FAQ

IPF FAQ

What types of pension benefits are available?

Four types of pensions are provided under the Plan.

  1. Normal Pension
  2. Early Retirement Pension
  3. Disability Pension
  4. Deferred Vested Pension

In addition, the Plan provides for a lump sum Death benefits. Non-covered Masonry Employment may impact eligibility for these benefits.

When am I eligible for a Normal Pension?

If you are covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement, you are eligible to retire on a Normal Pension at the later of age 64 or the fifth anniversary of your participation and if:

  • You attain Normal Retirement Age, work at least one hour after January 1, 1999 and (1) have at least 5 years of pension credit including at least 1500 hours of future service; or (2) have at least 5 years of vesting service, or
  • You attain Normal Retirement Age as defined in the Plan Rules while still employed.


If you did not work after January 1, 1999, you must have earned 10 years of Pension Credit or Vesting Service rather than the 5 year requirements listed above. If you do not meet the above requirements and worked after January 1, 1988, you are eligible to retire on a Normal Pension if:

  • You attain Normal Retirement Age without incurring a Permanent Break in Service; and
  • You have at least 1,500 hours of Future Service; and
  • You have one Year of Vesting Service; or
  • You have at least 0.1 year of Future Service Credit (150 hours) in the same year you attain Normal Retirement Age or in the year after you attain Normal Retirement Age without incurring a Permanent Break 12 in Service, unless your failure to meet this requirement is due to disability as determined by the Board of Trustees.

If you are an employee of a related organization, not covered under a Collective Bargaining Agreement and work after January 1, 1989, you will be entitled to retire on a Normal Pension if you meet the following requirements:

  • You have attained Normal Retirement Age and (1) have at least 10 years of Pension Credit including at least 1,500 hours of Future Service; or (2) have at least five Years of Vesting Service.
  • You have attained Normal Retirement Age as defined in the Plan while still employed. Participants not covered under a Collective Bargaining Agreement are described in Question 1 of the booklet.
How do I earn Pension Credit?

Pension Credit is accumulated in two ways: 

  1. Future Service Credit is accumulated through Covered Employment with a signatory contributing employer during the Contribution Period, and
  2. Past Service Credit is granted for eligible Covered Employment with a signatory employer before the Contribution Period.

The Contribution Period is the time during which employers contribute to the IPF on your behalf.

What is Future Service Credit?

During the Contribution Period, you earn Future Service Credits based on your work in Covered Employment in a job classification covered under an agreement requiring contributions to the IPF on your behalf. One year of credit is earned for each calendar year in which you work 1500 hours or more in covered employment. If you work less than 1500 hours in covered employment, partial credit is earned according to the following schedule: Covered Employment Hours for which contributions were received during calendar year Years of Future Service Credit

1500 hours or more 1.0

1350-1499 -  0.9

1200-1349 -  0.8

1050-1199 -  0.7

900-1049 -  0.6

750-899 -  0.5

600-749 -  0.4

450-599 -  0.3

300-449 -  0.2

150-299 -  0.1

After December 31, 1986, the following future service schedule applies to hours worked: Hours Credits

2250 hours or more 1.5

2100-2249 -  1.4

1950-2099 -  1.3

1800-1949 -  1.2

1650-1799 -  1.1

1500-1649 -  1.0

1350-1499 -  0.9

1200-1349 -  0.8

1050-1199 -  0.7

900-1049 -  0.6

750-899 -  0.5

600-749 -  0.4

450-599 -  0.3

300-449 -  0.2

150-299 -  0.1


Note: Effective January 1, 1997 the 1.5 maximum on future service credit is removed. An additional .1 of a credit accrues for each 150 hours over 2,250 without limit.

Who can participate in IPF?

Participation is available to employees working in covered employment, which is employment in a job classification covered by a local collective bargaining agreement, which requires contribution to the IPF. Corporate officers who are employees of the corporation may also participate subject to the approval of the Trustees. Participation is also available to officers or employees of local unions or local union funds which participate in the IPF. Participation is not available to anyone engaged as a self-employed person, partner or sole proprietor.

