Are You Thinking About Retirement by Bill McDevitt

 In News, Newsletter: Summer '19

Did you know Age 55 is the earliest retirement age for an Early or Service age pension? Below is a brief list of the Types of Pension and applicable ages. Each type of pension may have additional work tests and eligibility requirements. Vesting credits are used for determining eligibility for a pension. Pension credits are used to determine the amount of the monthly benefit.

• Early Pension: Age 55, but under age 60 with at least 10 vesting credits.
• Service Age Pension: Age 55, but under age 60 with at least 30 pension credits and have earned ¼ pension credit after June 30, 2000. (Apprentice vesting is counted for eligibility.)
• Regular Early Pension: Age 60 and older with at least 10 vesting credits.
• Normal Retirement Age Pension: Age 65 with at least 5, but fewer than 10, vesting credits.
• Total Disability Pension*: Younger than age 60 with at least 10 pension credits, no minimum age.
• Partial Disability Pension*: Younger than age 60 with at least 10 pension credits, no minimum age.

*There are additional rules regarding disability pension eligibility.

Contact the Fund Office with questions about any of these pension types or vesting and pension credits.

When should you contact the Fund Office for a pension application? Three months before your desired retirement date. Disabled participants with at least 10 pension credits should contact the Fund Office as soon as possible to discuss their options. As part of the application process, you will need the following:

• Applicant’s birth certificate
• Spouse’s birth certificate
• Marriage certificate
• Full divorce decree and separation agreement

Some of these documents may be on file with the Fund Office. This can be verified when you request a pension application.

After a completed application is received in the Fund Office, a pension applicant will receive additional forms to complete the process. These forms include:

• Retirement Declaration
• Option Election Form
• Tax Withholding Election Forms
• Direct Deposit Authorization

This process can be completed through the mail or you may make an appointment with the Fund Office.

Change to Work after Retirement Rules

The Pension Plan has rules about working after retirement. Failure to comply with the rules can result in your monthly benefit being stopped for a suspension period. The Plan also provides a work exception rule that allows you to work and receive your monthly pension benefit.

The Board of Trustees amended the Plan to simplify the work exception rule. Now the Plan and retirees can track work hours to stay under the maximum hours permitted to receive a monthly pension.

Effective July 1, 2019, the hours retirees are allowed to work will be tracked on a Plan-Year basis. The Plan Year is July 1 through June 30. Important note: The hour limit has not changed, and any hours worked prior to July 1, 2019 will not count against the yearly total for plan year-end June 30, 2020.

• Retirees between ages 55-64 are permitted to work 300 hours in a plan year.
• Retirees between ages 65-69 are permitted to work 375 hours in a plan year.
• Retirees age 70 and above are permitted to work without limitation.
• Retirees who retired under Total and Permanent Disability may not work in any employment.
• Retirees who retired under a Partial Disability may not work in construction industry in the trade.

If a retiree exceeds the hours limit during a Plan Year, their monthly benefit will be suspended for any month he or she continues to work in Covered Employment or any other type of Disqualifying Employment – (if you are under Normal Retirement Age 65) or Totally Disqualifying Employment, (if you are over Normal Retirement Age 65). Per the Plan, retirees under Normal Retirement age 65 are subject to an additional six to twelve month suspension for disqualifying employment.

• Covered Employment is work for which your employer is required to make contributions to the Plan on your behalf.
• Disqualifying Employment is employment (or self-employment) in an occupation for which the Fund accepts contributions or in an occupation in any business that would be within the jurisdiction of the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, AFL-CIO, including employment as a principal owner or officer of a union or non-union company.
• Totally Disqualifying Employment means employment (or self-employment) that is (a) in an industry covered by the Plan when your pension payments began (b) in the geographic area covered by the IUPAT when your pension began, and (c) in any occupation in which you worked under the Plan at any time or any occupation covered by the Plan at the time your pension payments began. Work in Covered Employment for which the employer is required to make contributions to the Plan on your behalf is always Totally Disqualifying.

If you have any questions about this change, or the pension application process, please contact the Fund Office at 800-799-1240.