Summary Plan Description
- How do I receive an estimate of my ECI Pension benefits?
You may obtain an estimate of your pension benefits by sending in a written request. You should specify what age the estimate should be based on and if the spousal option be included in the calculation. Please include the last four digits of your social security number. Please be advised that estimates are based on current Pension benefit credits.
- Why do I have to send it in writing, why can’t you just tell me over the phone right now what it is worth?
Work history is the determining factor for Pension credits. There are multiple variables that are used to calculate ECI Pensions such as years credits earned, benefit credits earned (full or partial), age of planned retirement, agreement, accrual rates, age reduction factor, spousal coverage at 50% or 75%.
- How many hours must I work to get a year of vesting credit?
You must work 750 hours in the plan year (June – May) to earn a vesting credit.
- How many hours must I work to get a benefit credit?
You must work 1500 hours in the plan year (June – May) to earn a benefit credit.
- What happens to my pension benefit if I drop out of the union?
If you are vested you have a nonforfeitable right to future benefits if you leave the union.
- What is the normal retirement age?
The normal retirement age is 65.
- May I retire before age 65?
You may elect to begin receiving an Early Pension following the month in which you attain age 55 and terminate employment.
If your pension begins at ages 55 through 59, your pension benefit will be reduced by 3% per year. Pensions that begin at age 60 are reduced by 2% and pensions that begin at age 61 are reduced by 1%.
You are eligible for an unreduced pension at or after age 62.
- How do I apply for a pension?
To obtain a pension application for the ECI Pension Plan, contact the Plan office.
- How much in advance should I apply?
It is recommended that you apply 3 months in advance. Please be advised that your first check will be processed upon receipt of your final contribution.
- How long does it take for my benefits to begin once I apply?
You should file your ECI Pension Plan application at the Plan office in advance of the first month you expect your pension benefits to begin. You are urged to file as soon as you decide on your intended Retirement date. Early filing will avoid delay in the processing of your application and payment of benefits.
- If my last day of work is 10/31/12, why can’t I get my first check 11/1/12?
Hours worked in the current month are reported in the following month. For the example above, October hours are received in November. All reported hours are used to determine Benefit credits earned which are used to determine the monthly benefit payment.
- Does contacting the ECI Plan office begin the process for the NEBF and the IBEW Pension Plans?
No, the ECI Plan office only administers the ECI Pension Plan. You should contact the Local 494 union for assistance with the NEBF and the IBEW Pension Plans.
- If I take another job after I start collecting my pension, will I lose my pension?
If, after you retire and begin receiving benefits, you work in employment prohibited by the Plan, you lose your pension for the particular months you work. When you retire again, you must re-apply for pension benefits.
There are different prohibited employment rules depending on whether your pension begins before or after December 31, 1997. Also, different rules apply before and after age 65. The change adopted by the Trustees relates to the definition of prohibited employment prior to age 65. The following describes the change:
Prior Rule: Prior to this change, before age 65, prohibited employment included employment or self-employment in work regularly performed by electrical workers “or by any building trades craftsman.”
New Rule: As amended by the Trustees, prohibited employment prior to age 65 now means, in general, employment or self-employment in work regularly performed by electrical workers. Therefore, work as a “building trades craftsman” (other than as an electrical worker) is no longer considered prohibited employment.
Prohibited employment between ages 65 and 70 1/2 is if you are employed or self-employed and work more than 40 hours per month in work regularly performed by electrical workers or any building trades craftsman.
After age 70 1/2 you can work anywhere and still receive your pension.
- Are there survivor benefits before retirement?
There are benefits for the surviving spouse of an Employee. If there is no surviving spouse, benefits are payable to surviving children who are less than 19 years of age.
For details regarding eligibility for survivor benefits and how survivor benefits are calculated, please see page 20 on the ECI Pension Plan Summary Plan Description.
- May I name someone other than my spouse as my beneficiary?
- Can the spousal option be changed once my pension has begun?