Applying For Pension Benefits

All benefits must be applied for under the Plan.  This rule applies to participants, surviving spouses, and beneficiaries.  It is important that all information requested be given as accurately as possible.  Any payments made in error to anyone will be owed to the Plan and must be repaid.

39. When should I submit an application for my pension?

Normally, your application should be filed three to six months in advance of the date you wish to have your pension start.  This will enable the Trustees to process your application and be ready to pay benefits promptly on the first day of the month that you wish.  You may file an application while you are still working.

40.  How do I submit an application for my pension?

You should contact the Fund Office for an application form.  The Fund Manager and staff will help you start the application process.

41. Will proof of age be required?

Yes.  The same rule applies to a spouse under the married couple form.

You need not wait until your Pension Date to submit evidence of your date of birth; the earlier you submit evidence, the better.

42. If I forget to apply when I am eligible, will my pension payments be retroactive?

In general, the answer to the question is “no”.  However, if you have satisfied all of the requirements for a Normal Pension but have not applied for it, when you do, under certain circumstances, there may be an adjustment in the amount of your benefit to account for the postponement.

Remember that one of the requirements that must be satisfied in order to be eligible for a Normal Pension is that you stop working at the covered trade in the area.

If you apply for a Disability Pension within 6 months from the date you first receive the notice of Social Security Disability Award, your benefit will be paid retroactive to the same date as your Social Security Disability benefit.

Furthermore, if you apply for a Disability Pension later than 6 months from the date of the notice of the Social Security Disability Award, such Disability Retirement date shall be no earlier than 12 months prior to the date of application.

43. Must I apply for my pension as soon as I am eligible?

No.  You may postpone the start of your pension but you cannot postpone the effective date of your pension beyond the April 1st after the calendar year in which you reach age 70-1/2.  After this time, you must receive your pension even if you are still working in Covered Employment.

When you do apply, the amount of your postponed benefit will be adjusted to the extent required by law.

44. What are the consequences if I lie on my application, or if I submit false information or proof?

If you, your surviving spouse, and/or your beneficiary intentionally make a false statement material to an application, or submit fraudulent information or proof, then any benefits under the Plan may be denied, suspended, or discontinued.  The Plan will also have the right to recover any payments wrongfully made in reliance on the false or fraudulent statement, information, or proof.

45. Can I choose what kind of pension I am to receive?

Yes.  In the following sections of this booklet, several different forms of payment and types of pension are described.  Many of the choices carry specific service and age requirements, which may limit your options.  Please read the remainder of this booklet to gain a better understanding of what forms of payment and types of pension are available to you.

46. Can I choose to provide a benefit for my spouse?

Yes.  In fact, the “standard form” of pension benefit for a married participant is the married couple form (the “standard form” of pension means the form that will automatically be used unless you elect otherwise).  This means that if you are eligible, you and your spouse will participate in your pension.  The Fund Office can give you the details as they apply to your own situation.

For more on providing a benefit for your spouse, please refer to the section of this booklet titled Surviving Spouse’s Pensions.