Labor unions provide for fair working conditions, pay and retirement benefits for workers across the country. Teachers, construction workers, postal employees and even servers all have unions working for them in one or all states. Retirement benefits for union members provide a steady income and medical benefits for workers that have given a life of loyal service to a company and the union itself.
Some union members enjoy payments from direct-benefit pension plans upon retirement. These benefit plans are paid into by all union members over the course of an employment career through tax-exempt donations taken out of paychecks. These pension plans provide the employee with a guaranteed fixed income upon retirement which gets larger the longer an employee's career lasts.
According to the website for the American Federation of Labor, employers have moved away from allowing these direct-benefit plans in union negotiations and have instead opted for 401k retirement plans which are essentially stock portfolios which pay the employee a monthly stipend upon retirement.
Union members like those of the American Postal Worker's Union enjoy health benefits that remain in place upon retirement. Retiring workers have the option of choosing from multiple benefit plans based on desired premiums and anticipated health needs of the coming years. These benefits are also extended to spouses and dependent children. To be eligible for these retirement benefits, an employee must remain in service for a specified period of time as negotiated per union contract.
Life Insurance and Survivor's Benefits
Collective bargaining agreements regularly provide for the creation of group life insurance programs for retiring union members. Life insurance provides a payout for death benefits which includes money to bury the former employee and provide for his surviving family. This fund is established through deductions from union member paychecks from every union location across the country if there are more than one. Additionally, spouses and dependent children may be eligible to receive a portion or all of the former employee's remaining pension or 401k once any remaining debts have been paid.
Jonathan Lister has been a writer and content marketer since 2003. His latest book publication, "Bullet, a Demos City Novel" is forthcoming from J Taylor Publishing in June 2014. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Shippensburg University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing and poetics from Naropa University.