According to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, it is one of the largest trade unions to ensure carpenters' health and welfare. It provides training, leadership development, and a retirement plan for members. The type of retirement benefits for which you are eligible depends on how many hours you have contributed in terms of labor and service. Carpenters union benefits are an excellent way to ensure that you are rewarded for your many years of service.
What Are Carpenters Union Benefits?
Carpenters union benefits are offered to carpenters, floor coverers, interior systems installers, lathers, millworkers, cabinetmakers, millwrights, pile drivers, and framers. You are eligible for benefits if you work under a collective bargaining agreement that requires you to pay into the Carpenters Pension and Annuity Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity. If you live in another area or are a member of a carpenters union that has a reciprocal agreement with this fund, then you can also participate and receive benefits.
Who Is Eligible for Carpenters Benefits?
In most cases, you must work 40 hours per week and contribute to the fund to be eligible to receive retirement benefits. One important consideration is what time you become vested in your pension. The hours worked every year count toward getting a vesting credit.
You will become vested when you earn a specific number of vesting service credits. At this time, you will remain entitled to any money owed to you under the plan even if you do not continue to work until retirement.
Depending on how long you have worked and at what age you decide to start drawing retirement benefits, you will be eligible for a different amount. For instance, you can receive a normal retirement with a full monthly amount if you are at least 65 and have at least five years of credited service. It is possible to begin taking retirement as early as 52 if you have at least 33 years of credited service.
Benefits Depend on Years
The number of years of credited service you need goes down with every year of age. For instance, at age 62, you only need 10 years of service instead of the 33 needed at age 52. You can also take a reduced pension if you are at least 55 and have at least 30 years of service.
You have the option to take a reduction of one-fourth of 1 percent per month of your full monthly retirement amount beginning at age 55. The longer you wait to retire, the more money you will receive per month.
For most, the biggest factors in determining when you can begin drawing benefits and how much you can receive are age and years of service working in the trade. If you become disabled, you can begin drawing a disability retirement pension at any age, as long as you've completed 10 years of service and got credited in each of the plan years, explains the Carpenters Benefit Funds of Philadelphia. You can begin drawing these funds at the onset of the disability.
Determining the amount that you will receive can be confusing. If you have any questions about the amount you will receive, you should contact your human resources department or the administrator of the plan in which you are enrolled.
Can You Name Beneficiaries?
When you sign up for your plan, you will be asked to designate a beneficiary and succession of beneficiaries. If you should become deceased before you have collected all the money owed to you under the plan, then the remaining benefits will be passed to your beneficiaries. If you do not name a beneficiary, the benefits will pass to your spouse, child or children, mother, or father.
If you are divorced, your former spouse cannot collect your benefits, which is different than Social Security rules. According to the Social Security Administration, your ex-spouse may be able to receive benefits based on a host of factors.
Adam Luehrs is a writer during the day and a voracious reader at night. He focuses mostly on finance writing and has a passion for real estate, credit card deals, and investing.