Frequently Asked Questions
Defined Contribution Retirement Fund
Q. How do I apply for a benefit?
A. The first step is to request an application from the Benefit Office. The application is also available on the website for your convenience. The application form will come with instructions and information about the type of documentation you will need to include with your completed application.
Q. What if I get divorced?
A. If you get divorced, please contact the Benefit Office to update your records. If you wish to change your beneficiary designation, the Fund Office can provide you the proper form. Please note: Your former spouse may have rights to all or part of your benefit even if you designate a new beneficiary. A court may issue a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) in connection with your divorce requiring the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan to pay part or all of your Defined Contribution Retirement Plan benefit to your former spouse for reasons such as spousal or child support or division of marital property. Please contact the Benefit Office for further information regarding QDRO requirements.
Q. What happens if my spouse remarries after I die? Will he/she lose the benefits from the Plan?
A. No. Payments to your surviving spouse will not be affected by remarriage.
Q. If I die, will my spouse or other beneficiary automatically be contacted about death benefits?
A. If you are actively employed when you die, the Benefit Office will contact your spouse or beneficiary. Otherwise, your spouse or beneficiary will need to notify the Benefit Office of your death to get the process started. You should alert your spouse or beneficiary to that need.
Q. What is the Valuation Date?
A. The value of your individual account is updated as of December 31st of each Plan Year. The value of your account includes:
a) Employer contributions made on your behalf
b) Investment earnings and/or losses
c) Distributions made from your individual account (if applicable); and
d) Administrative expenses
Investment earnings and/or losses as well as administrative expenses are distributed proportionately across all participants’ individual accounts.
Q. How much will I receive when I retire?
A. The amount of your benefit will be based on the balance of your individual account as of the last valuation date, plus or minus year-to-date rate of return as of the end of the quarter before your withdrawal, plus any employer contributions made to your account since the last valuation.
Q. May I borrow against my Defined Contribution Retirement Plan?
A. No. The Defined Contribution Retirement Plan does not permit loans or hardship withdrawals.
Q. How do I become eligible to withdraw money from my account?
A. You are eligible to withdraw funds from your account at retirement; or if you become totally and permanently disabled and are eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits.
Q. Can I roll over money to my account?
A. No. The Plan does not accept rollovers from other plans.
Q. Can I contribute to my account?
A. The Fund allows a participant to elect up to $10.00 per Hour of Service. If a participant is aged 50 or over by the end of a taxable year, a participant may elect to make special catch-up contributions up to $4 per Hour of Service. Election is available once a year and is valid for the upcoming year.
Q. When do I become vested?
A. You become 100% vested in your Employer account when you obtain 2 full vesting credits. You are 100% vested in your Elective account immediately.
Q. Do I need to do anything to enroll in the Plan?
A. No, you become a Participant automatically after you work one (1) hour in covered employment.
Q. What is the Plan Year?
A. The Plan Year is January 1st through December 31st.
Q. When can I start Participating in the Plan?
A. You must work at least one (1) hour in covered employment within a Plan Year.
Q. Who is eligible to become a Participant in the Plan?
A. You are eligible to participate in the Plan if you work for an employer that is required to make contributions to the Defined Contribution Retirement Plan for the work you perform. For most Participants, this means working in a position covered by a collective bargaining agreement between the employer and the union. If you are an owner/operator, you can participate provided you contribute 40 hours per month.