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Pension FAQ

 
Q: What if I go to work for a non-union employer doing work covered by our Collective Bargaining Agreement? Back to top
A:

Your Health Benefits will be terminated immediately and you will not be eligible for COBRA. You will be ineligible for SUB referral by the Local and Training classes and you will be prohibited from taking an Annuity Distribution. If you are receiving a pension, your Pension Benefit and any Retiree Health Benefits you may be receiving will be terminated. 

Q: What if I go to work in the geographical jurisdiction of another Operating Engineers Local? Back to top
A:

You should contact both our Referral Hall and Fund Office and those of the Local in which you intend to work to determine whether the other Local will reciprocate benefit contributions back to Local 478. Find out what forms the other Local will require. Please note that most other Locals do not have SUB, so you probably would not accrue any SUB from work performed in such instances, and some do not have an Annuity/401K Plan. Finally if you work in a jurisdiction where they utilize a stamp program, you should pay particular attention to their requirements for redeeming your stamps. 

Q: What if I am called to or discharged from Active Military duty? Back to top
A:

You must notify both the Referral Hall and Fund Office promptly regarding both. You may be eligible for special benefits through the Health, Pension, Annuity and SUB funds. 

Q: Under what circumstances may a Retired Member work in Covered Employment without jeopardizing his/her pension? Back to top
A:

Retired Members who choose to pay dues and join the Active Retiree Organization may be referred to work in Covered Employment. Retirees between the ages of 55 and 61 may work up to 160 hours every other calendar quarter; retirees between the ages of 62 and 70½ may work up to 59½ hours per month; and retirees over age 70½ may work unlimited hours. These rules were designed to reduce the likelihood that retired Members would gain eligibility for Active Member Health Benefits to minimize the problems associated with a Member's eligibility, and flipping back and forth between the Retiree and Active Health Plans. 

Q: When I retire, can I elect to pay dues as an Active Retiree? Back to top
A:

In addition to being eligible to work under the Retiree Work Rules, joining the Active Retiree Organization permits you to participle in all of their events. 

Q: What if I am an Active Member who is required to begin receiving Pension and Annuity benefits under the law that requires me to do so starting on the April 1 of the year following the calendar year in which I turned age 70½. Back to top
A:

Such Members are considered to be Active Members and may earn and receive Active Health benefits and SUB. Members who voluntarily retire prior to being required to begin receiving Pension and Annuity benefits may work unlimited hours upon attainment of age 70½, but such individuals are not eligible for SUB. 

Q: What happens if I incur an accidental injury, whether or not it is incurred in connection with employment? Back to top
A:

Contact the Fund Office immediately. The Health Fund must determine whether there is another party who is responsible for paying any claims related to the injury, via a third-party lawsuit or via a worker's compensation claim . Depending on the particular circumstances, the Health Fund may pay such claims pursuant to an agreement to reimburse the Fund for any bills it paid. If you have a work-related claim or you are deemed disabled, you may also be entitled to limited Pension credits. Also, you may be able to collect SUB benefits if you have been released for light duty. 

Q: What if I am injured or ill to the extent that I cannot work for an extended period of time? Back to top
A:

Contact the Fund Office immediately. You may qualify for the Health Fund's weekly disability benefit. You should be aware that Members cannot receive disability benefits and SUB at the same time as SUB requires that you are available and physically capable of accepting work in covered employment. In addition, you may be eligible for a limited amount of Pension credit. 

Q: What if I am declared disabled by the Social Security Administration? Back to top
A:

Contact the Fund Office immediately. You may qualify for a disability Pension and Retiree Health Benefits.