Annuity FAQ's Questions

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?

Non-RetireeFull or partial withdrawal or rollover (if the participant has a six (6) consecutive month break of zero hours reported by a contributing contractor on their behalf)

  • General Purpose Loan
  • Hardship Loan
  • Hardship Withdrawal

Retiree: 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?

A participant may take out one General Purpose Loan (GPL) 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) $10,000.

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 GPL .

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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. 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Down payment and other costs directly related to the purchase of the Participant’s primary residence (excluding mortgage payments).
  • 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 #4 above) PLUS the following fifth (5th) reason below:

5. 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

A participant must have obtained all other currently available distributions and nontaxable loans under the Plan.

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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

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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?

They should contact the Fund Office @ 708.449.7373 ext 2 to see what benefits they 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?

NO, if you default on a loan, you will be ineligible for any future loans, but you could be eligible for a Hardship Withdrawal.

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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 59 ½ , 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 59 ½?

You can only take a distribution if you meet the requirements mentioned in question #1 above. If you DO meet the eligibility requirements, you would still be subject to the 20% mandatory withholding of Federal Income tax, unless your distribution is in the form of a rollover.

When in doubt on any of the rules, please feel free to call the Fund Office and ask Karen at 708.449.2127 (direct dial).

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