How do I figure the amount of the Normal Pension?

The Normal Pension is a monthly pension based on your employer’s contribution rate. (Your participating Local’s collective bargaining agreement with your employer establishes a contribution rate that he must contribute to the IPF on your behalf). Bear in mind that the maximum number of Past Service Credits you can earn is 24.
 

Example: Bill has 24 years of Past Service Credits and 11 years of Future Service Credit. He has worked at the $1.00 contribution rate of his Home Local through his retirement on May 1, 2005. Bill would receive a Normal Pension of $879.00 per month.

  • 25 years @ $1.00 = $578.00
  • $23.10 for 13 years of future service = $300.30
  • $879.00

In addition, if you stop working and delay your retirement past Normal Retirement Age, your monthly pension will be your accrued benefit at Normal Retirement Age plus an increase of 1% for each month (up to 60 months) between Normal Retirement Age and your actual retirement date. This actuarial increase will be 1.5% for each month following the first 60 months after Normal Retirement Age.

Please note that these accruals do not apply to benefits suspended for continued employment and only apply up to the mandatory pension start date of April 1 of the year following the calendar year after the attainment of age 70 years and 6 months. Please note that the standard form of pension payment for all benefits is the Husband-and-Wife Pension. Under this form of payment, the benefit shown above is reduced. In exchange for the reduction, upon your death, 50% of your benefit will be paid to your surviving spouse for life.

The following link shows the monthly IPF benefits that are earned at various years of total service (including both Past and Future Service Credits) and employer contribution rates. The table applies to US participants who earn at least one hour of service after January 1, 2001 and who retire on or after November 1, 2001.

When am I eligible for an Early Retirement Pension?

If you worked in Covered Employment after January 1, 1999, you are eligible to retire on an Early Retirement Pension if you are at least 55, not yet eligible for a Normal Pension and:

  1. You have earned (a) at least 5 Pension Credits including at least 1,500 hours of Future Service; or (b) at least 5 Years of Vesting Service, and
  2. You have earned at least 3/10 of a Year of Future Service Credit (450 hours) after attaining age 50, unless your failure to meet this requirement is due to disability.
  3. You do not have any two consecutive years in which you failed to earn 450 hours without subsequently earning three years of future service credit. There are exceptions to this rule based on disability or employment on referral by the Local Union in the masonry industry but not covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

If you did not work in Covered Employment after January 1, 1999, you must have earned 10 years of Pension Credit or vesting service rather than the 5 year requirements noted above and also meet the requirement in number three above.

Effective June 1, 1988, if you work in Non–covered Masonry Employment, your effective date for an Early Retirement Pension will be delayed six months for each calendar quarter that such work was performed. However, if you work on or after January 1, 1999 and have earned at least six years of Future Service Credit in Covered Employment following your work in Non-covered Masonry Employment, your Early Retirement Pension will not be delayed.

If you are an employee of a related organization, not covered under a Collective Bargaining Agreement and work after January 1, 1989, you will be entitled to retire on an Early Retirement Pension if you meet the following requirements:

  1. You have attained age 55 but are not yet eligible for a Normal Pension.
  2. You have at least 10 years of Pension Credit including at least 1,500 hours of Future Service or have at least five Years of Vesting Service.
  3. You have earned at least 3/10 of a year of Future Service Credit (450 hours) after attaining age 50, unless your failure to meet this requirement is due to disability.
  4. Under the Plan, there will be a reduction for each year between age 55 and 64 that provides approximately equal value to the benefit the participant would receive by waiting until normal retirement age to retire.

