Defined Benefit Pension Plan Document

Important Note:
Notwithstanding any information in these Plan Document pages or embedded links, for retirements that are first in pay status on or after April 1, 2017, certain Defined Benefit Plan provisions are scheduled to change in accordance with the adoption of Alternative Schedules 1 or 2 under the Second Critical Status Rehabilitation Plan.

ARTICLE 7 - DISABILITY BENEFIT

This section added by: Amendment 8.
Rehabilitation Plan: Under the 2016 Rehabilitation Plan schedules, no disability benefits are payable with pensions first paid on and after April 1, 2017. All pensions awarded on and after April 1, 2017 are subject to the Rehabilitation Plan. The Sections which follow govern disability pensions awarded prior to April 1, 2017.


7.1 Total and Permanent Disability. A Participant shall be deemed to have a condition of "Total and Permanent Disability" only if the Participant provides to the Trustees a determination by the Social Security Administration that the Active Participant is entitled to Disability Insurance benefits under the Federal Social Security Act.

  1. If an Active Participant's Covered Employment is terminated prior to his Normal Retirement Age due to Total and Permanent Disability, as defined above, he shall become a Disabled Participant entitled to receive a monthly disability benefit payable in accordance with Section 7.1(b), provided, however, that said Active Participant:
    1. Has accrued at least ten (10) years of Total Credited Service, including at least two (2) years of Credited Future Service; or has accrued at least ten (10) Credited Vesting Service Years, and
    2. Has been disabled for at least five (5) months in the case of disability benefits commencing after September 30, 1986 [or six (6) months in the case of disability benefits commencing prior to October 1, 1986]. However, the five (5) month waiting period shall not be applicable to conditions of Total and Permanent Disability which occur subsequent to July 1, 1997.
  2. The amount of monthly disability benefits payable to a Disabled Participant who becomes entitled to a Total and Permanent Disability benefit shall be equal to the amount of monthly Normal Pension benefits credited to the Disabled Participant at the date of his termination of employment due to Total and Permanent Disability, subject to the provisions of Sections 7.9 and 7.10 (relating to the Automatic Joint and Survivor Pension Form and Optional Forms of Pension).
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    1. If a Disability Pensioner who is deemed entitled to Total and Permanent Disability benefits under the Plan files an application for Disability Benefits which is received by the Trust Fund within thirty (30) months of the onset of disability, he or she shall be entitled to retroactive benefits up to a maximum of thirty (30) months from the date he first meets all of the eligibility requirements for a Total and Permanent Disability Benefit.
    2. If an application for Total and Permanent Disability Benefits is not received by the Trust Fund within thirty (30) months of the onset of disability, Total and Permanent Disability Benefits shall be payable effective the first of the month following receipt of the application for Total and Permanent Disability Benefits and no retroactive benefits shall be payable.
    3. Notwithstanding the foregoing for Social Security Disability Awards issued by the Social Security Administration on and after December 13, 2003, an application for Total and Permanent Disability Benefits shall be considered timely if the Social Security Disability Award is filed with the Fund Offices within two (2) years after the Social Security Administration issues its Award. In the case of a timely application a Participant who meets all applicable eligibility requirements shall receive Total and Permanent Disability Benefits retroactive to the first day of the month following the month of onset of Total and Permanent Disability as determined by the Social Security Administration. In the case of an untimely application a Participant who meets all applicable eligibility requirements shall receive Total and Permanent Disability Benefits commencing on the first of the month following the month in which the application was received and no retroactive benefits shall be payable.

7.2 Partial Disability. An Active Participant who is not totally and permanently disabled, as described in Section 7.1 above, but who has a physical or mental condition resulting from bodily injury, disease or mental disorder, which renders him incapable of performing the duties required of a Journeyman under the Inside Wiremans Agreement between the Union and the Association at any time during the remainder of his life, shall be deemed to have a condition of Partial Disability.

