You are expected to retire from the Sprinkler Industry in order to receive a pension from the Plan.

Working in other industries, regardless of the number of hours or how much you earn, will not affect your pension benefits unless you continue to work in employment for which contributions are made to the NASI Pension Fund.

If you are under 65 years or age, you may not work in any job at all in the sprinkler, plumbing, or pipefitting industry. You may not work as an employee or be self-employed in union or non-union employment in these industries. (Section 6.08(a))

If you are past your 65th birthday, you may not perform any work in the United States of the type that is covered by this Plan. You may not work as an employee or be self-employed in union or non-union employment as a residential sprinkler fitter or in a pipe fabrication shop for more than 39 hours in a month for which you receive a pension. Work for under 40 hours a month is permitted. (Please note, however, that benefits under the NAS Metal Trades Welfare Fund will be suspended for any hours of such work. The NAS Metal Trades Welfare Plan rules should be consulted for a full description of this rule.) The rule also applies to employees who do not retire, but continue to work past age 65. (Section 6.08(b))

“Disqualifying Employment” is defined in the Pension Plan as work:

  • In an industry covered by the Plan when you became a pensioner; and

  • In the trade or craft in which you were employed and covered by the Plan at any time; and

  • In the geographic area covered by the Plan when you became a pensioner

If you are retired, are under 65 years of age, and begin working in a job that is considered Disqualifying Employment, your pension benefit will be suspended for each month you work, plus an additional five months. If you do not notify the Fund Office within twenty-one days of the date you begin disqualifying work, your pension will be suspended for an additional six months, making a total of 11 additional months.

If you are retired, are 65 years of age or older, and begin working in a job that is considered Disqualifying Employment, your pension benefit will be suspended for each month in which you work forty hours or more. The twenty-one day notice requirement still applies.

As a retiree, you may be asked to periodically sign a statement affirming that you are not working in Disqualifying Employment, or to provide the Fund Office with a complete copy of your Federal Income Tax Return. The Fund will, of course, receive work information if you return to work covered by this Plan. If there is evidence from any source that you are engaged in Disqualifying Employment, or if you refuse to provide the Fund with requested information, the Trustees may suspend you pension. Any errors made in this regard will be corrected as soon as you provide satisfactory information about your actual employment.

If your pension is suspended for months for which you have already received a payment, the amount you owe the Fund will be deducted from your pension when it starts again until the debt is paid in full. However, after you have reached Normal Retirement Age, no more than 25% of your pension check will be deducted (except for the first check following suspension, which may be offset entirely by deductions).

If you return to Covered Employment and earn any additional years of Vesting Service, you will be entitled, upon your return to retirement, to a recalculation of your pension amount, based on any additional earned Pension Credits and your age when benefits resume. Any reduction for an Early Retirement made when you first retired will be adjusted for months during which your benefit was suspended, and/or for which you have already received benefits.

If you stop working in Disqualifying Employment and want to retire again, you must notify the Fund Office, in writing, of the date you last worked in such employment. Your first check upon resumption of benefits will contain the full monthly amount owed to you, less any amounts owed to the Fund, as previously described.

If you receive a notification of suspension that you believe is in error, you may make a written request that the Trustees review the suspension. Your request must be made within 180 days after you are notified of the suspension. You may request the Trustee to consider in advance whether employment you are planning will result in the suspension of your benefit. Such a request must be in writing.

Suspension of benefit rules are subject to Department of Labor Regulation § 2530.203-3 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 29.