Defined Benefit Pension Summary Plan Description

Important Note:
Notwithstanding any information in these SPD 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.

10. WHAT HAPPENS TO MY PENSION IF I DIE BEFORE RETIREMENT; DO I NEED TO DESIGNATE A BENEFICIARY?

  1. If you are an Active Participant (have not had two consecutive Plan Years with less than 375 Covered Hours in each Plan Year) with 5 years of Vesting Service, 10 years of Total Credited Service, or have attained your Normal Retirement Age, and are married, your spouse will receive 50% of your monthly benefit for life. If your spouse dies and you have children under age 21, payments will continue until the youngest child reaches age 21, 50% of your monthly benefit will be divided equally among your children who are under age 21. As each child reaches age 21, the same 50% benefit amount will be divided among the remaining children who are under age 21. If fewer than 120 payments are made to your spouse and your children, the balance of the 120 payments will be paid to your spouse's designated beneficiary (or preference beneficiary under the Plan if no beneficiary has been designated by your spouse).

If you have met the age and service requirements for an unreduced early retirement, but die before retirement, your surviving spouse will be paid in the Joint and 100% Survivor Form beginning the first of the month after your death.

Note: the Joint and 100% Survivor benefit is payable for the lifetime of the surviving spouse, but there is no guaranteed number of payments that the Plan would make. A surviving spouse eligible for the Joint & 100% Survivor benefit could elect instead to take the 50% benefit described above, which guarantees at least 120 monthly payments and would continue to your children and/or to a designated beneficiary if fewer than 120 monthly payments have been made to your surviving spouse and your children.

For example, Ted Jones had 30 years of Credited Service when he died at age 50 while considered an Active Participant. His accrued benefit was $3,000 per month. Based on his age and his wife's age when he died, her Joint & 100% Survivor's benefit would be $2,400 per month, payable for her lifetime but ending with her death with no guaranteed number of payments. Her other option would be to take 50% of Ted's benefit or $1,500 per month, payable for her lifetime but with a guarantee of at least 120 months (10 years) of payments. If she dies while any of their children are still under 21, the child or children under age 21 would continue receiving $1,500 per month (divided if more than one child under 21) even if the surviving spouse had already received more than 120 monthly payments.

  1. If you are an unmarried Active Participant with children under 21, 50% of your monthly benefit will be divided equally among your children. As each child reaches age 21, the same benefit amount will be divided among the remaining children. A total of 120 months (10 years) are guaranteed. If all your children reach age 21 before 120 payments are made, the balance of the 120 payments will be paid to your designated beneficiary.

    If you are not married and have not already done so, please complete the pink “Unmarried Participant” card available from your local union or the Administrative Office. If you subsequently marry, pre-existing designations will be invalid and your spouse will be your beneficiary unless your spouse provides written and notarized consent to the designation of another person as your designated beneficiary. Only a person can be designated as your beneficiary; a living trust is not an acceptable beneficiary.

    Please remember that if you are unmarried and do not designate a beneficiary specifically for your benefits accrued under the Southern California IBEW-NECA Pension Plan (Defined Benefit Plan), the plan must pay benefits based on the preference order stated in Article 8.7(a) of the Plan. Without a surviving spouse, the preference order is the first of the following classes in which a member survives the participant:
    1. Children;
    2. Parents;
    3. Siblings.
    If you do not designate a beneficiary, your pension may not go to the person or persons you prefer.
  2. If you are an unmarried Active Participant without children, then 50% of your monthly benefit amount will be paid to your designated beneficiary for 120 months.
  3. If you are an Inactive Vested Participant with at least one Covered Hour since June 30, 1976, then benefits will be paid as follows:
  1. Married Participants:

    If you are married at the time of your death, a lifetime monthly pension will be payable to your spouse equal to 50% of the normal pension benefit you had earned up to the date of your death.

    If you were not eligible for early retirement at the time of your death, the benefit to your spouse will not begin until you would have reached your 55th birthday. However, your spouse may elect an actuarially reduced benefit, beginning on the first day of any earlier month following your date of death.
  2. Unmarried Participants:

    If you are an Inactive Vested Participant and are unmarried on the date of your death, benefits will be paid as if you were an active participant, with one exception:

    If you are not eligible for early retirement at the time of your death, the amount of your child or other beneficiary's monthly payment will be actuarially reduced for each month between the date of your death and the date you would have reached age 55.

Articles 8.4 and 8.5 of the Plan further explain Pre-retirement Death Benefits.