For early retirement pensions with a start date after June 1, 2016, the following early reduction factors will apply regardless of which schedule was elected under the Funding Improvement Plan.
From the age of 60 to 64, the benefit will be reduced by 8% each year, and from 55 to 60 the benefit will be reduced by 5% each year, as follows:

Table 1

Age

% of Normal Retirement Age Pension Payable Early

64

100%

63

92%

62

84%

61

76%

60

68%

59

63%

58

58%

57

53%

56

48%

55

43%


Example #1: Peter retires on June 15, 2016, and submits his application on September 4, 2016. Peter’s early retirement benefit would be computed as follows:

  1. Normal Pension to which Peter would be entitled if he were 64 = $582.40
  2. Early Retirement Factor: From Table 1 above the factor for 58 years of age is 58%.
  • Normal Pension $582.40
  • Early Retirement Factor x .58
  • $338.00/month Early Retirement Pension $337.79

In this example, Peter’s Early Retirement Pension would be $338.00 a month because pensions between whole dollar amounts are rounded to the next higher dollar. His benefit will be less if he chooses the 50% or 75% Joint and Survivor Annuity.

Example #2: Tom retires on September 1, 2016. Tom’s early retirement pension is calculated as follows:

  1. Normal Pension to which Tom would be entitled if he were 64 = $572.50
  2. Early Retirement Factor: From Table 1 above the factor for 58 years of age is 58%.
  • Normal Pension $572.50
  • Early Retirement Factor x .58
  • $333.00/month Early Retirement Pension $332.05

In this example, Tom’s early retirement pension would be $333.00 a month because pensions between whole dollar amounts are rounded to the next higher dollar. His benefit will be less if he chooses the 50% or 75% Joint and Survivor Annuity.

Example #3: Same facts as in Example 2 above, except that Tom retires on September 1, 2016. Tom’s early retirement pension is calculated as follows:

  1. Normal Pension to which Tom would be entitled if he were 64 = $572.50
  2. Early Retirement Factor: From Table 1 above the factor for 58 years of age is 58%.
  • Normal Pension $572.50
  • Early Retirement Factor x .58
  • $333.00/month Early Retirement Pension $332.05

In this example, Tom’s early retirement pension would be $333.00 a month because pensions between whole dollar amounts are rounded to the next higher dollar. His benefit will be less if he chooses the 50% or 75% Joint and Survivor Annuity.

Example #4: (Same facts as in Example #2), except Tom submits his application on May 16th but continues to work for his employer until he retires on November 1, 2016. Tom’s application will be processed as if he retired on November 1, 2016 and his early retirement benefit will be reduced according to the factors above, as demonstrated in Example #3.

When would I be eligible to retire on a Disability Pension?

If you worked in Covered Employment after January 1, 1999, you may retire on a Disability Pension if:

  1. You have not attained age 64; and
  2. You have at least 5 Pension Credits, including at least 1,500 hours of Future Service Credit, or 5 years of Vesting Credit; and
  3. You are totally and permanently disabled; 
  4. You have at least 150 hours of Future Service in the year of disability or the year prior to that year or at least 1,500 hours of Future Service in the five calendar years preceding the date of disability (unless failure to meet this requirement was due to disability or employment on referral); and
  5. You have not worked in Non-covered Masonry Employment or you have earned at least six years of Future Service Credit in Covered Employment following your work in Non-covered Masonry Employment.
  6. If you have not worked in Covered Employment after January 1, 1999, you must have earned 10 years of Pension Credit or Vesting Service rather than the 5 year requirements listed above.
How do I figure the amount of my Disability Pension?

Between the ages of 60 and 64, the disability benefit will be subject to an actuarial reduction factor of 8%. There will be no additional reduction for years prior to age 60. The reduction factors, based on actuarial equivalence and using the Fund’s funding assumptions, will be as follows:

Table 1

Age

% of Normal Retirement Age Pension Payable as Disability

64

100%

63

92%

62

84%

61

76%

60 and under

68%

 

How is total and permanent disability defined?

You are totally and permanently disabled if you have been awarded and continue to receive Disability Benefits from the Social Security Administration. The Trustees will be the sole and final judges of total and permanent disability and of your entitlement to a Disability Pension. If you apply for a Disability Pension, you are also required to provide a medical statement from a physician which indicates the nature of your disability and states that you are totally and permanently disabled from the trade. If your application is approved, you may be required to submit to re-examination periodically as the Trustees may direct.

What will happen if I recover from my Disability?