  1. If an Active Participant's Covered Employment is terminated prior to his Normal Retirement Age due to a Partial Disability, as defined above, he shall become a Disabled Participant entitled to receive a monthly disability benefit payable in accordance with Section 7.2(b), provided however that said Active Participant terminated Covered Employment on or after July 1, 1976, has satisfied the service requirements of Section 7.1(a)(i) and has been disabled for at least five (5) months in the case of disability benefits commencing after September 30, 1986 (or six (6) months in the case of disability benefits commencing prior to October 1, 1986). However, the five month waiting period shall not be applicable to applications for Partial Disability with an Annuity Starting Date on or after August 1, 2007.

  2. The amount of monthly disability benefit payable to a Disabled Participant who becomes entitled to a Partial Disability Benefit shall, subject to Sections 7.9 and 7.10, be equal to the amount of monthly Normal Pension credited to the Disabled Participant at the date of his termination of employment due to Partial Disability, reduced by 0.4% per month for each month by which the commencement date of the Participant's Partial Disability benefit precedes the earlier of:
    1. The first of the month coincident with or next following the Participant's 55th birthday, or
    2. the date the Participant would have completed 25 years of Total Credited Service had he continued to earn Credited Future Service at the rate of one Future Service Credit per year.

      In no event will the reduction under this Section 7.2(b) exceed 50%.
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    1. No Partial Disability Benefits shall be payable under the Plan until the first day of the month coincident with or next following the date on which the Disabled Participant has complied with the service requirements of Section 7.1(a)(i).
    2. If a Disability Pensioner who is deemed entitled to Partial Disability benefits under the Plan files an application for disability benefits which is received by the Trust Fund within thirty (30) months of the onset of disability, he shall be entitled to retroactive benefits up to a maximum of thirty (30) months from the date he first meets all of the eligibility requirements for a Partial Disability Benefit.
    3. If an application for Partial Disability benefits is not received by the Trust Fund within thirty (30) months of the onset of disability, Partial Disability benefits shall be payable effective the first of the month following receipt of the application for Partial Disability Benefits by the Trust Fund and no retroactive benefits shall be payable.
    4. In no event, however, will a Partial Disability benefit be payable for periods prior to July 1, 1983.

7.3 Termination of Benefit Payments to Disabled Participants. Monthly payments to Disabled Participants shall terminate at the earliest of the following dates:

  1. The date of the Disabled Participant's death, unless
    1. the Automatic Joint and Survivor Pension Form or the Optional Forms of Pension described in Sections 7.9 and 7.10 is in effect, in which case payments may continue as provided in Section 7.10; or
    2. the Dependent's Benefit is payable pursuant to Section 8.6, in which case payments may continue as provided in Section 8.6; or
    3. Neither the Automatic Joint and Survivor Pension Form or the Optional Forms of Pension described in Sections 7.9 and 7.10 nor the Dependent's benefit described in Section 8.6 is in effect, but the Participant's death occurs before 60 monthly disability payments have been paid, taking into account all periods of disability. In this case, the remaining payments for the 60-month period described above will be paid to the Participant's designated beneficiary.
  2. The date this Plan is terminated.
  3. The date the Disabled Participant attains his Normal Retirement Age, at which time he shall become a Pensioner, entitled to a Pension Benefit under Section 7.11.
  4. The date as of which it is determined that the Disabled Participant is no longer suffering from a Total and Permanent or Partial Disability.
  5. Except as set forth in Section 7.7, any month in which the Disabled Pensioner engages in Suspendible Employment as that term is defined in Section 9.7(a)(1)(i)-(iii) of the Plan. However, in such event, if the Disabled Pensioner is no longer suffering from Partial Disability or Total and Permanent Disability, the Pensioner's Disability Benefits shall cease.
  6. All months prior to the Disabled Pensioner attaining Normal Retirement Age in the event the Disabled Pensioner engages in Non-Covered Electrical Employment as that term is defined in Section 1.16 of the Plan.

7.4 The existence of and/or the continuation of Total and Permanent or Partial Disability shall be determined by the Trustees. The Trustees may establish such rules and regulations for proof of the existence of a Total and Permanent or Partial Disability as they may deem proper. The Trustees, at no expense to the individual, shall have the right and opportunity to provide, as often as they deem necessary, for the examination of the person of any individual whose injury or sickness is the basis of claim. Upon receipt of an application for a Partial Disability Benefit, the Trustees shall, at their sole expense, provide for the independent medical examination of the Participant to determine whether the Participant meets the definition of Partial Disability as set forth in Section 7.2.

