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Protecting Your Future / While you Build ours
Protecting Your Future / While you Build ours
Protecting Your Future / While you Build ours
Protecting Your Future / While you Build ourse
Protecting Your Future / While you Build ours
Protecting Your Future / While you Build ours

Pension Fund Homepage

Other Information

Application for Pension Benefits:

A completed application for pension benefits should be submitted to the Fund Office at least 30 days, but no more than 180 days, before the date you wish your benefits to begin. It is your obligation to contact the Fund Office and apply for your benefit well in advance of the date you want your payments to begin. No benefit will be paid until the Fund Office receives a duly executed, complete application for it. We urge you to come into the Fund Office for general information and an estimate of your benefits as early as possible before your planned retirement date.

Claims Procedure:

All claims for benefits under the Plan must be made in writing and directed to the Plan Administrator. You will receive a response to your claim within 90 days of the Plan’s receipt of it. If your claim for benefits is denied, the Plan Administrator will write you, stating the reasons for such denial, identifying the Plan provisions upon which the denial is based, and including a statement of any requirements which you must meet in order to have your claim approved. You may request a review of such a denial by writing to the Trustees no later than 60 days after you receive notice of the denial of your claim. As part of the review process, you may submit to the Trustees any information you feel is relevant, and you or your representative will be given reasonable opportunity to review relevant documents and submit written comments. The Trustees will make their decision at the first meeting which is at least 30 days after the Plan receives your request for review. Under special circumstances, the Trustees may have to defer their decision for one additional meeting, but you will be informed promptly if this is necessary in your case.

Anti-Alienation Rule:

You are not allowed to sign over or alienate your Plan benefits to any other person in any way. However, if the Plan receives a domestic relations court order which meets certain technical requirements prescribed by Federal law, it will be required to pay the person designated in the order the amount of your benefit specified by the court. If you know of a court order that may affect your Plan benefit, you should contact the Fund Office immediately so that all legal requirements can be met. Also, if the Plan receives a Federal tax levy on your account, it may be required to pay all or part of your benefit to the Internal Revenue Service pursuant to the levy.

Contributions to the Plan:

The total costs and expenses associated with the Plan are paid from the Steamfitters’ Industry Pension Fund. The contributions to the Steamfitters’ Industry Pension Fund are made in accordance with collective bargaining agreements between the Union and the Employers or other agreements with the Plan. Plan benefits are based on an actuarial evaluation of the benefits which can be provided by the agreed-upon contribution.

Funding Medium:

Plan assets are held in trust and invested by a corporate trustee and investment managers which are selected by the Trustees.

State Street is the Plan’s corporate trustee.

The Plan’s investment managers are Shields-Alliance, a Division of Alliance Capital Management L.P., StoneRidge Investment Partners LLC, The Union Labor Life Insurance, Company, Robert E. Torray & Co. Inc., Enhanced Investment Technologies, LLC (INTECH), Trevor Stewart Burton & Jacobsen Inc. and J. & W. Seligman & Co.

At present, the Plan buys the monthly benefits which become payable to each Employee Participant, except Disability Pensioners, under a group annuity contract with the Travelers Insurance Company.

Plan Termination Insurance:

Certain benefits to which you are entitled under the Plan are insured by the U.S. Government’s Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).

Generally, PBGC guarantees most vested normal retirement age benefits, early retirement benefits, and certain disability and survivor pensions. However, the PBGC does not guaranty all types of benefits under covered plans, and the amount of benefit protection is subject to significant limitations. (The amount of your pension that is guaranteed depends on your Years of Service and your monthly benefit under the Plan.) Also, a benefit increase may be fully guaranteed only after it has been in effect for 5 years. For more information on the PBGC insurance protection and its limitations, contact the Fund Office or the PBGC. Inquiries to the PBGC should be addressed to the Public Affairs Director, PBGC, 2020 K Street, N. W. Washington, D.C. 20006. The PBGC’s Office of Communications may also be reached by calling (202)326-4000.

Termination of Plan:

The Trustees intend to continue the Plan indefinitely but reserve the right to terminate it if necessary. If the Plan should be terminated, it will not affect your right to any Regular or Early Pension benefit already in pay status (i.e. already awarded).

If the Plan is terminated, you will be entitled to any benefit you have accrued to the extent then funded.

  • Plan assets will be allocated to benefit categories in a particular order. Beginning with the benefit category that has the first claim on Plan assets, payments will be made for: benefits for retirees or beneficiaries (for whom annuities have not been purchased from Travelers) that are or could be on the pension rolls at the beginning of the 3-year period ending with the Plan’s termination date at the lowest benefit level in effect during the 5 year period ending with the Plan’s termination date:
  • benefits generally guaranteed by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC);
  • benefits that are non-forfeitable (vested) under the Plan, but not guaranteed by the PBGC;
  • all other benefits under the Plan.

Assets will be allocated to the categories in the order indicated until assets run out.

Any remaining balance, after providing payments for the benefit categories listed above, will be applied in accordance with the Plan Provisions.

Certain benefits under the Plan are insured by the PBGC. You should review the section above for their coverage.

Miscellaneous Rules:

Under the law, the Plan cannot pay an annual life annuity benefit in excess of $135,000 (as adjusted each year for the cost of living) beginning when the Employee would be entitled to full Social Security benefits. If benefits are paid earlier, say in the case of an Early Pension, the $135,000 amount is actuarially adjusted. This limit refers to the total of monthly benefits paid; single sum benefit cannot exceed the actuarial equivalent of the maximum permissible life annuity. These limitations are very unlikely to affect any Plan participant, but if for any reason you would be affected, the Fund Office will contact you.

Also, if 60% of the Plan’s accumulated benefits were to be earned by a group of "key" employees (generally officers, shareholders and highly compensated employees of an Employer), the Plan would become subject to certain accelerated vesting and minimum benefit rules. It is highly unlikely that these rules could ever affect the Plan, but should this ever change, affected participants will be notified by the Fund Office.

Administration:

The Plan is operated and controlled by a Joint Board of Trustees, consisting of representatives of the Union and the Employers. The Trustees are responsible for interpreting the Plan, amending its provisions when they consider amendments appropriate, and establishing whatever rules regarding the Plan’s operation they may think are needed. They have full discretion in performing these and all their administrative and trustee functions.

The Trustees have appointed an Executive Administrator to be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Plan. It is the Executive Administrator who maintains Plan records, arranges for benefit payments to commence and assists each Plan participant in understanding the Plan. If you have any questions about the Plan, the Executive Administrator and the Fund Office staff will be glad to assist you.

This is your Pension Plan. You are encouraged to contact the Executive Administrator, or the Fund Office, with any questions you may have regarding benefits available to you and/or your beneficiaries.

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