 1,000 hours of service with a contributing employer within 12 consecutive months after you have completed your first hour of service or, at the beginning of a fiscal year, (July 1 through June 30) when you first complete 1,000 hours of service.
Participation will continue unless your service credits are canceled by any of the following events, whichever first occurs:
• You incur a One-Year Break in Service before you become vested in the Plan.
• You should die prior to retirement and before you become vested in the Plan.
An hour of service is each hour you work in covered employment for which an Employer has agreed to contribute to the Plan under a collective bargaining agreement with the Union.
Yes. In the final months prior to your retirement, you probably will have many questions which can be addressed over the phone or through the mail. However, in a "face to face" environment, the Pension Fund has found, based on completing thousands of interviews, that this setting is extremely beneficial to both the member and spouse, if married. Many fears and myths can be alleviated in this simple one-time meeting. Virtual interviews can also be conducted. Please contact the Fund Office to discuss scheduling your interview.
The Pension Seminar is typically conducted on a two-year cycle. The next seminar date is scheduled for November 18, 2023.
No. The Metal Trades Branch Local 638 Pension Fund is a defined benefit plan in which you are a participant. Years of credited service earned in the Metal Trade Branch Local 638 Pension Fund cannot be transferred to another Pension Fund. In addition, under the Plan in effect, pension monies are nontransferable. Therefore, before you leave covered employment, we strongly suggest you contact the Pension Department to obtain your vesting status. Should you leave the industry before earning 5 years of credited service, your prior service will be cancelled after 5 consecutive one-year breaks in service.
A participant who continues to work in the trade must abide by the following rules regarding collecting a pension benefit at the same time:
A retiree under the age of 65, may not work in "disqualifying employment" in a shop within the geographic area covered by the Plan and/or if the shop was of the same craft or industry as the Metal Trades and collect a pension benefit.
However, a participant/pensioner over the age of 65, may not work in disqualifying employment in a shop within the geographic area covered by the Plan and/or if the shop was of the same craft or industry as the Metal Trades for 40 or more hours in any month and collect a pension benefit.
When your reach your Required Mandatory Date (April 1st following the year in which you turn 73, for 2023), there is no restriction on the number of hours a participant or pensioner may work while receiving a pension benefit from the Pension Fund.
Keep in mind, due to the provisions of the Secure Act 2.0, the RMD age is scheduled to increase periodically over the next several years. Please contact the Fund Office for more information.
Being divorced can affect your pension benefit. It is extremely important that ALL divorce papers be submitted to the Fund Office as soon as possible after your divorce has been finalized. You should review your stipulation of settlement to determine if your former spouse is entitled to a portion of your pension benefit. Usually, the portion allocated to your former spouse is a calculation involving your years of credit service and the number of marital years. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is required to divide your pension benefits. Please contact the Pension Fund for a model QDRO should you need one.
If you have been deemed disabled by the Social Security Administration you must contact the Pension Fund immediately upon receipt of your “Notice of Award”. Keep in mind, an award only affects vested members under the age of 65 with at least 10 Years of Credited Service. Once the Pension Fund has received a copy of the award letter, an estimate of pension benefits will be provided to you. At that time, you must make an appointment with the Pension Fund for a pension interview where a full explanation of options will be offered. In order for your Pension benefit to be fully retroactive you must apply within 90 days of the Mail Date listed on the Notice of Award.
If you are least 59 years old, you may contact the Pension Fund in writing requesting a pension estimate. Generally, an estimate of your pension benefits will be mailed to you within 5 to 10 days of receipt. It is important to remember that an estimate is an estimate and all calculations are subject to change prior to your actual retirement date based on certain factors such as age and mortality rates. In addition, the pension calculator on the member self-service account can be used to generate an estimate of your pension benefits immediately. You may also enter assumed earned rates of service to project what your pension benefit would be at a future date.
There are two types of service under the Plan. Years of Service Credit (“Past Service” or “Future Service”) are used to determine eligibility for a Normal, Early or Disability Pension, and the amount of your pension benefit. Years of Vesting Service are used to determine whether you are “Vested”, that is whether you have earned a non-forfeitable right to a pension benefit. Both Service Credit and Vesting Service are measured based on a Plan Year, which is the period from July 1 through June 30.
If you work 1,000 hours or more in covered employment within a Plan year, you will receive one year of service credit. If you work at least 900 but less than 1,000 hours, you will receive ½ year of service credit. Or, if you work at least 450 but less than 900 hours, you will receive ¼ year of service credit. You receive no service credit if you work less than 450 hours in a Plan year.
The benefit is based on factors such as the member's work history, years of service, and age at retirement. Once an employee retires, they receive a regular payment in the form of a fixed monthly income for the remainder of their life. The amount of the benefit is calculated using a formula specified in the plan. Please refer to “Benefit Formula” in the Interactive SPD or page 14 of the Printable SPD.