7.5 Nothing in this Section shall prevent a Pensioner receiving Partial Disability Benefits under the Plan from qualifying for a Total and Permanent Disability Benefits under the Plan as of the effective date of the Social Security Administration Disability Award if the medical condition causing Total and Permanent Disability is a continuation of or is causally related to the Partial Disability. For a Pensioner who on or after July 1, 2010 provides the Trustees acceptable evidence under Section 7.1 that he qualifies for a Total and Permanent Disability Benefit and whose Partial Disability Benefit under this section is subsequently converted to a Total and Permanent Disability Benefit, his Total and Permanent Disability Benefit shall be determined under the terms of Section 7.11(b).

7.6 A Participant who is disabled and unable to work in Covered Employment due to such disability, will be credited with 30 hours for each week of disability for determining Credited Future Service for vesting purposes only required to satisfy the eligibility criteria for either a Total and Permanent Disability Benefit or a Partial Disability Benefit.

7.7 A Disabled Participant may continue to receive monthly disability benefits during his or her return to work in Covered Employment for one initial period of up to three (3) consecutive months. Beginning June 1, 2001, a Disabled Participant shall be permitted to return to Covered Employment for a second period of up to three (3) consecutive months if the commencement date of the second period is at least nine (9) months after the first date benefits would otherwise be suspendible due to the Disabled Participant's work in Covered Employment following the initial three (3) month return to Covered Employment. A Disability Participant who works in Covered Employment for any period of time in excess of the allowable periods set forth in the preceding sentence, will not be entitled to receive monthly disability benefits for such month in which he or she engaged in Covered Employment. Effective for Applications for Partial Disability Benefits with an Annuity Starting Date on or after July 1, 2006, a retiree receiving Partial Disability Benefits under the Plan shall not have his benefits suspended for any month in which he is employed to serve as a Trustee for an IBEW-NECA Taft-Hartley Trust Fund. In order to secure the benefits of this Section and to avoid the suspension provisions of Section 9.7(b)(2)(iii) and other applicable provisions of Section 9.7(b) a Disabled Participant must notify the Fund Offices of the Disabled Participant's intent to utilize this Section prior to registration for employment at any hiring hall in the electrical construction contracting industry. The exceptions of this Section permitting a Disabled Participant to return to work in Covered Employment is intended to provide solely an opportunity to return to work by Disabled Participants and may not be utilized by Disabled Participants in an attempt to secure unemployment insurance benefits rather than returning to gainful employment.

7.8 If, prior to his Normal Retirement Age, it is determined that a Disabled Participant is no longer suffering from Total and Permanent or Partial Disability, said Disabled Participant shall become an Active Participant.

7.9 A married Participant who has not elected otherwise shall receive his disability benefit on the Automatic Joint and Survivor Pension Form. If the Disabled Participant and his spouse make an appropriate election in writing during the 180-day period prior to the commencement of disability payments, then monthly disability benefits shall be payable in accordance with either Section 7.10 with respect to one of the Optional Forms of Pension or Section 7.1(b) for Total and Permanent Disability benefits or Section 7.2(b) for Partial Disability benefits and the Automatic Joint and Survivor Pension Form shall not become effective.

Once the Election Period has expired, a Disability Pensioner may not change his form of benefit. Once disability benefits have commenced, a Disability Pensioner may not designate a new spouse with respect to such benefits. A Disability Pensioner, who is receiving a benefit pursuant to a disability application made on or after January 1, 2005, with benefit commencement prior to July 1, 2009, and who is receiving Total and Permanent Disability Benefits or unreduced Partial Disability Benefits under the Plan is entitled to make a new election of benefits at Normal Retirement Age, including, but not limited to designation of a new spouse under a Joint and Survivor Pension Form upon attainment of Normal Retirement Age.

