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SERVICE
SERVICE: EARNING CREDIT FOR A PENSION (ARTICLE 4)

The years you have worked in Covered Employment determine your eligibility for a pension, and the amount of your pension benefit at retirement.

Covered Employment is work for an Employer who has agreed to make contributions to the Pension Fund on your behalf. In addition, each year of work for an Employer before contributions began can be considered Covered Employment. Hours in Covered Employment include all time for which you are entitled to pay from a Contributing Employer.

PAST SERVICE: PENSION CREDIT FOR SERVICE BEFORE CONTRIBUTIONS BEGAN (SECTION 4.02)

You earn Past Service Pension Credit for hours worked in Covered Employment before contributions began on your behalf. In order to qualify for Past Service Credit, you must have earned, from a Contributing Employer, an amount equal to the lesser of 25 percent of the Social Security base earnings or $5,000 in each of the two Calendar Years immediately prior to the Calendar Year of the Employer’s Contribution Date. If you qualify for Past Credit Service, for years before contributions were first made on your behalf, you are credited with one Pension Credit for each calendar year in which you worked in Covered Employment and earned an amount equal to the lesser of 25 percent of the Social Security base earnings in those years or $5,000. A maximum of twenty Past Service Pension Credits may be given.

The amount of your Past Service Credit will be verified by employment records and Social Security Administration records.

It is important to note that if your Local Union or an Employer for whom you have worked in Covered Employment terminates its participation in the Fund, the Trustees have the authority to cancel any Pension Credits you may have earned for employment before contributions began.

FUTURE SERVICE: PENSION CREDIT FOR SERVICE AFTER CONTRIBUTIONS BEGAN (SECTION 4.01(a))

You earn Future Service Pension Credit for hours worked in Covered Employment after contributions began. You will be given one Pension Credit for each calendar year in which you work at least 1,700 hours in Covered Employment. You will be credited with a partial Pension Credit if you work fewer than 1,700 hours, as shown in the following table:

Hours You Work in Covered Employment During a Calendar Year Pension Credit for the Calendar Year
1,700 or more 1.0
1,550 or more but fewer than 1,700 .9
1,400 or more but fewer than 1,550 .8
1,200 or more, but fewer than 1,400 .7
1,000 or more but fewer than 1,200 .6
950 or more but fewer than 1,000 .5
750 or more but fewer than 950 .4
550 or more but fewer than 750 .3
350 or more but fewer than 550 .2
Fewer than 350 None

You will not receive more than one year of Pension Credit in any one Calendar Year.

VESTING SERVICE AND BECOMING VESTED UNDER THE PLAN (SECTION 4.07)

Vesting Service is a special measure of time spent under Plan coverage that is used to determine your eligibility for a pension. You earn one year of Vesting Service for each calendar year (after contributions begin on your behalf) during which you work at least 950 Hours of Service in Covered Employment. Vesting Service is granted in full years only. There are no provisions for granting partial years of Vesting Service if you work fewer than 950 Hours of Service in a calendar year.

An Hour of Service is as any hour for which you are paid or entitled to payment for the performance or non-performance of duties during the calendar year, or for which back pay is awarded, or agreed to by an employer. This excludes any time you are paid under a workers’ compensation or unemployment compensation law, or a plan adopted to comply with a mandatory disability benefits law. It also excludes any hours of non-work time in excess of 501 hours in any one calendar year. Two periods of paid non-work time are considered continuous if the reason (e.g., disability) you are paid for both is the same and the periods are not separated by more than ninety days.

You are also entitled to Vesting Service for certain periods in which you are not working in covered employment. Periods of absence from Covered Employment will be credited as if they were periods of work in Covered Employment and at a rate of 35 hours a week for each week you receive a state Workers Compensation Benefit, up to a maximum of 1,700 hours lifetime.

Vesting Service and Pension Credit are related since they are usually earned at the same time. If contributions are required to be made to the Fund on your behalf, then you are accumulating both Vesting Service and Pension Credit for each hour reported. Since a year of Vesting Service requires only 950 hours in a calendar year, as opposed to 1,700 hours for a full Pension Credit, you may earn Vesting Service at a faster rate than you earn Pension Credits.

BECOMING VESTED UNDER THE PLAN (SECTION 3.05)

Once you are vested under the Plan you are entitled to a pension regardless of whether or not you continue to work in Covered Employment until retirement. If you complete more than one Hour of Service on or after January 1, 1996, you have the right to a Vested Pension at Normal Retirement Age if you have at least five years of Vesting Service with a Contributing Employer which have not been cancelled by a permanent Break in Service. You may also become vested under the Plan by earning ten Pension Credits, as long as three Pension Credits were earned after contributions began. For a description of the pension benefits to which you could be entitled if you achieve vested status and leave Covered Employment prior to reaching retirement age, please refer to the section entitled “Vested Pension” on page ____.

If you do not have more than one Hour of Service on or after January 1, 1996, you are vested once you have earned ten years of Vesting Service. Beginning January 1, 1989, Participants who are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement are required to have five years of Vesting Service to be vested under the Plan. You should contact the Fund Office if you have any questions.
CREDIT FOR TIME SPENT IN MILITARY SERVICE

Vesting Service and Pension Credits will be given for time spent in the Armed Forces, provided you leave Covered Employment for military service and make yourself available to return to Covered Employment within the time prescribed by law. Pension Credit and Vesting Service will be given only to the extent required by law.