The Disability Pension will continue for life, provided you remain totally and permanently disabled until age 64. If you lose your Social Security Disability Benefit before age 64, your Disability Pension will cease starting with the first month following loss of the Social Security paid benefit.

If you lose your Disability Benefit after you reach 64, payments will continue even if you recover, but subject to the rules governing work after retirement. If you lose entitlement to your Social Security Disability Benefit, you must report it to the Board of Trustees within 15 days of the date you receive notice from the Social Security Administration. If you fail to notify the Board, you may be penalized when you subsequently retire. The penalty will be loss of your benefits for six months plus the months you received a Disability Pension after your loss of entitlement. Whatever disability benefits you received will not affect your eligibility for Normal, Early or Deferred Vested Pensions.

Following the guidelines of the Social Security Administration, IPF will allow Disability Pensioners a trial work period during which benefits will not be affected by earnings. If the trial work period is successful and your Social Security Disability benefits are suspended, you must notify the Fund office as your IPF benefits will be suspended.

When am I eligible for an Inactive Vested Pension?

If you worked in Covered Employment after January 1, 1999, you become entitled to an Inactive Vested pension if you have at least five Pension Credits, including at least 1,500 hours of Future Service, or five Years of Vesting Service and you have not met the requirements a Early Retirement Pension.

If you did not work in Covered Employment after January 1, 1999, you become entitled to an Inactive Vested Pension if you have at least ten Pension Credits, including at least five years of Future Service Credit, or ten Years of Vesting Service and you have not met the requirements for a Early Retirement Pension.

It is called an “Inactive” Vested Pension because the actual pension payments will not begin, at the earliest, until you reach age 64. You may elect to receive the Inactive Vested Pension at any time after you are age 64, but no later than April 1st of the year following the calendar year in which you attain age 70 1/2.

How do I figure the amount of the Inactive Vested Pension?

The amount of the Inactive Vested Pension is 100% of the Normal Pension to which you would otherwise be entitled at age 64.

Which contribution rate do I use in calculating my Inactive Vested Pension?

If you leave Covered Employment with a right to an Inactive Vested Pension, your pension will be based on the rate applicable when you left the Plan.

For example, suppose you are age 45 with 10 Years of Vesting Service and you have 1,500 hours under a contribution rate of $1.50 per hour. If you leave Covered Employment now, when you apply, your pension will be based on the $1.50 rate.

An Inactive Vested Participant is any Participant who is entitled to a pension at Normal or Early retirement age, who has not commenced receipt of monthly pension payments, and who failed to earn at least .3 of a year (450 hours) of Future Service Credits in any two consecutive years without subsequently earning at least three years (4,500 hours) of Future Service Credits.

Inactive Vested participants are no longer eligible for an Early Retirement Pension under the Plan. They are, however, still entitled to receive a pension at normal retirement age. An Inactive Vested Participant may become entitled to an Early Retirement Benefit at any time if they return to active service with a contributing employer and earn at least three years (4,500 hours) of Future Service Credits. They will then be eligible to receive an Early Retirement Pension benefit, assuming they meet the other requirements under the Plan document. The amount of the Early Retirement Pension benefit will be subject to the same reductions for active participants, as described above.

Example #1: Sam, 59, actively participated in the IPF from 1991 through 2013. From 2014 to the present, Sam earned less than 450 hours in each of 2014, 2015 and 2016. Sam is considered an Inactive Vested Participant. Should Sam wish to receive his pension from the IPF, he would need to wait until he turns 64 and start his pension at normal retirement age. If Sam wants to receive an early retirement pension from the IPF, he would need to return to covered employment and earn 3 years of Future Service Credits.

What is my applicable contribution rate?

In general, your pension benefit will be based on the highest contribution rate under which you earned at least 1500 hours of future service.

Your Home Local is the participating Local in which you earned the greatest number of hours of future service credit. If you leave the jurisdiction of your Home local and work in another local with a higher contribution rate you must earn 3 years (4500 hours) of future service credit in the other local for the higher rate to be used as the basis of your benefit. If you leave your home local for a local with a lower contribution rate there is no effect on your pension. If you work for the same contributing employer in more than one participating local in the same geographic area, it is treated as though all your work has been performed in the same local.

