Health Benefits FAQs
Here is a list of frequently asked questions by benefit type. If your question is not addressed here,
you can contact the Fund Office at (800) 848-2129 or (860) 571-9191.
Your Fund requires a completed, signed Census Enrollment form to
be on file (available online) as well as a copy of your birth certificate, your spouse’s
birth certificate and marriage license if applicable, Certificates of “Live” Birth for any
dependent children as well as any information concerning other Health Care coverage for
yourself or any member of your family.
Your Health Benefits with your Fund begin the 1st of the 2nd month
after you have accumulated 390 hours (example: 390 hours are accumulated by April, paid by
the contractor in May, your benefits will begin June 1st). When this requirement is
satisfied you will be entitled to Medical, Prescription, Vision, Dental, Hearing, Life &
Disability Benefits. A letter noting your eligibility will arrive within a few days of the
1st and your Bank of Hours will cover you for a minimum of 3 months.
Yes, any hours that you work in a month over 130 will go towards
your bank of hours. You can accumulate a maximum bank of 780 hours, which is the equivalent
of 6 months of coverage.
You are eligible for benefits In and Out-of-Network through your
Fund. We encourage you to seek care In-Network (providers within the Anthem BCBS network) as
it is more cost effective to you and the Fund:
In Network charges:
- $20 (charges under $2,000)
- $150 Emergency Room ($200 if not coded as an emergency)
- $200 (charges over $2,000)
- $500 In-Patient Hospital
- *There is a $1,500 annual out of pocket maximum in-network
Out of Network Charges:
- $200 individual Deductible
- 80% of Allowable paid by Fund
- 20% participant responsibility
- *No out of pocket maximum
Referrals are not required by this Plan. However, certification is
required for any In-Patient Hospital stay through HealthLink 1-877-284-0102 and any
In-Patient Mental Health/Substance Abuse benefits need to be pre-certified through Lower
Hudson Valley EAP 1-800-372-2799 – Always contact the Health Fund Office directly with any
questions or concerns – we are happy to help!
Annuity Benefits FAQs
No. The Plan does not accept Participant contributions.
Although the Trustees will make every effort to collect
contributions due from delinquent employers, they cannot credit your Account unless
contributions are received. You should keep track of your hours worked and notify the Fund
Administrative Office if you think contributions are due on your behalf.
You will receive a statement of your Account each calendar
quarter. In addition, you may call John Hancock at 1-833-388-6466 to receive a daily
your Account over the telephone.
You can access your account information on the world wide web
simply by logging on to John Hancock Investments’ website
. It will request
your social security number and personal identification number (PIN) to review your account
balances, Fund performance, make transfers between accounts, and/or change allocations.
You should complete a Beneficiary Designation Form when you become
a Participant in the Plan. If you are married, your Beneficiary is your Spouse, unless your
Spouse waives her rights to your Account. If you are not married, and you have not
designated a Beneficiary, then payments are made to your next of kin according to the terms
of the Plan.
You need to contact the Fund Administrative Office to receive an
Application for Benefits. You should file your Application with the Fund Administrative
Office at least 30 days, but no more than 90 days before you want a distribution.
It generally takes a minimum of 30 business days to receive a
distribution. If you are electing an annuity form of payment, this process may take a little
No. Interest and earnings on your Account are only reported when
you receive a distribution.
Although all distributions from the Fund are subject to income
taxes, Federal regulations require the Fund to withhold 20% from lump sum and installment
In most instances you can roll a distribution from your Account to
an IRA. However, some distributions are not eligible for rollover treatment. These are: age
72 minimum required distributions, hardship withdrawals, payments made in the form of
No. You must satisfy the distribution provisions of the Plan for
retirement, early retirement, disability, or termination of employment to receive a
distribution, which can then be generally rolled-over to an IRA.
No. The Plan does not allow loans to Participants, and your
Account balance in the Annuity Fund cannot be attached or assigned by creditors or used as
collateral. Only in a divorce can your spouse attach your annuity Account (see QDRO
provisions), and in certain situations, the IRS can also levy your Account.
The Internal Revenue Service provides tax qualification for the
Annuity Fund when certain conditions and restrictions are met by the Fund. The benefit to
you of continued tax qualification is that contributions and earnings made to your Account
are not included in your annual gross income and are not subject to income tax until you
receive a distribution. In return for this benefit, the IRS limits access to your Account
essentially to retirement, termination of employment, disability or death. Certain
distributions prior to age 59 1 /2 are not only subject to income tax, but an additional 10%
penalty for an early distribution, unless the balance is rolled over to another qualified
plan or IRA.
