Pension Fund Questions and Answers

Pension Fund Questions and Answers

How do I enroll in the Pension Fund?

You need to complete an enrollment form. Mail the completed form to:

1199 New England Health Care Employees Pension Fund
77 Huyshope Avenue, 2nd Floor
Hartford, CT 06106-7001

What is a covered job class?

Any position listed in your Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), Recognition section (usually listed in Article 1 or the Preface of the CBA).

Who makes contributions to the pension plan?

Contributions are paid entirely by your Employer on your behalf on a monthly basis based on overall employee payroll. Your Union dues do NOT go toward your pension, nor are any deductions taken from your paychecks for pension contributions. Your employer is required to contribute on your behalf when you work the required number of hours in a month as outlined in your CBA.

How do I become vested?

You earn one year of vesting service if you work 1,000 or more hours in a calendar year. You need 5 vesting credits plus at least one (1) additional employer contribution to be 100% vested in the Plan.

Please refer to the Summary Plan Description (SPD) for additional ways to fully vest in the plan.

Do I need to name a beneficiary?

If you are married your spouse is automatically your beneficiary.

If you are single, you do not automatically have a beneficiary for your pension. When you apply for your pension benefit you can elect an option to name a beneficiary.

What if I die before I retire?

  • If you are married; your spouse is automatically entitled to a 50% Joint & Survivor (J&S) benefit (unless you have chosen a different option with the written consent of your spouse).
  • Under the J&S benefit, if you die after age 55 your spouse can collect immediately or delay to when you would have reached age 65.
  • Under the J&S benefit, if you die before age 55 the earliest your spouse can begin collecting a benefit is when you would have reached age 55. Your spouse will receive these payments for life.

What happens if I transfer to or from a bargaining position to a non-bargaining position?

  • If you are vested in the Plan before you transfer, you are entitled to your vested benefit at retirement.
  • If you are not vested in the Plan before you transfer, you may still be entitled to (1) vesting credit if you work at least 1,000 hours in that calendar year.
  • You will not receive any benefit credits while in a non-bargaining position.
  • You may not collect your pension while in a non-bargaining position with a contributing employer.

Are loans or hardship withdrawals allowed?

No, there are no provisions for loans or withdrawals.

Can I take a lump sum distribution?

No, the pension benefit is only payable as a monthly benefit.

When can I retire?

If you are 100% vested, you can:

  • Early retire any time after age 55. If you early retire your pension is subject to a 6% reduction per year (i.e.: 60% reduction at age 55; 30% reduction at age 60; 6% reduction at age 64)
  • Normal retirement age is 65 with no reduction.

What is an Unreduced Early Retirement?

You must complete 10 years of credited future service and must work in a covered job class for the 10 years immediately preceding your Early Retirement Date and

You must also meet one of the following requirements:

  • You are age 55 and the sum of your age and years of credited service, vesting service, or combination of both equals at least 90
  • You are age 62 and have completed 25 years of credited service, vesting service or any combination of the two

Is my pension benefit taxable?

Yes, your pension benefit is considered a taxable source of income. You will receive tax forms to complete when you apply for your benefit.

Can pension benefits or eligibility criteria change?

Yes, in accordance with applicable federal law, the Pension Fund Trustees are allowed, and under certain circumstances are required, to make changes to benefits and qualifying criteria in their capacity as fiduciaries to the Pension Fund. If you are potentially effected by any changes adopted by the Trustees, you will receive notice of any benefit reductions prior to the implementation of these changes by the Pension Fund.

Please note the purpose of this Q and A is to provide informal guidance only and that all elements  of the Pension Fund are controlled by the terms of the Fund Plan Document and SPD

Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

77 Huyshope Avenue, 2nd Floor Hartford, CT 06106

Where can I get additional information about the Pension Plan?

Please visit our website and click the Pension Fund link. Under Pension Fund Forms click on the Pension Fund Summary Plan

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