If you have not earned at least 1500 hours of future service at your highest contribution rate, then your benefit will be based on the weighted average of your last 1500 hours of future service.
Example: John is 64 and has 25 pension credits (including at least 1500 hours of future service). During his last 1500 hours prior to retirement, John's local collective bargaining agreement called for contributions of $.35 per hour and $.50 per hour. John worked under the $.35 rate for 500 hours and under the $.50 rate for 1000 hours. The weighted average contribution rate upon which John's pension is based is computed as follows:

  • 500 hours x .35 = $175
  • 1000 hours x .50 = $500
  • 1500 hours = $675
  • $675 divided by 1500 hours = $.45 weighted average Contribution Rate.


Since John is 64 with 25 pension credits he is entitled to a normal pension of $295.00 per month.

When am I eligible for early pension?

You are eligible to retire on an Early Retirement Pension if you are at least 55, not yet eligible for a normal pension and:

  1. You have earned at least 5 pension credits including at least 1500 hours of future service with one hour after January 1, 1999, and
  2. You have earned at least 3/10 of a year (450 hours) of future service credit after attaining age 50, unless your failure to meet this requirement is due to disability.

    Note: Early Retirement after age 60 is equal to a NORMAL PENSION.

The Early Retirement Pension prior to age 60 is adjusted downward from the Normal Pension amount, based on your age. It is the normal pension amount, reduced by 1/2 of 1% for each full month that you are younger than 60 when the early retirement pension begins. The reduction is due to the longer period of time that you will receive pension payments.

Example: Peter is 59 and retires with 25 pension credits. His benefit is based on a contribution rate of $.90 per hour. Peter's early retirement benefit would be computed as follows:

1. Normal Pension

Normal Pension to which Peter would be entitled if he were 64 = $532.00

2. Early Retirement Reduction:

(i) No reduction for age 60 to 63
(ii) 12 (months younger than 60) x 1/2% = 6%
(iii) Reduction = 6% x $532.00 (.06 x $532.) = $31.92

3. Normal Pension
:
Normal Pension: $532.00
Early Retirement Reduction: -31.92
Early Retirement Pension (or $501.00): $500.08

In this example, Peter's early retirement pension would be $501.00 a month because pensions between whole dollar amounts are rounded to the next higher dollar. His benefit will be less if he chooses the Husband-and-Wife pension.

When can I retire on disability pension?

You may retire on a Disability Pension if:

  1. You have not attained age 64, and
  2. You have at least 5 pension credits, including at least 1500 hours of future service including one hour after January 1, 1999, and
  3. You are totally and permanently disabled, and
  4. You have at least 150 hours of future service in the year of disability or the year prior to that year or at least 1500 hours of future service in the 5 calendar years preceding the date of disability, and
  5. You have not worked in Non-covered Masonry Employment.


Disability benefits are reduced at 8% per year between ages 60 and 64 (.0067 per month). The monthly Disability Pension is figured in the same manner as the Normal Pension. Regardless of your age at disability, your benefit will be calculated as though you were age 64. If you choose the Husband-and-Wife Disability Pension, your pension will be calculated under the Husband-and-Wife reduction factors. The Disability Pension will not be paid during the first five months of disability. This is the same waiting period as the Social Security Disability Pension. The Plan rules also require that retroactive pension payments not be made for more than 12 months prior to the date the disability application is received by the Fund office.

Participants experiencing delays in receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration should apply to the Fund office while waiting for the Social Security Award to comply with the 12-month rule. Disability applicants over age 55 may apply for early retirement benefits prior to disability approval. Once the Social Security Award is received he may convert to a Disability pension if the date his disability commenced preceded the effective date of his Early Retirement pension. Early Retirement benefits for months before the Social Security Disability date are subject to reimbursement.
You are totally and permanently disabled if you have been awarded and continue to receive Disability Benefits from the Social Security Administration. The Trustees will be the sole and final judges of total and permanent disability and of your entitlement to a Disability Pension. If you apply for a Disability Pension you are also required to provide a medical statement from a physician, who indicates the nature of your disability and states that you are totally and permanently disabled from the trade.