7.10 Under the Automatic Joint and Survivor Pension Form, the monthly disability payments shall be actuarially reduced, based on the ages of the Disabled Participant and his spouse, to provide, if the Disabled Participant dies on or after the date of commencement of disability benefits, for monthly payments of 50% of the reduced amount to continue to his spouse during her lifetime. If his spouse dies prior to the commencement of disability benefits, the Automatic Joint and Survivor Pension Form shall not become effective and the monthly disability benefit payable to the Disabled Participant shall be determined pursuant to Section 7.1(b) for Total and Permanent Disability benefits or Section 7.2(b) for Partial Disability benefits.

A Disabled Participant may elect to receive an actuarially reduced benefit based on the pension benefit determined under Article 4 on one of the Optional Forms of Pension permitted under this Section 7.10, subject to the provisions of Section 7.9. The Optional Forms of Pension for Disabled Participants are as follows:

  1. Joint and 66-⅔% Survivor Pension. The Joint and 66-⅔% Survivor Pension option contains the same provisions as the Automatic Joint and Survivor Pension Form described in this Section 7.10, except that the reduced monthly payments to the Disabled Participant's surviving spouse shall be equal to 66-⅔% of the monthly pension payable to the Disabled Participant under this Joint and 66-⅔% Survivor Pension option.
  2. Joint and 100% Survivor Pension. The Joint and 100% Survivor Pension option contains the same provisions as the Automatic Joint and Survivor Pension Form described in this Section 7.10, except that the monthly payments to the Disabled Participant's surviving spouse shall be equal to 100% of the monthly pension payable to the Disabled Participant under this Joint and 100% Survivor Pension option.
  3. Joint and 75% Survivor Pension. The Joint and 75% Survivor Pension option contains the same provisions as the Automatic Joint and Survivor Pension Form as described in Section 7.10, except that the reduced monthly payments to the Disabled Participant's surviving spouse shall be equal to 75% of the monthly pension payable to the Disabled Pensioner under this Joint and 75% Survivor Pension Option.
  4. Joint and Survivor Pension with Pop-up. A participant may select, pursuant to a qualified election, to receive payment of a Joint and 50% Survivor Pension, a Joint and 66⅔% Survivor Pension, a Joint and 75% Survivor Pension or a Joint and 100% Survivor Pension, which shall further provide that if the Participant's spouse predeceases the Pensioner, the Pensioner's monthly pension benefit shall be increased effective as of the first month following the death of the spouse to the monthly pension amount that the Pensioner would have received on his retirement effective date had the Participant elected the Normal form of pension. No reversionary benefit is payable in the event a Participant selects and receives a Joint and Survivor Social Security Adjustment Pension.
  5. Social Security Adjustment Pension. If a Participant retires before the date on which he becomes entitled to a Primary Insurance Benefit under the Federal Social Security Act, and such date is before his 65th birthday, he may elect this Social Security Adjustment Pension option effective on the date he retires. The amount of the monthly benefit payable to the Pensioner before his Social Security payments begin will approximately equal the sum of (a) the monthly benefit payable to the Pensioner under the Plan after his Social Security payments begin, and (b) the Primary Insurance Benefit expected to become payable to him monthly under the Federal Social Security Act in effect at his retirement date. No death benefit is payable under this form of pension.
  6. Joint and Survivor Social Security Adjustment Pension.
    1. If a participant retires and complies with the marriage requirements of Section 5.1 before the date on which he becomes entitled to a Primary Insurance Benefit under the Federal Social Security Act, and such date is before his 65th birthday, he may elect this Joint and Survivor Social Security Adjustment Pension option effective on the date he retires. Payment under this Form shall be actuarially determined, based on the ages of the Pensioner and his spouse. The actuarially determined monthly pension shall be payable to the Participant as long as he survives. The amount of the monthly Plan pension payable to the Pensioner before his Social Security payments begin will approximately equal the sum of (a) the monthly pension payable to the Pensioner under the Plan after his Social Security payments begin, and (b) the Primary Insurance Benefit expected to become payable to him monthly under the Federal Social Security Act in effect at his retirement date.
    2. Upon the Participant's death, prior to the commencement date of his Social Security pension, monthly payments will continue to his surviving spouse. The amount of pension payable to the spouse shall be equal to 50%, 66⅔%, 75% or 100% (as elected) of the monthly Plan pension payable to the Pensioner before his Social Security payments began, and such amount shall continue to his surviving spouse until the earlier of the Participant's commencement date of his Social Security pension (if the Participant would have survived) or the spouse's date of death. If the spouse should survive to the Participant's commencement date of his Social Security pension (if the Participant would have survived) she shall receive monthly payments for her remaining lifetime in an amount equal to 50%, 66⅔%, 75% or 100% (as elected) of the monthly Plan pension payable to the Pensioner after his Social Security payments began. Upon the death of the Participant on or after the commencement date of his Social Security pension, his surviving spouse shall receive monthly payments for her remaining lifetime in an amount equal to 50%, 66⅔%, 75% or 100% (as elected) of the monthly Plan pension payable to the Pensioner after his Social Security payments began.

