Pension Plan

Important Update Regarding Deadline to Take Actions Related to Your Plan Benefits

Some deadlines related to your Plan benefits may be affected by new guidance from the Department of Labor.  Beginning on March 1, 2020, you became eligible for up to a one year extension for the following deadlines:

  • Period to file an appeal of a claim denial.

Until recently, it was not clear that this extension period would be limited to a maximum of one year.  Therefore, if you were previously told that a deadline would be delayed during the “outbreak period” of COVID-19 it is important to understand your extension is limited to one year from when the extension applicable to you started.  Additionally, consistent with guidance from the Department of Labor, once the COVID-19 national emergency is declared over, your extension will end 60 days later regardless of if it has not been one year since you first became eligible for the extension.

For example:

If you were eligible to take one of the above actions on March 1, 2020, the deadlines noted above were extended until February 28, 2021.  The deadlines are now running again and you now have a limited number of days to take action.

If you became eligible to take one of the above actions on January 1, 2021, the deadlines noted above are extended until the earlier of (1) the end of the COVID-19 national emergency plus 60 days or (2) December 31, 2021.

We will post additional information when the national emergency is declared over.  Please regularly check back here for additional information.  If you have any questions regarding these extensions and how they apply to your situation, please contact the Plan Office.

Frequently Asked Questions

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. 

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%.

You must work 750 hours in the plan year (June – May) to earn a vesting credit.

Prior to June 1, 2018: Plan Years prior to June 1, 2018, your monthly pension benefit is payable equal to the years of Benefit Credit you earn multiplied by the benefit rates in effect for the relevant years. You earn a year of Benefit Credit based upon the number of Hours of Service you accumulate during a Plan Year (June – May). You earn a full year of Benefit Credit after completing 1,500 Hours of Service. No additional Benefit Credit was earned for Hours of Service in excess of 1,500.

On and after June 1, 2018: The benefit formula for employment on or after June 1, 2018 was converted to a “percent of contributions” formula whereby each Plan Year you earn a benefit equal to 0.8% of the contributions paid to the Plan on your behalf provided you work 375 hours in the Plan Year (June – May). Your total monthly pension benefit equals the sum of (1)  the benefit you earned under the Plan’s formula as in effect prior to June 1, 2018, PLUS (2) the benefit you earn under the percent of contributions formula for contributions paid on and after June 1, 2018.

If you are vested you have a nonforfeitable right to future benefits if you leave the union.

The normal retirement age is 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.

To obtain a pension application for the ECI Pension Plan, contact the Plan office.

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.

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.

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.

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, 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.

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.

Pension Benefit Formula Changes

June 1, 1992 – May 31, 1995 = 3 years at $66 = $198.00 per month PLUS        

June 1, 1995 – May 31, 2010 = 15 years at $92 = $1,380.00 per month PLUS    

June 1, 2010 – May 31, 2018 = 8 years at $75 = $600.00 per month PLUS         

June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2022 = 4 years * ($6.45 per hour * 1,800 hours * .008) = $371.52 per month

Total benefit = $2,549.52 per month

NOTE: This example assumes the hourly contribution rate that is taken into account under the new formula is the current hourly rate for Milwaukee inside wiremen ($6.70), minus the $.25 non-credited contribution for that group, and that this contribution rate remains unchanged.

June 1, 1992 – May 31, 1995 = 3 years at $54 = $162.00 per month PLUS        

June 1, 1995 – May 31, 2009 = 14 years at $76 = $1,064.00 per month PLUS   

June 1, 2009 – May 31, 2010 = 1 year at $63 = $63.00 per month PLUS            

June 1, 2010 – May 31, 2018 = 8 years at $51 = $408.00 per month PLUS       

June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2022 = 4 years ($4.85 per hour x 1,800 hours x .008) = $279.36 per month

Total benefit  = $1976.36

January 1, 2018 – May 31, 2018 = .5 year at $37.50 = $18.75 per month PLUS 

June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2042 = 29.5 years ($3.35 per hour x 1,800 hours x .008) = $1,423.08 per month

Total benefit = $1,441.83

June 1, 1992 – May 31, 1995 = 3 years at $54 = $162.00 per month PLUS        

June 1, 1995 – May 31, 2010 = 15 years at $76 = $1,140.00 per month PLUS   

June 1, 2010 – August 31, 2013 = 3.25 year at $32 = $104.00 per month PLUS 

September 1, 2013– May 31, 2018 = 4.75 years at $23 = $109.25 per month PLUS 

June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2022 = 4 years ($1.95 per hour x 1,800 hours x .008) = $112.32 per month