If you lose your Social Security Disability Benefit before age 62, your Disability Pension will cease starting with the first month following loss of the Social Security paid benefit. If you lose your Disability Benefit after you reach 62, payments will continue even if you recover, but subject to the rules governing work after retirement.

When am I entitled to a deferred vested pension?

You become entitled to a Deferred Vested pension if you have one hour after January 1,1999 and at least 5 pension credits, including at least 1 year of future service credit, or 5 years of vesting service and you have not met the requirements for either a Normal or Early retirement pension, and have not worked in Non-covered Masonry employment.

It is called a "Deferred" Vested Pension because the actual pension payments will not begin, at the earliest, until you reach age 55. You may elect to receive the Deferred Vested Pension at any time after you are 55, but no later than age 70 1/2.

The amount of the Deferred Vested Pension is 100% of either the Normal Pension or Early Retirement Pension to which you would otherwise be entitled.

If you leave covered employment with a right to a Deferred Vested Pension payable after age 64, your pension will be based on the rate applicable when you left the Plan.

For example, suppose you are age 45 with 10 years of vesting service and you have 1500 hours under a contribution rate of $.40 per hour. If you leave covered employment now, when you apply, your pension will be based on the $.40 rate.

When am I eligible for a lump sum pension benefit?

Generally, only monthly pension benefits with an actuarial equivalent of less than $5,000.00 can be paid in lump sum. A determination of whether your benefit is payable in a lump sum will be made at the time you apply. Your lump sum may be paid subject to tax withholding provisions or as a direct rollover to an Individual Retirement Account.

As plan benefits are solely employer funded they are considered taxable income. You should be aware that if you or your surviving spouse take the benefit in a lump sum the benefit will be subject to an automatic 20% Federal tax withholding unless it is directly rolled over into an IRA or other qualified retirement plan. You will receive additional information regarding this matter when you apply for a benefit.

What are death benefits?

The Plan provides a Husband-and-Wife pension if an employee dies at a time when he had a vested right to a future pension.

If the employee was age 55 or older the benefit will be a lifetime monthly payment to the spouse equal to 100% of the benefits the member would have received under the Husband-and-Wife pension calculated just as if the employee had retired on the day before he died.

If the employee was under age 55, the benefit will also be a lifetime payment to the spouse under the Husband-and-Wife pension, but the benefit will not commence until the first day of the month in which the employee would have reached age 55 had he survived. The surviving spouse has the option of receiving an immediate lump sum instead of waiting until the employee would have been age 55.

In order for the spouse of a non-retired employee to be entitled to a Husband-and-Wife pension, the couple must have been married throughout the one-year period preceding the employee's death.

Effective August 1, 1999, if a surviving spouse dies at a time when the participants natural or legally adopted dependent children are under age 2l, benefits which were being paid to the spouse will continue to be paid to the children until age 21. Such benefits will be paid to the legal guardian. If there is more than one such child, each will receive a proportionate share of the monthly benefit.

If a surviving spouse pension is not payable, a death benefit is payable as follows:

If an employee dies after January 1, 1988 and has at least one year (1500 hours) of future service credit, and has not incurred a break in service or engaged in Non-covered Masonry employment, then a Death benefit equal to 100% of the employer contributions made on his behalf shall be paid to his designated beneficiary (please note that effective June 1, 2016 all IPF lump sum benefits are limited to $5,000.00). If the Husband-and-Wife pension is payable his spouse may not elect the death benefit if the actuarial equivalent lump sum of the Husband-and-Wife pension is greater than $5,000, and greater than 100% of the employer contributions.

What are Joint & Survivor regular forms of payment?

The Joint-and-Survivor pension is the basic form of pension payments for married pensioners. If you have been married for at least one year at the time benefits begin, your pension will be paid in this form unless you and your spouse elect to receive a full pension. The Joint-and-Survivor pension provides a lifetime benefit for your spouse as well as for yourself. Under this form of payment, the amount of the monthly benefit otherwise payable to you is reduced. In exchange, upon your death, 50% or 75% of the benefit amount you were receiving will be paid to your surviving spouse for life.

