Leaving the Trade
Whatever the reason may be for your leaving the industry, you should determine the effect this will have on your benefit plans.
Items regarding the Health Plans apply only to participants in the Southern California IBEW-NECA Health Plans. However, if you participate in another electrician health plan, it is likely that similar considerations will apply
- Once you have left the electrical trade, you are no longer working in covered
employment and you have exhausted your hour bank, under most
circumstances you may elect to self-pay on a monthly basis to stay
covered under COBRA for up to 18 months.
- You should check your vesting status under the DB Pension Plan to
determine whether you are vested for a pension benefit. Since the
DB benefit will not be payable until you reach the required age, you must
keep your address information current with the Administrative Office.
- If you are vested in the DC Pension Plan, and you have left the electrical trade as specified by Plan rules for a minimum of twelve months, you are permitted to withdraw your balance in the DC Plan. You may roll over this amount into another qualified plan or into an IRA account. But, be aware that if you choose to receive the balance directly, and you have not reached age 55 (early retirement age), in most cases you will be subject to state and Federal tax penalties in addition to ordinary income tax on the amount of the withdrawal.
- If you are vested and married when you leave the electrical industry and you
later become divorced, be sure to deal with the division of your pension
benefit at the time of your divorce. If you wait until you reach
retirement age to do this, you may experience a considerable delay before
you can get the paperwork straightened out and can begin receiving
If you have any questions on this topic, contact the Fund Office.