Pension FAQ's Questions

Questions & Answers

What is a pension credit?

Pension credits determine the monthly amount of your pension benefit. In general, you earn one pension credit for each calendar year in which you work at least 1,200 hours in covered employment.

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What happens if I don’t work 1,200 hours in a calendar year?

You can still earn partial pension credits. For every 100 hours you work in a calendar year, you will earn 1/12 of a pension credit. For example, if you only work 600 hours in a calendar year, you still earn ½ of pension credit for that year. All of your pension credits (even those fractional ones) will be added together when you retire.

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What is a special service credit?

Special service credits are an additional credit amount you may receive when you work more than the hours needed to earn a full pension credit. You receive a special service credit amount of $5.50 for every 300 hours you work in excess of 1,200 hours in a year (up to 2,100 hours). The special service credit was introduced in calendar year 2000.

For example, suppose you work 1,800 hours in a calendar year. You receive a special service credit of $5.50 for every 300 hours you work past 1,200 in that calendar year. Because you worked an additional 600 hours, your two special service credits total $11.00 ($5.50 for 1,500 hours and $5.50 for 1,800 hours) for the calendar year. The $11.00 is added to the amount of your regular pension credit.

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Can I use my special service credits to be eligible for the Rule of 95 Pension or other types of pensions?

No. Special service credits are used to increase the amount of your pension, but they can’t be used to help you meet the eligibility requirement for a benefit.

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Can I get credit for non-work time?

There are several ways you can get pension credit for non-work time (for example certain periods of worker’s compensation time and short term disability time); however these credits are limited. For more information, please contact the Fund Office.

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What is the current benefit accrual rate?

Effective April 1, 2001, the benefit accrual rate per pension credit is $43.50. This accrual rate generally applies to you if leave covered employment on or after April 1, 2001.

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When Should I Apply for My Pension?

The Effective Date of your pension depends on how quickly you return the Pension Application and all other mandatory pension documents to the Fund Office. No pension benefits will be paid for any period prior to the first day of the month following the month in which you have submitted all of the appropriate documentation to the Fund Office. You must have all necessary supporting paperwork on file within 90 days after the pension application is received by the Fund Office. If you do not have all the necessary supporting paperwork on file within 90 days after the pension application is received by the Fund Office, then the application will be closed and you must re-apply for pension benefits and will be given a new Effective Date.

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What are the eligibility requirements for a Regular Pension?

You are eligible for a Regular Pension if you:

  • are 62 or older; and
  • have at least 10 pension credits.

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How is a Regular Pension calculated?

A Regular Pension is calculated by multiplying your total full pension credits (based on when you left covered employment) times the benefit accrual rate in effect when you left covered employment. See your Summary Plan Description for accrual rates. This amount may be reduced based on the form of payment you elect.

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How is an Early Retirement Pension calculated?

An Early Retirement Pension is calculated the same as a Regular Pension as if you were age 62. The amount is then reduced by ½% for each full month you are younger than age 62 on the date your pension payments will begin.

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What are the eligibility requirements for an Early Retirement Pension?

You are eligible for an Early Retirement Pension if you:

  • are age 55, but under age 62; and
  • have earned at least 10 pension credits.

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What is a "Rule of 95" Pension?

You are eligible for a "Rule of 95" Pension if:

  • you leave covered employment on or after April 1, 1997; and
  • the sum of your age and your pension credits equals 95 or more.

If you qualify for a "Rule of 95" Pension, then you can retire with a benefit that is NOT reduced based on age (Early Retirement Pensions are reduced). For example, if you started working at age 21 and you earned 37 pension credits by the time you were 58, then you can retire at age 58 without a reduction even though you are younger than age 62.

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What are the eligibility requirements for a Normal Retirement Age Pension?

You are eligible for a Normal Retirement Age Pension if you:

  • are not eligible for a Regular, Early Retirement, Disability or Deferred Pension; and
  • are a participant in the Plan after your normal retirement age.

In general, your normal retirement age is age 65 or the fifth anniversary of your participation in the Plan. If you do not have an hour of work after January 1, 1988, your normal retirement age is age 65 or the tenth anniversary of your participation in the Plan.

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What documents do I need to submit with my pension application?

You will need to provide proof of your age, proof of your spouse's age (if married), and your marriage license (if applicable). If you served in the military, please submit a copy of your discharge papers (DD214). A drivers’ license is not acceptable proof of age. For a list of acceptable proofs, please contact the Fund Office. If you have been married or divorced, please submit a full copy of your divorce decree and marital settlement agreement that includes language regarding your former spouse's right to, or waiver of, a portion of your pension benefit. Failure to do so may delay receipt of your pension benefit.

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I have direct deposit. If I move but my direct deposit information stays the same, do I still need to notify the Fund Office of my new address?

Yes, a current address needs to be on file with the Fund Office for mailing of benefit changes and announcement letters. The Fund Office is constantly sending important information and needs to know when your address changes.

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When can I file for a Disability Pension?

The Trustees are the full and final judges of Total and Permanent Disability and of entitlement to a Disability Pension under the Plan. In order to be eligible for a Disability Pension:

  • You must be totally and permanently disabled (as defined in the Summary Plan Description);
  • You must submit to an examination by a physician selected by the Board of Trustees;
  • You must have at least 10 Pension Credits, including at least four earned during the Contribution Period; and
  • You must be actively working as a sheet metal worker at work for which contributions are paid to this Fund. This means you must have earned at least one-half (1/2) Pension Credit in Covered Employment under this Fund within the 12 month period immediately preceding when you became totally and permanently disabled.

It is important that you file an application for a disability pension immediately. There will be no retroactive payments if you file to complete an application on a timely basis.

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When will I get my 2017 Pension Checks

2017 Pension Check Posting Dates

If you sign up for direct deposit, your check will be deposited on the first of every calendar month (unless the first is a weekend or holiday, in which case it will be deposited on the first business day of the month). 

The following is a schedule of pension check posting dates for 2017.  If you have any questions, please contact the Pension Fund at 1-708-449-7373, ext. 126.

 

PENSION CHECKS POSTING DATES FOR 2017

January 2017

January 3

February 2017

February 1

March 2017

March 1

April 2017

April 3

May 2017

May 1

June 2017

June 1

July 2017

July 3

August 2017

August 1

September 2017

September 1

October 2017

October 2

November 2017

November 1

December 2017

December 1

 

 

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