For the spouse of a pensioner to be entitled to a Husband-and-Wife pension, the couple must have been married on the effective date of pension and for at least a one-year period before the pensioner's death. The amount of the reduction in your normal or early benefit depends on your age and your spouse's age. Since the reduction will vary from one case to another, you may ask the Fund office to provide you with the actual figures when you apply.

Example: George is 64 and entitled to retire on a normal pension of $280 per month. George's wife is also 64. Unless he elects otherwise, George's pension under the Joint-and-Survivor form will be reduced by 10% so that he will receive a benefit of $252 per month. Upon his death, George's wife will receive a benefit equal to 50% of what he was receiving, or $126 per month. If you do not want a Husband-and-Wife pension, you and your spouse must formally reject it and receive a lifetime pension.

The Regular pension is the basic form of benefit payable to unmarried pensioners and also payable to married pensioners who have formally rejected the Joint-and-Survivor pension. It provides that the benefit is for the pensioner's lifetime, his or her designated beneficiary will continue to receive monthly payments until a total of 60 monthly payments have been made, counting both payments to the pensioner and to the beneficiary.

Effective August 1, 1999, if a pensioner or beneficiary dies at a time when the participants natural or legally adopted dependent children are under age 2l, benefits which were being paid to the pensioner or beneficiary will continue to be paid the children until age 2l. Such benefits will be paid to the legal guardian. If there is more than one such child, each will receive a proportionate share of the monthly benefit.

What is Non-covered Masonry Employment?

Non-covered Masonry Employment means employment in the Masonry Industry on or after June 1, 1988 for an employer which does not have, or self-employment which is not covered by, a collective bargaining agreement between the Union and the employer.

Under the Plan rules, work in Non-covered Masonry Employment after June 1, 1988, would in effect cause a member to forfeit any future entitlement to death, disability or severance benefits. The date they could become eligible for vested or early retirement benefits is automatically postponed six months for each calendar quarter they engage in non-covered employment. In addition, the monthly benefit of a pensioner may be suspended six (6) months for each calendar quarter of Non-covered Masonry Employment after retirement.

Non-covered Masonry Employment would also cancel any past service pension credits. Thus, in order to accumulate any additional credit under the Plan, members would need to return to covered employment and earn sufficient future service credit to offset any past service credit canceled due to Non-covered Masonry Employment. The rules do provide that any such loss of past service credit shall not decrease accrued normal retirement benefits to an amount less than the accrued normal benefit a participant had on May 31, 1988.

What are Qualified Domestic Relations Orders?

If a participant (or retiree) is divorced, the courts often consider the participant's pension benefit an appropriate issue for the couple's divorce decree.

A domestic relations order (DRO) is a court order which specifies how marital assets and child support responsibilities are to be divided among the divorcing parties. The Fund will pay benefits awarded only pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order, a "QDRO," directly to the former spouse, child, or other individual specified in the decree. A QDRO is a domestic relations order which has been submitted for review and has been found by the funds administrator to satisfy the Government Code provisions and the QDRO requirements.

In order to expedite the review process and limit costs to the participants, the Fund has adopted a model QDRO. The QDRO simply contains acceptable language. The QDRO does not mandate how you and your former spouse should divide your pension benefits and you are not obligated to use the model QDRO; those decisions are between you and your legal counsel. Please bear in mind that you or your spouse should submit your domestic relations order for review in plenty of time to allow for ruling on its status as a QDRO, prior to the entry of the divorce decree. If you fail to allow enough time for review, you may incur additional court costs, even after your decree is final.

If you have determined that you may be getting a divorce, you should contact the Fund Office. We can provide you with a copy of the model QDRO.

What is Reciprocity?