7.11 Disabled Pensioners attaining Normal Retirement Age. The amount and form of benefit due to a Disabled Pensioner attaining Normal Retirement Age shall be determined by the following:

  1. For disability applications received by the Pension Trust Fund on or after January 1, 2005, with benefit commencement prior to July 1, 2009, upon attainment of his Normal Retirement Age, a Disabled Pensioner who is receiving Total and Permanent Disability Benefits or unreduced Partial Disability Benefits under this Plan shall be entitled to make a new election of benefits in accordance with Section 417(f)(2)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code unless such benefits have otherwise ceased under the Plan. A Disabled Pensioner who is receiving reduced Partial Disability benefits under this Plan shall continue to receive benefits in the same amount and same form upon attainment of Normal Retirement Age unless such benefits have otherwise ceased under the Plan.
  2. For disability benefits commencing on or after July 1, 2009, upon attainment of his Normal Retirement Age, a Disabled Pensioner who is receiving Total and Permanent Disability Benefits or unreduced Partial Disability Benefits under this Plan shall have his monthly benefit reduced by one dollar. Payments will continue under the same form of benefit unless such benefits have otherwise ceased under the Plan. A Disabled Pensioner who is receiving reduced Partial Disability benefits under this Plan shall continue to receive benefits in the same amount and same form upon attainment of Normal Retirement Age unless such benefits have otherwise ceased under the Plan.

7.12 Each Participant who had not attained his Normal Retirement Date and who was receiving a Disability Pension on June 30, 1976 shall be a Disabled Participant under this Plan and shall continue to receive monthly disability benefits in the same amount as he was receiving prior to July 1, 1976.

7.13 In the event a Pensioner has applied for and is receiving an Early Pension Benefit and satisfies the criteria for a Disability Pension as defined above either on or after the effective date of his Early Pension Benefits, the Pensioner will have the option of converting his Early Pension Benefit to a Disability Pension if the Pensioner became disabled prior to or on the effective date of his Early Pension Benefit. In the event the Retiree's application to convert an Early Pension Benefit to a Disability Pension is approved by the Board of Trustees, the Retiree shall repay the Trust Fund the amount of all Early Pension Benefits received prior to the Disability Pension effective date through an offset of twenty-five percent (25%) of each monthly Disability Pension payment until all Early Pension Benefits are repaid in full.

The effective date of the Pensioner's Disability Pension converted under this section shall commence with the first day of the month following the date of the Pensioner's disability as established by the Social Security Administration Disability Award or the Board of Trustees or the date the Pensioner has accrued at least ten (10) years of Credited Service.

This Section is applicable to applications to convert an Early Pension Benefit to a Disability Pension received by the Pension Trust Fund on or after January 1, 2005.

For a Pensioner who on or after July 1, 2010 provides the Trustees acceptable evidence under Section 7.1 that he qualifies for a Total and Permanent Disability Benefit and who subsequently elects to convert his Early Retirement Benefit under this section to a Total and Permanent Disability Benefit, his Total and Permanent Disability Benefit shall be determined under the terms of Section 7.11(b).

7.14 All provisions of this Article are subject to the limitations and restrictions of Article 17 which govern benefits first commencing on and after October 28, 2009.