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Eligibility, Credits, and Vesting

Individuals working for employers that are signatory to a Collective Bargaining Agreement with Local 478 are eligible to receive contributions to the Pension Fund; individuals who are performing work described in the Collective Bargaining Agreement are eligible to have such contributions paid on their behalf.

Prior to the Plan Year that began on October 1, 2001, Members earned Pension Credits in two-tenth increments, up to a maximum of one credit per Plan Year for 1,400 or more hours of work. After October 1, 2001, Members began earning Pension Credits in one-tenth increments of 140 hours each, up to a maximum of 1.2 credits for 1,680 hours.

Vesting

The Plan's vesting rules have changed over time, and whether you have achieved vested status depends upon whether you met the rule in effect when you were a participant under the Plan. Currently, Members become vested upon earning five pension credits or five years of vesting service (840 or more hours in a Plan Year).

Once you have become vested, benefits you have earned and continue to earn cannot be lost via a permanent break-in-service. This Plan employs two distinct types or breaks-in-service: Vesting Breaks and Pension Rate Breaks. Vesting Breaks are the more serious and involve two types: Temporary and Permanent.

Temporary Break
: If you have not yet become vested in your benefit and you complete less than 140 hours of service in a Plan Year (300 hours for periods prior to October 1, 2001), you will be deemed to have incurred a temporary break-in-service as of the last day of that Plan Year. At that point, you will cease to be a Plan Participant.

Permanent Break
: This occurs when the number of Plan Years in which you complete less than 140 hours of service (300 hours for periods prior to October 1, 2001) equals or exceeds the greater of six, or the number of years of vesting service you earned prior to your temporary break. At that point, you will be deemed to have incurred a permanent break-in-service, and you will permanently lose any pension credits or years of vesting service you accumulated before the break-in-service.

Pension rate breaks
If you are vested and then have two consecutive Plan Years in which you do not work 140 hours in Covered Employment, you will incur a pension rate break. The benefit rate applied to the pension credits earned prior to this break will be the benefit rate in effect when you last earned 0.1 credit (140 hours), or if the break is prior to October 1, 2001, 0.2 credit (300 hours). If you return to Covered Employment, you may have what is called a pension rate break, meaning that the pension rate applied to pension credits earned in your earlier employment will be different from the rate applied to credits earned during your later employment.
You will not have a pension rate break if:
  • You can demonstrate that you were actively seeking work in covered employment (including registering for work with the 478 Referral Office).
  • You worked at least one 8-hour day in covered employment in at least one half of the Plan Year in which you failed to earn less than the 0.1 or 0.2 pension credit. This applies only if you earn an additional five pension credits after your return to Covered Employment.