Total benefit = $1,627.57

June 1, 1992 – May 31, 1995 = 3 years at $39 = $117.00 per month PLUS         

June 1, 1995 – May 31, 2010 = 15 years at $55 = $825.00 per month PLUS      

June 1, 2010 – May 31, 2018 = 8 years at $45 = $360.00 per month PLUS       

June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2022 = 4 years ($3.85 per hour x 1,800 hours x .008) = $221.76 per month

Total benefit = $1,523.76

June 1, 2012 – May 31, 2018 = 6 years at $37.50 = $225.00 per month PLUS  

June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2042 = 24 years ($3.35 per hour x 1,800 hours x .008) = $1,157.76 per month

Total benefit = $1,382.76

June 1, 2012 – May 31, 2018 = 6 years at $37.50 = $225.00 per month PLUS  

June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2042 = 24 years ($3.35 per hour x 1,800 hours x .008) = $1,157.76 per month

Total benefit = $1,382.76

June 1, 2012 – May 31, 2018 = 6 years at $37.50 = $225.00 per month PLUS  

June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2042 = 24 years ($3.35 per hour x 1,800 hours x .008) = $1,157.76 per month

Total benefit = $1,382.76

June 1, 1992 – May 31, 1995 = 3 years at $38 = $114.00 per month PLUS         

June 1, 1995 – May 31, 2004 = 8 years at $53 = $424.00 per month PLUS       

June 1, 2004 – May 31, 2006 = 2 years at $92 = $184.00 per month PLUS      

June 1, 2006 – May 31, 2009 = 3 years at $53 = $159.00 per month PLUS       

June 1, 2009 – May 31, 2010 = 1 years at $46 = $46.00 per month PLUS         

June 1, 2010 – August 31, 2013 = 3.25 years at $38 = $123.50 per month

Total benefit = $1,050.50

June 1, 2012 – August 31, 2013 = 1.25 years at $38 = $47.50 per month

Total benefit = $47.50

June 1, 2013 – May 31, 2018 = 5 years at $6 = $30.00 per month PLUS            

June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2043 = 25 years ($0.75 per hour x 1,800 hours x .008) = $270.00 per month

Total benefit = $300.00

June 1, 2013 – May 31, 2018 = 5 years at $6 = $30.00 per month PLUS            

June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2043 = 25 years ($0.75 per hour x 1,800 hours x .008) = $270.00 per month

Total benefit = $300.00

June 1, 2013 – May 31, 2018 = 1 year at $6 = $6 per month PLUS                      

 June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2043 = 29 years ($0.10 per hour x 1,800 hours x .008) = $41.76 per month

Total benefit = $47.76

June 1, 2013 – May 31, 2015 = 2 years at $30 = $60.00 per month PLUS         

 June 1, 2015 – May 31, 2018 = 3 years at $6 = $18.00 per month PLUS             

June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2043 = 25 years ($0.75 per hour x 1,800 hours x .008) = $270.00 per month

Total benefit = $348

June 1, 1992 – May 31, 2009 = 17 years at $19 = $323.00 per month PLUS      

June 1, 2009 – May 31, 2010 = 1 years at $20 = $20.00 per month PLUS         

June 1, 2010 – August 31, 2013 = 3.25 years at $16 = $52.00 per month PLUS  

September 1, 2013 – May 31, 2018 = 4.75 years at $12 = $57.00 per month PLUS

June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2022 = 4 years ($1.00 per hour x 1,800 hours x .008) = $57.60 per month

Total benefit = $509.60

June 1, 1992 – May 31, 2009 = 17 years at $19 = $323.00 per month PLUS

June 1, 2009 – May 31, 2010 = 1 years at $20 = $20.00 per month PLUS

June 1, 2010 – August 31, 2013 = 3.25 years at $16 = $52.00 per month PLUS

September 1, 2013 – May 31, 2018 = 4.75 years at $14 = $66.50 per month PLUS

June 1, 2018 – May 31, 2022 = 4 years ($1.80 per hour x 1,800 hours x .008) = $103.68 per month

Total benefit = $565.18

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