Receiving Your Pension
Since your pension payments will be a substantial part of your retirement income, the details regarding the actual payment are explained in the following.
47. How often will I receive my pension payments?
Pension payments are made monthly at the beginning of the month for the month then starting.
48. For how long will I receive my pension payments?
Normal, Unreduced Early and Early Pension payments are payable as long as you live. If you have at least 15 years of Credited Service then 120 payments are guaranteed. Disability Pension payments are also payable as long as you live with a portion of the benefit guaranteed for 120 payments, except if you stop being disabled (in accordance with the terms of what disability means under the Plan), the last Disability Pension payment will be the payment due for the month in which you recover.
49. Can my pension payments ever be reduced, suspended, or forfeited?
In rare instances your payments may be reduced, suspended, or forfeited. However, this can only be done in accordance with Federal law.
50. What happens to my retirement benefits if I am divorced?
If, pursuant to a Court Order, your spouse, child or other dependent is awarded all or a portion of your pension benefits under the Plan, and such Court Order meets the requirements to be a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), your pension benefits must be paid in accordance with the Court Order. You should understand that the Trustees are required by law to pay benefits as required by a QDRO.
The person claiming entitlement to your pension benefits must furnish the Trustees with a certified copy of the Court Order, which will be reviewed by the Trustees and Plan Counsel to determine if it meets all requirements to be a QDRO. Once the Trustees receive a certified copy of a QDRO, you will be notified of their receipt and a copy of the provisions of the Plan relating to QDROs will be provided to you. If there is a dispute as to whether the Order is a QDRO then any amounts which are payable before the dispute is resolved will be held as a segregated portion of the general account until a final determination is made.
51. May I transfer a distribution from this Plan directly into another qualified retirement plan or to an Individual Retirement Account?
Most distributions from this Plan may not be transferred, however, all or part of certain distributions may be transferred directly (rolled over) from this Plan to another qualified retirement plan or to an Individual Retirement Account. These are referred to as Eligible Distributions.
However, the following ARE NOT Eligible Distributions:
- any distribution which is one of a series of payments to be made for your life (or life expectancy) or the joint lives (or joint life expectancies) of you and your spouse or other beneficiary; or
- any distribution which is one of a series of payments being made over a period of at least ten (10) years; or
- any distribution which is a minimum distribution required to be made by law after you attain age 70-1/2; or
- the portion of any distribution which is not includable in your gross income.
A beneficiary other than a surviving spouse or an Alternate Payee may elect to have inherited assets transferred directly into an “inherited IRA”. However, such beneficiary cannot roll the distribution over himself or herself. An inherited IRA is an IRA established on behalf of the designated beneficiary and in a manner that identifies it as an IRA with respect to a deceased individual. It must also identify the deceased individual and the beneficiary, for example, “John Doe, IRA (deceased [date]), FBO Sally Doe, beneficiary”.
If you make a direct transfer of an Eligible Distribution, you will not generally be liable at that time for income taxes on the amount transferred and the Plan will not be required to withhold taxes from the distribution. Even if you do not make a direct transfer of an Eligible Distribution, you can generally defer paying income taxes on the Eligible Distribution if you pay that amount to another qualified retirement plan or to an Individual Retirement Account within sixty (60) days after you receive it. Such a payment is referred to as a “Rollover Contribution.” However, in that case, the Plan must withhold taxes from the distribution.
When you are entitled to receive a distribution from the Plan, the Fund Office will provide you with information about the distribution, any tax withholding requirements, and a form for you to elect to have an Eligible Distribution transferred directly to another qualified retirement plan or to an Individual Retirement Account. You should consult your tax advisor to get more specific information about the tax consequences of any distribution.
52. How will payments be made to me if I am unable to care for myself?
If the Trustees determine that a pensioner or beneficiary is unable to care for his or her affairs because of mental or physical incapacity, then the Trustees may, in their discretion, pay his or her benefits to any entity or individual who the Trustees believe will provide for his or her maintenance and support. If proper claim is made by the Participant’s or beneficiary’s legal representative prior to any such payment, then the Trustees may pay his or her benefits to such representative instead.
53. Can I borrow from the pension benefit I am to receive?
No, it is prohibited to borrow from your pension benefit.
54. Can my pension benefit ever be assigned to pay for outstanding debts or any other obligation?
Usually the answer is no, however, there are three exceptions and a special rule for certain arrangements. The three exceptions are:
- Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDROs);
- Federal tax levies or collection by the U.S. on a judgment resulting from an unpaid tax assessment; and
- Certain voluntary and revocable assignments or alienations, limited to 10% of any benefit payment.
55. May I take a cash settlement instead of monthly pension payments?
No. The purpose of the Plan is to help provide a monthly income for retired participants.