Defined Benefit Pension Summary Plan Description

4. Can I ever lose my pension credits?

Until you are vested (see Answer 3 on page 7 for more information on vesting), it is possible to lose your pension credits. This will occur if you have several consecutive Plan Years in which you earn less than 375 vesting hours in each of those Plan Years.

You become an Inactive Employee if you:

  1. work less than 375 Covered Hours in each of two (2) consecutive Plan Years (completing a Grace Period); and
  2. Then complete a Divesting Service Year (less than 375 vesting hours in a Plan Year).

Once you become an Inactive Employee, you will lose your pension credits unless you work at least 750 Covered Hours within two (2) consecutive Plan Years before the date you would completely lose your pension credits.

You would completely lose your pension credits as of June 30th of the year when your Divesting Service Years (including years during the Grace Period) equal the greater of:

  1. Five (5) years; or
  2. The number of your Credited Vesting Service Years.

You will not incur a Divesting Service Year if you meet the requirements for Special Service. Special Service includes authorized leaves of absence, military duty, maternity or paternity leave, and continuous employment in the electrical contracting industry within the geographical jurisdiction of IBEW Locals 11, 440, 441, 477 in a job classification not covered by a collective bargaining agreement. Eligibility for Special Service is defined in greater detail in Article 1.27 of the Plan Document.

You will not incur a Divesting Service Year if you were an active Participant who became a signatory contractor with IBEW Locals 11, 440, 441 or 477 and did not have contributions paid into the Plan on your behalf. You must furnish appropriate evidence to the Trust Fund upon request to document a disability or eligibility for Special Service.

The following charts indicate how a break in service can occur.

Table 1: Five-Year Vesting Currently in Effect

Number of Vesting Service Years Divesting Service Years Needed to Lose all Credited Service
1 – 4 5
5 or more Pension vested—cannot be lost

Table 2: 10-Year Vesting Previously in Effect (refer to Question 3)

Number of Vesting Service Years Divesting Service Years Needed to Lose All Credited Service
1 – 5 5
6 6
7 7
8 8
9 9
10 or more Pension vested—cannot be lost