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Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the eligibility criterion to retire or to obtain my account balance?
- All participants are encouraged to get advice from a financial planner before withdrawing 401(k) funds. There are several ways a participant can become eligible to collect benefits from his/her 401(k) account.
- Normal Retirement Benefits: After reaching the age of 60 years, a participant is entitled to the full value of his/her account. The participant must retire from the service of all electrical industry employers.
- In-Service Withdrawal: Upon reaching age 59 1/2, a participant is entitled to withdrawal from his/her account. A participant does not need to be retired from service to elect this option.
- Rule of 85 Retirement Benefits: After reaching the age of 55 years with at least 30 years of industry service, a participant is entitled to payments from his/her account. The participant must retire from the service of all electrical industry employers. You must be at least age 55 and your age plus years of service must add up to 85 or more to choose this option.
- Benefits on Death: Upon the death of a participant, the full value of his/her account is assigned to the designated beneficiary on file with the Fund Office.
- Permanent and Total Disability Benefits: In the case of a permanent and total disability, the participant is entitled to the full value of his/her account. Permanent and total disability means a physical or mental condition for which the participant receives a Social Security disability award or which completely prevents the participant from performing duties as an employee and which will, on the basis of competent medical evidence, be permanent and continuous during the remainder of the participant's life. A permanent and total disability must be certified by the Board of Trustees, which may rely on medical advice it deems to be appropriate.
- Termination of Employment: You can also receive a distribution if you terminate employment.
- Hardship Distribution: A distribution may be made for up to 100% of your account value in the event of a qualified financial hardship.
- Please contact the Fund office to discuss your particular circumstances. Again, you are encouraged to seek financial planning advice before withdrawing funds from your account. This is YOUR 401(k) plan, and we want our participants to have the most secure future possible.
An Application for Benefits must be completed by the participant before any payment can be processed.
- How is my account balance valued?
- Plan assets are valued each day at the close of business for the financial markets. Accounts are adjusted for investment gains, losses, and administrative expenses.
- Are distributions from the 401(k) Plan taxable?
- All payments from your 401(k), except Direct Rollovers, are taxable income. When you file your taxes, you must report any 401(k) payments you receive. We will send you a Form 1099-R each January for payments you received the previous calendar year.
On your tax return, your gross 401(k) income is added to all other forms of income you receive, such as wages (you and your spouse) and unemployment benefits. We want you to be aware that any tax we withhold from your 401(k) payments may not completely cover your total tax liability. Also, most non-rollover payments to participants under age 59 are subject to an additional 10% tax penalty.
Also, you should be aware that your 401(k) withdrawals may be subject to state and local income taxes. We do not withhold any state or local taxes from your payments unless required by state law (i.e., state of Michigan).
- May I borrow money from the Plan?
- Yes, you may request a participant loan using an application provided by the Custodian (Mercer). Your ability to obtain a loan depends on several factors. The Custodian (Mercer) will determine whether you satisfy these factors. There are various rules and requirements that apply for a loan which are outlined in the Summary Plan Description.