Unlike a defined benefit pension plan, the Annuity Fund is not
insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, or any other insurance. The Board of
Trustees maintains fiduciary liability insurance and bonding coverage to protect the assets
of the Fund from a fraudulent loss.
The actual operating expenses of the Fund (administration,
accounting, etc.) are allocated to each Participant based on a flat quarterly fee, plus any
investment management fees associated with the investment funds. These expenses vary between
investment options. These are described more fully in the investment prospectus given to you
when you became a Participant. You can also obtain copies of the prospectus at any time by
contacting John Hancock Investments or the Fund Administrative Office.
As of the printing of this booklet, a quarterly fee of $40 is
deducted from each Account for John Hancock and Fund Administrative Office expenses.
- Toll free telephone service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-833-388-6466.
- Access to John Hancock representatives who can provide personal assistance from 8:00
a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time, any business day.
- Daily updating of your Account
- Eighteen (18) Fund investment choices
- Comprehensive quarterly account statements mailed to your home
The current available investment funds are:
- T Rowe Price Small Cap Stk I
- The Growth Fund of America R6
- Touchstone Mid Cap Inst
- American Balanced Fund R6
- Dodge & Cox Stock Fund
- Vanguard 500 Index Fd Admiral
- Vanguard Real Estate Index Adm
- IMCO Real Return Instl
- PIMCO Total Return Instl
- PIMCO Real Return Instl
- Dodge & Cox Intl Stock Fund
- Stable Value Option LO6103
- Manning & Napier Target 2020
- Manning & Napier Target 2030
- Manning & Napier Target 2040
- Manning & Napier Target 2050
- Manning & Napier Target 2060
- Manning & Napier Target Inc
Unlike FDIC-insured bank products, mutual funds have the potential to obtain higher
growth rates because they invest in securities that will fluctuate in value. Mutual
funds are not insured or guaranteed and may involve loss of principal. For more information about
these funds, please read each fund’s prospectus or offering statement before you make
your investment selections.
If you do not indicate how you would like your money invested,
pursuant to the Plan, it will automatically be invested in the Manning & Napier Target based
on your estimated date of retirement which is calculated based on your date of birth. This
is an already mixed portfolio and they will become your default funds.
Yes, you will receive account statements approximately 10 business
days after the end of each calendar quarter.
Pension Benefits FAQs
All contributions to the Pension Fund are made by Contributing
Employers in accordance with their Collective Bargaining Agreements with U.A. Local 777.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a
federal law which regulates, among other things, employee pension plans. It became effective
with respect to this Plan on April 1, 1976.
The Plan is administered by a Board of Trustees consisting of an
equal number of Local Union and Employer representatives, in accordance with the Agreement
and Declaration of Trust.
Plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters, including apprentices or
permit employees, who work under the terms of a Collective Bargaining Agreement with U.A.
Local 777 in Connecticut for whom contributions are made to the Pension Fund.
No. The benefits payable under this Plan are in addition to
benefits paid under Social Security.
No. Benefits cannot be sold, assigned or pledged as a security for
a loan or for any other purpose. Furthermore, they are not subject to attachment or
execution under any judgment decree of a court or otherwise, except for a Qualified Domestic
Relations Order, which is explained in Section 16, and certain IRS actions.
Yes. Copies of the Trust Agreement, Plan document and amendments,
Summary Annual Reports, Collective Bargaining Agreements and a full annual report are
available for inspection at the Fund Office during regular business hours. Upon request,
these documents will be furnished by mail upon payment of reasonable photocopy charges. You
should, therefore, call ahead and find out what the charge will be before writing and asking
for copies of these documents.
Generally, benefits become effective the first of the month
following thirty (30) days or a one (1) month period to process your application from the
date it is received at the Fund Office, unless you elect a later date. However, the latest
your pension benefit can start is the April 1st after the calendar year in which you reach
age 70 1 /2.
You should receive each year a statement of your work history
reflecting your accumulated pension benefits and Vesting Service. If you wish to obtain an
estimate of your accrued pension benefits, a written request should be sent to the Fund
Office, which will prepare an estimate of your current accrued benefit.
The Trustees may forward any benefits due you to your legal
guardian, committee or legal representative based on the proper submission of documentation
that such individual has proper authority over your affairs. While you are still competent,
you can also execute a court recognized Power of Attorney, naming a person you wish to
handle your affairs to act on your behalf.
