Important Plan Basics

Age & Service Requirements Chart

Pension Type Time Period Number of hours Minimum Age
Regular Prior to 6/30/78
Current
3,000
6,000
62
62
Service Current 30,000* 60
Early Prior to 6/30/78
Current
3,000
6,000
45
45
Disability Prior to 6/31/78
Current
500
6,000
None
None

*You must  have 30 years of service in Southern California and Southern Nevada as an Operating Engineer.

Lump Sum Benefit at Retirement

A participant who qualifies for a pension (other than a Participant & Spouse Pension) shall be entitled, upon his retirement, to receive a lump-sum retirement benefit equal to $250 per Pension Credit accumulated by the participant up to his date of retirement, up to a maximum of $2,500. You may elect to receive all or part of the lump sum at retirement or have all or part of it deferred as a death benefit. The pension payment election form contains the section for the election of how the payment is to be made.

If you received a lump-sum retirement benefit at any previous commencement of retirement (e.g. disability retirement), the lump-sum will be reduced by the amount previously paid to you.

If you elect the Participant & Spouse you are also entitled to the benefit. However, the benefit is NOT paid in one lump-sum. Instead, the amount is pro-rated and a portion of the benefit is added to each of your monthly pension payments. This is a requirement of the Internal Revenue Service.

This payment should not be confused with the $2,500 death benefit payment from the Health & Welfare Fund. The Retiree Health & Welfare Plan provides for a $2,500 payment upon the death of an eligible retired participant or the retiree’s eligible spouse. The participant or spouse must have been eligible for Health & Welfare coverage through the Retiree Plan at the time of death for this payment to be made. It is not a benefit from the Pension Fund.

Break In Employment

If your Service Credits are vested, you will not incur a permanent break in employment or forfeit Service Credits. However, a break in employment as described below may cause you to receive payment for your Service Credits at a lower rate.

A. PRIOR TO JULY 1, 1990.

General Rules
If you failed to receive credit for 500 hours during a period of three (3) consecutive years between July 1, 1960 and July 1, 1990, you incurred a Break in Employment on the LAST DAY OF THE THREE YEAR PERIOD.

B. AFTER JULY 1, 1990.

General Rules
If you fail to receive credit for 500 hours during a period of three (3) consecutive years after July 1, 1990, you will incur a Break in Employment ON THE LAST DAY OF THE PLAN YEAR PRECEDING THE THREE-YEAR PERIOD (in other words, at the beginning of the three-year period).IMPORTANT: If you work in any capacity for a non-contributory employer, if that employer performs work of the nature covered by any Collective Bargaining Agreement, you will incur a Break in Employment on the last day of the Plan year in which this employment occurs.Credits earned by vested participants prior to a Break in Employment are paid at the rate in effect at the time the Break occurs. No less than $8.00 will be paid for each Prior Credit and $12.00 for each Current Service Credit, except in the case of a pensioner who has more hours reported to another Operating Engineer Pension Trust or Trusts than were reported to Local #12′s Pension Trust. In these cases, payment is based on the rate in effect at the time the credits were earned. The payment rate for Prior Credits can range from $2.00 to $8.00 and for Current Service Credits from $1.50 to $50.00.
Grace Periods
There are certain periods which do not count as a Break in Employment:

  1. Temporary or Total Disability.
  2. Service in the Armed Forces of the United States.
  3. Unavailability of employment in covered service on and after July 1, 1990. You must prove you were on Local 12′s “Out-of-Work List” during the period in question and a detailed Social Security Earnings Report will be required.

Work After Retirement

An Early, Service or Regular Pensioner can do anything except work as an Operating Engineer while receiving pension benefits. The plan specifically prohibits employment as an Operating Engineer anywhere for anyone by an Early, Service or Regular Pensioner under age 65. Such employment is a violation of the rules and any member doing so is subject to suspension of pension benefits and penalties.

If you return to work as an Operating Engineer, you must notify the Fund Office within 30 days of such re-employment. This does not mean employment as an Operating Engineer strictly in Local #12’s area. It applies to employment as an Operating Engineer anywhere in the world. If you are under 65 and return to work at the trade, your pension benefit will be suspended for any month in which you work. Multiple returns to work and re-retirements will result in additional penalties. Details are available from the Fund Office.

Once you attain age 65, Federal law allows you to work less than 40 hours a month at the trade without penalty. You must notify the Fund Office of such employment and comply with all other requirements of the Plan.

If you turn 70 1/2 on or after January 1, 1996, Federal law now allows you to work unlimited hours at the trade and defer receiving pension benefits without any penalty, until you stop working as an Operating Engineer. At that time, pension payments must begin the April 1st following the calendar year you last work and the benefit will be actuarially increased for the period after age 65 in which you did not receive benefits. This law does not apply to a 5% owner of the employer. (Participants who were older than 70 1/2 on January 1, 1996, were treated differently under previous Federal law and may contact the Fund Office for more information.)

Disability Pensioners are treated differently. In order to have qualified for a Disability Pension, you must have proved that you were incapable of what is known as substantial, gainful employment. The Trustees currently define that as employment which results in the earning of income exceeding $399 a month.

Disability Pensioners are not allowed to be employed in any substantial capacity. They must be totally and permanently disabled and therefore, incapable of employment. A Disability Pensioner who becomes employed will have his pension benefits suspended. The Trustees do allow for trial work periods and any Disability Pensioner in that category should get in touch with the Pension Department for the specific details before starting work. Each case is judged on an individual basis

Payment Dates

Pensions are paid on the first of the month for the month in which they are due. In other words, the check you receive on April 1, is for the month of April. Checks are mailed by the Fund Office three working days before the first of the month.

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