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Pension Fund

Did you know?

Under what circumstances may a Retired Member work in Covered Employment without jeopardizing his/her pension?

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.

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.

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. 

General Information

Our Pension Plan is the foundation around which we build our other retirement programs, including the Annuity Fund, which provides supplemental retirement benefits, and the Retiree Health Benefit Program offered through our Health Benefits Plan. Local 478 Trustees work with Plan professionals to determine the level of benefits based on current and projected employer contributions, and the investment returns earned on those contributions.

You will receive monthly retirement income based on the number of credits you have earned multiplied by an accrual rate, which is currently $90.00. Assuming no other adjustments, a Member with 20 credits, retiring at age 62 with Five-Year Certain and Life form of benefit, would earn a monthly pension benefit of $1,800. Effective 10.1.2024 the accrual rate will increase to $94.00, subject to specific plan rules.

Members like to compare the benefits available under our Plan with those offered through other trades. We have increased our Plan's accrual rate over the past few years to make it comparable to other trades. However, our rate trailed other trades by a wide margin for many years because we do not have the high incidence of forfeiture “ and resulting extra money in our pool “ that other trades experience when members leave before becoming vested. Operating Engineers invest a great deal of effort into learning the skills they need and are far more likely to remain in the trade for their entire careers.

Other considerations, including the age and demographics of a trade's work force, and employment patterns, make it even more difficult to make comparisons with other trades.