Below are answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions.
How do I apply for a pension?
The first step is to request and complete a pension application and submit it along with the required supporting documentation to the Fund Office for processing. Please contact the Pension Department at 333 Westchester Avenue, White Plains, NY 10604 if you have any questions, or download the application here.
How long does it take to process a pension request and receive payment?
It usually takes between 3 – 4 months to process your pension application and receive payment. That timeframe may vary depending on many factors (e.g., incomplete application and/or missing documentation may delay your process). Additionally, if the Fund Office has to request verification of your employment history from the Social Security Administration that may also cause delays in processing your application.
How soon before my retirement date should I submit my pension application?
You should mail in your pension application and required documentation at least three (3) months prior to your expected retirement date.
What payment options will I have when I retire?
The Plan offers different payment options. Please refer to the Summary Plan Description for additional details.
Can I receive my pension benefit as a direct deposit in my bank account?
Yes, you can choose to have your monthly pension benefit directly deposited into your checking or savings account anywhere in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Please note that direct deposit is not available for deposit in banking institutions outside of the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
How much money should I expect to receive from my pension plan(s)?
The monthly benefit you receive depends on different factors that are used to calculate your benefit, including, but not limited to, your employer’s contribution and your years of service.
How often does the Fund send out pension benefit statements?
Benefit statements are mailed annually to active participants to the mailing address on file. Benefit statements are not generated for participants who are receiving a pension and still working.
Why did I receive two statements?
You received two statements because you have service in both the Legacy and Adjustable Plans. You began to accrue service in the Adjustable Plan in 2015. You had service in the Legacy Plan service prior to 2015. The amount listed on the benefit statements is an estimate. Your actual monthly pension benefit amount will be calculated upon receipt of a completed application, including all documentation requested by the Fund.
What should I do if I believe my pension statement is incorrect or missing information?
Contact the Fund Office to get instructions on how to submit a correction on your statement at: 914-367-5800 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Who pays into my pension plan: me, my employer or my union?
The pension plan is funded by contributions from participating employers pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, negotiated on your behalf by the Union, or a participation agreement. Your Union dues do not fund your pension benefit. If you do not meet either Plan’s requirements for eligibility, even if you pay Union dues, you will not receive a benefit under either Plan.
How do I know if the pension fund has captured my work history from different employers?
The Fund office relies on monthly reporting submitted by participating employers. However, when you complete your pension application, please include all union-covered employment along with your dates of employment.
What happens to my pension if I die before or while collecting?
Your beneficiary may be eligible to receive a benefit. Please review the Summary Plan Description and Plan Document for more detail.
Can I move outside the United States and still collect a pension benefit?
Yes, you can retire anywhere in the world and receive your pension benefit via a physical check that is mailed to your address abroad.
Will my pension affect my Social Security benefits?
Your pension benefits will not affect your Social Security benefits.
Is my pension taxable? How do I report it on my tax return?
Yes, your pension is considered earned income for tax purposes. This means that the pension income you receive during the year has to be reported to the IRS and therefore is taxed. The Fund Office will mail out a 1099R form by January 31st of each year to your address on file. Please note, however, that this is a very general summary of the potential tax consequences of your pension benefit so you should consult with your own tax advisor if you have questions on the tax implications of your pension benefit.
What documents do I need to submit with my pension application?
The Fund Office will need copies (not originals) of the following supporting documentation:
SINGLE (never married) PARTICIPANTS: Birth Certificate and a copy of your Social Security card.
MARRIED PARTICIPANTS: Birth Certificate, Spouse’s Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate and a copy of your Social Security card.
DIVORCED PARTICIPANTS: Spouse’s Birth Certificate, Divorce Decree and a copy of your Social Security card.
WIDOWED PARTICIPANTS: Birth Certificate, Spouse’s Death Certificate and a copy of your Social Security card.
What substitute documentation can I submit if I do not have a required documentation for my pension process?
|Required Document||Substitution Document (s)|
|Birth Certificate||2 other proof of documentation from list: |
– Driver’s License
– State ID
– Resident Alien Card
– Naturalization Certificate
|Marriage Certificate||– Married filing Joint Tax Return|
– Life insurance policy naming one another
|Divorce Decree||– Notarized Affidavit provided by Fund|
|Death Certificate||– Surviving spouse letter from Social Security|
What is the Annual Funding Notice?
Each year the Fund mails Annual Funding Notices (AFN) to all plan participants. The AFN provides you with the Plan’s funding level of a given plan year and is for informational purposes only.
What is included in the AFN?
The AFN includes how well the Plan is funded, the Plan’s Investment Policy, what the Plan’s funded status was for a given plan year, an explanation of benefits guaranteed by the PBGC and where to obtain information.
I receive information from the Fund Office each year; can you remove me from the list?
Unfortunately, we are unable to take you off the mailing list. ERISA requires that we send certain information to all of the plan participants each year.