The Bricklayers and Trowel Trades International Pension Fund has signed the International Reciprocal Agreement for Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit Pension Funds. As a result, the Fund will accept pension monies that you earn under other pension funds maintained by local unions of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers that have also signed the International Reciprocal Agreement which do not participate in the International Pension Fund (IPF). The IPF will also transfer monies to Local Pension Funds for jurisdictions, which do not participate in IPF.

The Agreement also contains special provisions to ensure maximum benefits for when a member's home fund and travel fund jurisdictions include IPF or when a jurisdiction's fund has merged with IPF.

For further reciprocity questions please click here: reciprocityclearinghouse@ipfweb.org

What Is Relative Value?

Relative value means the actuarial present value of each optional form of payment compared to the actuarial present value of the normal form of payment under a plan. Actuarial values of benefits are determined using:

  • Mortality assumptions, which are based on standardized tables developed by actuarial organizations and life insurance companies. Information is analyzed about large groups of people to project the rates at which groups of individuals at different ages are expected to die. These statistical mortality projections are used to develop “average life expectancies.”
  • Interest assumptions, which estimate the likely investment earnings, over time, of the money put aside to pay benefits. This is important in the determination of actuarial value because investment earnings provide some of the money used to pay benefits.
What Are The Relative Values Under Our Plan?

Under our Plan, the normal forms of payment are the:

  • Joint-and-Survivor Pension for married participants

In general, optional forms of payment available under our Plan have approximately the same actuarial present value as the normal form. This is true for participants retiring between ages 40 and 69 with a spouse up to 10 years younger or older.

How Was The Relative Value Determined?

The valuation and reporting methodologies used were based on IRS regulations, which can be found in Treasury Regulations Section 1.417(a)(3)-1. These methodologies are fairly technical and can be difficult to understand. However, IRS regulations require that we provide this information to you.

What Does Relative Value Mean To Me?

As we said earlier, basically, this means that the optional forms of payment provided by the Plan have relatively the same value as the normal form of payment under our Plan. However, it is important that you realize that this is not a guarantee or even a prediction of what you will actually be eligible to receive when you retire. The actual value of the different forms of payment will vary depending on how long the individual and spouse or beneficiary in fact live and on their ages when payments start.

Upon your written request, you will be provided with the relative values, based on your own age and estimated benefits, between your normal form of payment and on any other forms of payment that you are eligible for. We will also provide you with the details of the actuarial assumptions used to make the comparison. You may want to consult a financial advisor when you are nearing retirement to determine what is right for you. To obtain an individual relative values estimate, please send a written request to The Bricklayers and Trowel Trades International Pension Fund at least two months prior to your intended retirement date.

Can I Work After Retirement?

If you work in the same industry, trade or craft as is covered by the IPF, your monthly pension will be suspended for the month or months you worked in such employment. You are required to report in writing within 15 days to the Fund office about any such employment you undertake. If you do not, your pension benefits may be canceled for an additional six months. Exactly what kind of work will cause such a temporary loss of pension depends on your age.

After age 62, a pensioner, may return to covered employment and continue to receive retirement benefits until their earnings exceed the social security earnings limitations for pensioners age 62 and older. For 2019 the age 62 limit is $17,640. There is no limit for pensioners 64 and older. Before age 62 you may not be engaged or employed, without limit to the geographical area covered, in any of the following:

  1. Employment with any contributing employer;
  2. Employment or self-employment in the same or related business as a contributing employer;
  3. Employment or self-employment in any business, which is under the jurisdiction of the Union;
  4. Employment with the Union or any Fund or program to which the Union is a party by virtue of a written document.

Pensioners under age 62 must have their benefits suspended for any months they engage in such employment.
For each calendar quarter in which a pensioner engages in non-covered Masonry employment prior to normal retirement age, his benefit will be suspended for 6 months.

While pensioners over age 62 are allowed to work in covered employment in accordance with social security guidelines, a participant must have separated from covered employment for one benefit period (one month) to be considered retired. Therefore, you must separate from employment for the entire month your pension starts.
Except for these limitations, you will be free to work at anything else, without effect on your pension.
If you are not sure whether a particular type of employment is prohibited, you may request a ruling from the Trustees.