Summary of Benefits

Types of Pensions

There are four types of Pensions provided by the Fund:

Early Pension
You must be at least age 45 but not yet age 62. This option will reduce your monthly pension amount by ¼ of 1% for each month (3% per year) that you are younger than age 62.
Regular Pension
You must be at least age 62.
Disability Pension
You must be totally and permanently disabled as defined by the Plan, and under age 62. In addition, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You worked at least 500 hours within the 24 months prior to the effective date of your pension or Social Security Disability Award,
  • You have not elected to receive and you are not eligible for weekly disability benefits (Nevada only) under the Operating Engineers Health and Welfare Fund,
  • You do not have a Break in Employment by failing to have 500 hours in three consecutive Plan Years unless you have credit for 3,000 hours after the Break, and
  • You do not have a Break in Employment because you worked for a non-contributing employer unless you have credit for 6,000 hours after the Break.
Service Pension
You must be at least age 60, have at least 30 Years of Service and 30,000 hours before a Permanent Break, and or a Break in Employment occurs. A Year of Service for qualification for a Service Pension is each year of Prior Service Credit and each Plan Year in which you had at least one hour of covered employment.

Monthly Pension Amount

For active participants retiring on or after July 1, 2007, their monthly pension will be $58.00 for each Pension Credit earned. This amount will be reduced by any Early Pension reduction factors and/or optional forms of pension payment. Previously retired participants, surviving spouses, beneficiaries, inactive participants and those participants who have incurred a Break in Employment will receive lesser amounts. Check your Summary Plan Description (SPD) booklet for more information.

Eligibility and Vesting Qualifications

You become Vested and eligible for a Pension when:

  • You have 3 Pension Credits or 3,000 hours on or before June 30, 1978 and before a Permanent Break, or
  • You have 6 Pension Credits or 6,000 hours before a Permanent Break, or
  • You are vested with 10,000 hours, or 5 Years of Service before a Permanent Break, which includes at least one Hour of Service covered by the Plan after June 30, 1999. A Year of Service is earned for every Plan Year in which you have 1,000 Hours of Service.

Forms of Monthly Pension Payment

There are three forms that your monthly pension can be paid:

50%    Joint Survivor Annuity 
This is the normal form of payment for married participants. Under this form of payment, you are entitled to a monthly pension for your lifetime. Upon your death, your surviving spouse is entitled to a monthly pension equal to 50% of the monthly benefit you were receiving for the remainder of your spouse’s lifetime. Survivor benefits under these options only apply to the Spouse you are legally married to at the time of retirement.
75%    Joint Survivor Annuity 
This is an optional form of payment for married participants. Under this form of payment, you are entitled to a monthly pension for your lifetime. Upon your death, your surviving spouse is entitled to a monthly pension equal to 75% of the monthly benefit you were receiving for the remainder of your spouse’s lifetime.
Survivor benefits under these options only apply to the Spouse you are legally married to at the time of retirement.
Single Life Annuity Pension
Under this form of payment, you are entitled to a monthly pension for your lifetime. If you should die prior to receiving 120 monthly pension payments, the remainder of the 120 monthly pension payments will be paid to your spouse, or beneficiary if there is no spouse. If you have already received 120 or more monthly pension payments when you die, no further benefits are payable.

Because the 50% and 75%  Joint Survivor Annuity provide a monthly benefit over two lifetimes (yours and your spouse), there is a reduction from Single Life Annuity Pension to pay for this extended option.

Death Benefits

  • Death after Retirement.
    The death benefits payable to the surviving spouse or beneficiary of a deceased pensioner are paid based on the form of pension elected at the time of retirement. If the pensioner had retired on a Single Life Annuity and had already received at least 120 monthly pension payments, no further death benefits would be payable. If a pensioner had received less than a total of 120 monthly payments when he or she died, then the remaining payments under the 120 Month Guarantee would be payable to the designated beneficiary.If the pensioner elected one of the Joint & Survivor Annuity options and had been married at least 12 months at the time of death, the 50% or 75% Survivor Annuity would be payable to the surviving spouse.  If the pensioner had not been married at least 12 months, the 120 Month Guarantee would be payable to the surviving spouse instead of the Survivor Annuity.
  • Death before Retirement.
    The surviving spouse or beneficiary of a deceased non-retired participant will receive a lump sum payment equal to $250 for each Pension Credit the participant had accumulated at the time of death, up to a maximum of 10 Credits.  The minimum death benefit is $1,000 and the maximum death benefit is $2,500.  This lump sum benefit is in addition to the pre-retirement Joint and Survivor Annuity or 120 Month Guarantee outlined below.
  • Joint and Survivor Annuity
    If the participant was vested at the time of death and married for at least 12 months,  a Survivor Annuity  will be payable as if the participant had retired the day before he died and elected the 50% Joint & Survivor Annuity.  If the participant was younger than age 45 on the date of death, benefits will not commence until the first of the month following the month in which the participant would have attained age 45 had he not died.   If the participant was age 45 or older on the date of death, benefits will commence the first of the month following the date of death unless the spouse elects to defer the commencement of benefits to a later date.  In no event will benefits begin later than December 1 of the year in which the deceased participant would have reached age 70-1/2 had he lived, or December 1 of the year in which he died.  A surviving spouse may elect, within 90 days after receiving written notice from the Fund Office, the 120 Month Guarantee benefit instead of the 50% Joint & Survivor Annuity.
  • 120 Month Guarantee 
    If a deceased participant was not married, or married for fewer than 12 months at the time of death, the surviving spouse or beneficiary will be entitled to 120 monthly payments equal to the amount of Regular Pension the deceased participant would have received had he been age 62 and retired on a Single Life Annuity on the day before he died.

Earning Credits

Generally, you earn one Pension Credit for each Plan Year that you work at least 1,000 hours or more in Covered Employment.   If you work less than 1,000 hours in a Plan Year,  your Pension Credit will be prorated accordingly (For example;  658 hours would equal .658 Pension Credit). There are some special rules if you worked before June 1, 1960 or you worked for an Employer contributing at less than the then-current master rate. Check the Summary Plan Description (SPD) booklet for more information.

Reciprocal Pension 

A Reciprocal Pension is provided for participants who have insufficient hours in Covered Employment or Pension Credit in this Fund to qualify for a pension, but would qualify if hours and Pension Credit from another Operating Engineers Fund were combined with the hours in this Fund.  This Fund has reciprocal agreements with almost all Operating Engineer Pension Funds in the nation.  This Plan requires that you have a minimum of 6,000 hours in order to qualify for a pension.  As an example, if you had worked in this area and had accumulated 4,000 hours and had an additional 12,000 hours in another local’s area, we would combine those hours for eligibility purposes.  You would receive a pension from this Fund based on your 4,000 hours and a pension from the other Fund based on your 12,000 hours.