CREDIT FOR LEAVE UNDER THE FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT OF 1993

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 entitles eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid job protected leave each year for the employee’s own illness, or to care for a seriously ill child, spouse or parent. In addition, the FMLA provides leave for the birth or placement of a child with the employee in the case of adoption or foster care. Employees eligible for leave under the FMLA are those who have been employed at least 12 months by the employer. An employee at a work site at which there are less than 50 employees is not eligible for FMLA leave unless the total number of employees within a 75 mile radius of the employee equals or is greater than 50.

Eligible employees are entitled to credit for vesting purposes under the pension plan while on leave. You will receive that amount of vesting credit necessary to insure that you do not sustain a Break in Service for the period during which you are on FMLA leave. If you have any questions about the FMLA, you should contact your employer or the nearest office of the Wage and Hour Division, listed in most telephone directories under the U.S. Government, Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration.

LOSING PENSION CREDITS AND YEARS OF VESTING SERVICE

Once you are vested under the Plan as previously described, you do not lose your Pension Credits or years of Vesting Service, regardless of the length of time you are away from Covered Employment. However, all Pension Credits, and Vesting Service will be temporarily or permanently lost if you separate from Covered Employment before you are vested. This happens when you have a Break in Service. The rules on Breaks in Service are as follows:

  • One-Year Break in Service (Section 4.06(a))

    You have one-year Break in Service if you do not complete at least 350 Hours of Service in any calendar year after 1975. You can repair the break if, before you have a Permanent Break in Service, you earn a year of Vesting Service, that is, earn 950 Hours of Service in a calendar year.


  • Permanent Break in Service after December 31, 1985 (Section 4.06(a))

    After 1985, if you have earned from one to five years of Vesting Service, you cannot have a Permanent Break in Service until the number of your consecutive one-year Breaks in Service equals five. If you have at least six but less than ten years of Vesting Service, you have a Permanent Break in Service when the number of your consecutive one-year Breaks in Service equals your previously earned years of Vesting Service.


  • Permanent Break in Service after December 31, 1975, but before January 1, 1986 (Section 4.06(a))

    You had a Permanent Break in Service if you were not vested and had consecutive one-year Breaks in Service, including at least one after 1975 but before 1986, that equaled your previously earned years of Vesting Service. For example, suppose you had earned three years of Vesting Service, then were inactive and had three consecutive one-year Breaks in Service. At that point, all of your previously earned Pension Credits and Vesting Service, as well as any hours in your Hour Bank would have been permanently canceled.


  • Permanent Break in Service (Past Service Credit) (Section 4.03(a))

    If your employment with a Contributing Employer during the period prior to the Contribution Date was interrupted by two consecutive Calendar Years in which you faild to earn an amount equal to the lesser of 25 percent of the Social Security base earnings or $5,000 in each of two consecutive years, you will have incurred a break in Past Service and all previously earned credit will not be credited.


  • Effect of a Permanent Break in Service (Section 4.07(b))

    If you are not vested under the Plan and have a Permanent Break in Service, your previous Pension Credits, and years of Vesting Service are permanently canceled.


  • Exceptions. There are certain exceptions to the Plan’s rules governing Breaks in Service. Even though you are not working in Covered Employment, you do not suffer a Permanent Break in Service based on periods for which:

    • you are engaged in service with the Armed Forces of the United States and return to Covered Employment within the time prescribed by law; (Section 4.06(c))


    • you are disabled to the extent that you cannot work and that fact is established to the satisfaction of the Trustees; (Section 4.06(b))


    • you are away from Covered Employment because of (1) your pregnancy, (2) the birth of you child, (3) the placement of a child with you in connection with adoption, or (4) the care for such child for a period beginning immediately after such birth or placement. You will be credited with a maximum of 501 Hours of service for parental leave to prevent a one-year Break in Service. (Section 4.06(e));


    • you are not working because you are on family or medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993; or


    • you are otherwise entitled to Pension Credit or Vesting Service under the Plan.
BREAKS IN CONTINUITY AND THEIR EFFECT ON CALCULATING BENEFITS (SECTION 6.06(c))

If you do not earn at least two-tenths of a Pension Credit during any period of two consecutive calendar years and Pension Credits are not forfeited because of a Permanent Break in Service as discussed earlier (see page ___), you may be subject to a Break in Continuity. If a Break in Continuity occurs, your pension benefit may be calculated using more than one benefit rate.

If you have a Break in Continuity, your Pension Credits earned before the Break in Continuity will be multiplied by the benefit rate in effect when you last earned Pension Credit before the Break in Continuity. Any Pension Credits earned after the Break in Continuity will be multiplied by the benefit rates in effect during the last Plan Year in which you earned at least two-tenths of a Pension Credit. (See example #2 on page ____.) The Plan has one exception to this rule. If you retire before the end of the Plan Year immediately following the last Plan Year in which you earned at least two-tenths of a Pension Credit, you will get the benefit rate in effect at the time of your retirement. If you retire at a later date (after the end of the Plan Year immediately following the year in which you last earned Pension Credit), you will receive the rate in effect when you last earned Pension Credit.

A Break in Continuity will not occur during any period that you are away from Covered Employment if:

  • you retire on a Disability Pension, but recover and return to work under the Plan within one year of recovery and earn at least one additional year of Vesting Service (Section 6.06(d)).


  • you are receiving workers compensation benefits, or are disabled. (You must supply evidence of disability to the satisfaction of the Trustees.) (Section 6.06(e)).


  • you spend time in the Armed Forces of the United States, but return to work following your discharge within the time prescribed by applicable federal law. (Section 6.06(f)).

For an example of the effect of a Break in Continuity on the calculation of a monthly pension benefit, see the section entitled “Regular Pension” on page ______.