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The Trustees have made important changes to the Plan, which went into effect January 1, 2003. It’s important that you know these changes, and how they affect you. In this section, we explain what has changed, and how it might affect your coverage.

Get Credit for ALL Hours Worked
Pension Credit Now Given For ALL Hours Worked
Recent changes made to the Pension Fund’s benefit structure became effective January 1, 2003. Now, service for benefits and eligibility gives pension credit for every hour worked. Units are no longer used, ensuring that there are no lost hours and that participants get credit for every hour worked.

How It Works
With the elimination of the unit structure, all earned units through 12/31/02 were converted to hours. This means that a participant’s total units of pension credit were multiplied by 150 (the number of hours in each unit) to get a total number of eligible hours.

2% Benefit
Your benefits for work performed in 2008 will now be calculated at a 2.0 percent accrual rate.  The Trustees will review the situation year to year to determine if it may be fiscally viable to provide a 2 percent rate for future hours.  As always, all decisions will be made with the best interest of plan participants in mind.

Working While Retired--Don’t Jeopardize Your Benefits
What Has Changed
Amendments have been made to the Plan’s suspensions of benefits rule. Retirees are no longer permitted to work in contributory IUPAT pension plan work and continue to receive monthly pension checks. For the past four years, this rule was suspended and retirees were allowed to work up to 1,000 hours each year without suspension of benefits. This is no longer the case!

Returning To Work Before Normal Retirement Age

If you are retired and return to work before your normal retirement age, generally age 65, you will not receive pension checks if you work in any of the following areas, regardless of the number of work hours:

  • Employment with any contributing employer or with any employer in the same or related business as any contributing employer;
  • Self-employment in the same or related business as any contributing employer, or employment or self-employment in any business that is or may be under the jurisdiction of the union;
  • Employment with any labor organization or any of its affiliated entities, including, but not limited to, employee benefit funds, committees or other related organizations.
  • Employment, including self-employment, in any non-covered employment, or any employment, including self-employment, of any kind or nature in the painting and allied trades industry.

Returning To Work If You’re Of Or Above Retirement Age
If you return to work after the normal retirement age (generally age 65 and up), the rules are different, but still operate on a month-to-month basis. You can work up to forty hours per month:

  • In any occupation covered by the Plan on your retirement date (or, if later, the first day of the month after you reached normal retirement age);
  • Another occupation that involves skills used or learned in contributory IUPAT work; or
  • Selling, retailing, managerial, clerical, professional occupations, or supervisory activities relating to such skills.

What Happens When You Return To Work
The rules and hours limit applies to all work in the industry, union or nonunion, and regardless of whether contributions to the pension fund are required for the work. If you work more than the forty-hour per month limit, your benefits will not be paid for that month and any payments you received while working can be recovered from future payments or your other assets. Of course, you can work in other industries without any suspension of your pension benefits, regardless of the hours you work or how much you’re paid.

If you return to work in covered (contributory) employment in these areas, you will continue to accrue additional pension credits, and your benefits will be recalculated the following year and paid to you once you stop working. If you work in non-contributory employment, your benefit will be unchanged. If you should die while working after retirement, your spouse or beneficiary will still be entitled to death benefits, regardless of the type of work.

Know Your Obligations--Report All Work That Might Suspend Benefits
These rules were designed to protect the contribution base and financial well being of the pension fund. That’s why it’s vital you tell the pension fund when you return to work that could cause a suspension of your benefits.

Contact Us in advance to determine whether the work will affect your benefits. If you don’t inform the Fund Office, it will be assumed that you are working more than 40 hours per month once the Fund Office is notified of the work you’re doing, and that could result in suspension of benefits. It would then be your responsibility to prove that the work should not cause your benefits to be suspended.

Union Savings
painters, drywall finishers, wallcoverers, glaziers, glass workers, floor covering installers, sign makers, display workers, convention and show decorators

Media inquiries may be directed to the office of the Communications Manager, Gavin McDonald -- 410-564-5885 or 202-351-8547 (mobile),
gmcdonald@iupat.org, 7234 Parkway Drive Hanover, MD 21076
©2003--IUPAT, 7234 Parkway Drive Hanover, MD 21076