If you do not receive your pension check by the tenth (10 th )
business day of the month, you should contact the Fund Office so that the Fund Office can
advise you of the required information to commence the process for the issuance of a
You may change your beneficiary after you retire if you have
elected to receive payment of your pension in the form of a Ten-Year Certain and Life
Benefit. You may obtain a Designation of Beneficiary Card from the Fund Office. If you were
married at the time benefit payments commenced, your spouse’s notarized consent to the
change in beneficiary is required by law.
Only with the consent of the Board of Trustees can you designate
more than one (1) person as beneficiary. You will be required to indicate whether any
benefits which may become payable should be paid in equal shares to several individuals
(co-beneficiaries) or in a certain order (contingent beneficiaries). You must indicate
whether the beneficiaries are co-beneficiaries or contingent beneficiaries, and if
contingent beneficiaries, the order of succession. However, if you are married, your
spouse’s consent will be required.
You become entitled to a Vested Pension if you have become vested
prior to leaving Covered Employment. If you were working in Covered Employment and
participating in the Plan on or after January 1, 1999, you are vested after five (5) years
of Vesting Service. Different rules apply prior to January 1, 1999, when the Plan required
ten (10) Pension Credits or years of Vesting Service to become vested. Refer to Section 5
for more details. You are also eligible for a Vested Pension when you reach Normal
You may retire on a Disability Pension upon filing an Application
for Benefits with the Board of Trustees, provided: * you have accrued at least (1) Pension Credit
for a Total and Permanent Disability Pension; and * you worked in Covered Employment (work
for which contributions are paid to the Fund) and earned at least one-twelfth of a Pension
Credit (100 hours) in the calendar year immediately preceding the calendar year in which you
became disabled; and * the Board of Trustees deems you to be totally and permanently
disabled or occupationally disabled. If you apply for a Disability Pension, you may be
required to submit to an examination by a competent physician or physicians selected by the
Board of Trustees and may be required to submit to reexamination as deemed necessary by the
Trustees, in order to make a determination concerning your physician or mental condition.
Generally, you are considered Totally and Permanently Disabled if
you are entitled to or are receiving Social Security Disability Benefits and you are
completely prevented from engaging in any further gainful employment whatsoever.
This is a special test used to determine your vested status. You
are credited with one Year of Vesting Service for each calendar year in which you worked in
Covered Employment or are credited with hours for periods of disability (refer to Section 3)
for 1,000 hours or more, or for each Pension Credit you earn (maximum one per year).
Yes, through a Break-in-Service. If you fail to earn at least 1/12
of a Pension Credit (100 hours) in any calendar year before earning at least five (5) Years
of Vesting Service or (5) Pension Credits, you will incur a Temporary Break-in-Service and
all of your Pension Credits and Years of Vesting Service accumulated prior to the break may
be canceled. However, a Temporary Break-in-Service may be repaired by a timely return to
Covered Employment and the accumulation of a sufficient amount of subsequent service. In any
case, you cannot lose Pension Credit once you are vested.
Yes. If a Participant, after incurring a Temporary
Break-in-Service, returns to work in Covered Employment and in a calendar year earns one (1)
year of Vesting Service (1,000 Hours of Service in a calendar year) before the number of
calendar years of his Temporary Breaks-in-Service equals or exceeds the total number of
years of Vesting Service or Pension Credits, whichever is greater, immediately prior to the
Temporary Break-in-Service, he will repair the Temporary Break-in-Service. An example begins
on page 4–1.
There are two pre-retirement death benefits: (1) If you do not
have a qualified surviving spouse or dependent child(ren), a Lump Sum Death Benefit equal to
$1,000 multiplied by the number of full Pension Credits earned, subject to a maximum of 25
Pension Credits, or $25,000, is payable to your named beneficiary, provided you have earned
at least one twelfth ( 1 /12) of a Pension Credit (100 hours) in one (1) of the three (3)
calendar years including the year of your death, regardless of your Vested Status; or (2) If
you die after earning at least five (5) Pension Credits and before actual receipt of any
retirement benefits and you leave a surviving spouse or dependant child, a monthly death
benefit equal to the monthly pension you would have received if you had retired the first
day of the month of your death will be paid upon filing an Application for Benefits. A
further description is provided in Section 7 of this booklet.
Yes. It is most important for you to keep in mind that generally,
once you retire on a pension from this Fund, you must cease being employed or working as a
plumber, pipefitter or steamfitter in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and/or Rhode
Island. A further explanation is described in Section 11.
Your monthly benefits will be suspended until you stop working and
your pension benefit may be suspended for an additional period of time. Different rules
apply depending on your age. Refer to Section 11 for more details.