Annuity FAQs

Questions & Answers

When does a Participant Become Eligible for benefits from their Annuity?

1) Upon retirement; 2) if a participant becomes totally disabled (must submit a copy of their Social Security Disability Award Letter); 3) Upon termination of employment in the sheet metal industry (the participant’s employment is considered terminated if no contributions have been paid to the annuity fund on their behalf by a contributing employer for at least six consecutive months example:  A participant has no hours reported for the six month period of Jan 1st  through June 30th, since hours are reported in the month following the month worked, this participant would be considered terminated effective July 1st as of August 1st in order to be eligible to withdraw or rollout any portion up to the full amount of their account);  4) upon death of the participant.

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How can I find out my current Annuity account balance?

Your Annuity Plan with Fidelity Investments offers you easy access through NetBenefits 24 hours a day: or by phone by calling the Fidelity Retirement Services Center at 1-866-84UNION (1-866-848-6466).

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What withdrawal options are available to a participant from their annuity account?


- Full or Partial Withdrawal or Rollover

(if the participant has a current six (6) consecutive month break of zero hours reported by a contributing contractor on their behalf)

- General Purpose Loan

- Hardship Loan

- Hardship Withdrawal

- Age 59½ Or Older Withdrawal



- Full or Partial Withdrawal or Rollover

- SWP - Systematic Withdrawal Payments

- Elect to purchase a fixed or variable annuity 

  (with a 50% or 75% J&S options)

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What is the General Purpose Loan?

Effective January 1, 2020, the maximum General Purpose Loan amount was increased to $20,000.  Therefore, a participant may take out one General Purpose Loan (GPL) for a minimum amount of $1,000 to a maximum of $20,000 for any other reason not allowed under the Hardship Loan provision during any twelve (12) consecutive month period.  This loan amount shall not collectively exceed the lesser of:  (a) 50% of the vested balance in the participant’s account; or (b) $20,000.

A Participant must repay the general purpose loan and may elect to have monthly repayments for a maximum time period of five years or sixty (60) payments.  A participant may pay off the loan any time before the due date without penalty.  Repayment of the GPL starts within 35 days from the origination date of the loan.

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What is the Hardship Loan?

A Hardship Loan or loans from the Money Purchase Plan cannot collectively exceed 50% of the vested balance in the participant’s account; or $50,000, whichever is less.  Hardship loans require that a participant has an immediate and heavy financial need and the hardship loan is in an amount up to the amount of the need.  Proof of the reason is required for this type of loan.  Repayment provisions are the same as mentioned above for the GPL.  Specifically, the financial need must be due to any one or more of the (4) following reasons:

  1. Medical care expenses as described in Internal Revenue Code Section 213(d) (already incurred or necessary in the future) for the Participant or Participant’s spouse or the Participant’s dependent, as defined in Internal Revenue Code Section 152.  Medical Care expenses include expenses for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease, as well as for transportation primarily for and essential to this medical care.
  2. Tuition and related educational fees for the next 12 months for post-secondary education for the Participant or the Participant’s spouse, child or dependent.  Related educational fees include fees, books, equipment required for and courses of instruction and room and board.
  3. Down payment and other costs directly related to the purchase of the Participant’s primary residence (excluding mortgage payments).
  4. Payments to prevent the eviction of the Participant from the Participant’s principal residence or foreclosure on the mortgage of the Participant’s principal residence.

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What is a Hardship Withdrawal?

Hardship Withdrawals are only available to active participants that require an immediate and heavy financial need and the hardship withdrawal is in an amount up to the amount of the need.  Specifically, the financial need must be due to any one of the (4) reasons listed above under Hardship Loan (question #5 above) PLUS the following fifth (5th) reason below:             

  1. Payments for burial or funeral expenses for the participant’s deceased parent, spouse, children or dependents.

In addition, the gross amount of a hardship withdrawal must be a minimum of $2,000 and cannot exceed 50% of the Profit Sharing account and may include amounts necessary to pay any federal, state or local income tax or penalties reasonably anticipated to result from the distribution.

A participant also must be a participant in the Plan for a minimum of thirty-six (36) months; AND

Proof of the reason is also required for this type of distribution.

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What is the difference between the Money Purchase account balance and the Profit Sharing account balance?

The Money Purchase account balance is all employer contributions made prior to February 1, 2010 and the Profit Sharing account balance is all employer contributions made February 1, 2010 and thereafter.

  • Hardship Loans are only available from the participant’s Money Purchase account balance
  • General Purpose Loans are available from both the participant’s MP and PS accounts
  • Hardship Withdrawals are only available from the participant’s Profit Sharing Account balance
  • Age 59½​  or Older Withdrawals are available from only the Profit Sharing Account balance 

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How can a participant verify if they are eligible to take a withdrawal, Hardship Loan, General Purpose Loan or Hardship Withdrawal and what is required to apply for each benefit?

To determine if you are eligible to withdraw funds based on any of the allowed provisions, please contact the Fund Office @ 708.449.7373 to see what options you are eligible for, and how to apply for each.

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If I defaulted on a Hardship Loan or General Purpose Loan, am I eligible for a loan in the future?

Yes, Participants who have defaulted on a loan MAY be eligible for a new loan if the Participant has repaid the entire loan balance plus any accrued interest. 

Please contact the Fund Office if you believe you might qualify and are interested in taking a future loan from your Annuity account.

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Will my distribution be taxed?

Unless you have requested a Rollover to another qualified plan or to an IRA, the entire gross distribution from your MP or PS sources will be subject to a 20% mandatory withholding for Federal Income Tax.

In addition to being liable for income tax, for withdrawals taken prior to the age of 59½ , a participant may be subject to a 10% early withdrawal penalty under the Internal Revenue Code and may want to consult with a professional tax advisor prior to taking payment of benefits from their account.

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Am I eligible to take a withdrawal of my account upon reaching the age of 59½?

Yes, only active participants are eligible for age 59½ withdrawals from the funds in your Profit Sharing Source only. Funds under the Money Purchase source are not eligible. In addition, this type of distribution is allowed once every six (6) consecutive months.

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Can I stay in the SMW Local 73 Annuity Plan when I retire or change jobs?

Yes!  Many people think that once they retire or stop working for Local 73 employers, they must withdraw their SMW 73 Annuity Plan account.  This is not true!  You can stay invested in the Annuity Plan and continue to receive the following benefits:

  • Free retirement guidance
  • Continued tax-deferred savings
  • Ability to stay invested in plan-specific investment options that can have lower costs
  • Account support from Fidelity Representatives

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