Pension Plan

Active Participants

You become an “active” participant in the Pension Plan at the end of the Plan Year (May 1 - April 30) in which you work in Covered Employment for 800 hours or more. Once you meet the initial eligibility requirement, your eligibility will continue as long as you remain an Eligible Employee and obtain 200 hours in each Plan Year.

The eligibility requirement is based on all hours which are credited for vesting purposes under the Plan.

Years of Credited Service

Credited Hours in a Plan YearCredited Service Earned in a Plan Year
Less than 200 HoursNone
200 to 399 Hours1/4 year Credit
400 to 599 Hours1/2 year Credit
600 to 799 Hours3/4 year Credit
800 or more Hours1 year Credit

The Pension Plan Year begins on May 1st and ends on April 30th.

Pension Accrual Rate as of May 1, 2018

$85 / 1,000 Hours

  • For Class I, III, IV, and Class V Employment Classes

$60 / 1,000 Hours

  • For Class II Employment Class (Cabinet & Mill)

Please note: Accrual rates may vary based on respective Collective Bargaining Agreement and/or apprentice level.

Pension Forms and Downloads

Key Words and Definitions

Employment Class Breakdown
Type of Work or Work LocationCovered Employment
Lehigh ValleyClass I
Cabinet and MillClass II
Carpenter, Dock Building, Resilient Floor, Millwrights & Machinery Erectors, Heavy & Highway, Home Building, Lathers, and any other work not covered under Classes I, II, IV, & V.Class III
County of Sussex in the State of Delaware and the counties of Somerset, Talbot, Dorchester, Worcester, and Wicomico in the state of Maryland.Class IV
New Castle & Kent counties in the state of Delaware, and the counties of Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Caroline in the state of Maryland.Class V
Pension Vesting

Pension Vesting

“Vesting” means you remain entitled to a benefit from the Plan, regardless of whether you continue to work in Covered Employment until retirement.

  • If you earned an hour of vesting credit, you are “vested” in your Accrued Monthly Pension Benefit under the Plan if you have earned at least three (3) Years of Vesting Service.
Credited Hours

Credited Hours are used to determine your eligibility and benefits from the Fund. In order to receive credited service you must obtain Credited Hours.

Generally after 1981, Credited Hours are a combination of:

  • Payment Hours, also called “Contribution Hours” (hours you worked for which employer contributions are made to the Pension and Annuity Fund for your work).
  • Delinquent Hours are hours you worked for which employer contributions are due but which have not been paid to the Pension and Annuity Fund for your work by the delinquent employer. You must provide evidence of your work such as a pay stub or similar record to the Fund Office to receive credited hours.
  • Weekly Disability or Workers’ Compensation Hours for which you receive benefits from the Carpenters Health and Welfare Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity.(Currently, you may receive credit for up to 30 hours per week to a maximum of 104 weeks per disability without an intervening return to work for at least 500
    hours.)
  • School hours for Apprenticeship training with the Joint Apprenticeship Committee of Philadelphia and Vicinity after April 30, 1988.
  • Qualified Military Service. Military service up to 5 years for the United States is credited if you leave work with a contributing Plan employer for military service and return within the periods provided by law. You must present yourself for work in Covered Employment:
    (a) within 90 days after your discharge from military service over 180 days, (b) within 14 days for military service between 30 and 180 days and (c) immediately for service under a month. For military service before 1994, you had to return to Covered Employment within 90 days of discharge regardless of the length of your military service. Military service for the United States is also credited if you leave work with a contributing Plan employer for military service and you either pass away or become disabled after December 31, 2006 while performing military service. Service is credited as though you had returned to work on the date of your passing or on the date of the onset of your disability. Hours credited for Qualified Military Service are treated the same as “Payment Hours.”
  • Reciprocal Hours. You are credited with hours for which contributions are paid to the Pension & Annuity Fund under the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America National Reciprocal Agreement
Eligible Employees

You are an “Eligible Employee” who can participate in the Plan if you fall into one of the following categories.

  • You work under a collective bargaining agreement that requires contributions to the Carpenters Pension and Annuity Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity.
  • You work for a contributing employer that has signed a Participation Agreement with the Plan for work outside a Carpenters bargaining unit. These agreements generally require contributions for a minimum of 40 hours per week. An employee who has another “Home Fund” under a reciprocal agreement CANNOT participate in the Plan.
Covered Employment

Covered Employment is work covered by a collective bargaining agreement in the carpentry or related trade within our geographic area, or a reciprocal area that requires an employer to make contributions to the Pension and Annuity Plan. Covered Employment also includes work as an employee of an employer which is required to contribute to the Plan under a participation agreement.

The amount and time for payment of your benefits depends on the predominant type of carpentry work that you perform during your work life. This makes it necessary to distinguish between one type of Covered Employment and another according to the hourly contribution rate that applies to that employment.

You may need to sign an authorization for the transfer of contributions pursuant to a reciprocal agreement.

Inactive Participant

You will be considered an “inactive” participant if you have less than 200 Credited Hours during any Plan Year. You may also become “inactive” earlier if you cease to be available for and seeking Covered Employment. When you work again in Covered Employment for 800 or more Credited Hours in a Plan Year, you will become an active participant at the end of the Plan Year.

Beneficiary

Your “Beneficiary” is a surviving individual, trust or estate that you designate on a Plan form. In the absence of a designation, your beneficiary is, in order, your spouse (regardless of the length of marriage), child or children in equal parts, mother, father, or if no such relative survives, the executor or administrator of your estate. A person who kills a participant cannot be a beneficiary and the death benefit will pass to the next beneficiary in the order listed. Your beneficiary designation is invalid if your beneficiary is your former spouse and you made the designation prior to your divorce.

Deferred Vested Pension

If you are vested when you become an Inactive Participant, you are eligible to receive your full Accrued Monthly Pension at your normal retirement date (usually, the first month after you turn 65). If you do not apply for benefits by your Normal Retirement Date, your benefits may be increased to account for the delay, in the absence of suspendible work. If you do not apply for benefits before the April 1 after the year in which you turn age 70½, the Plan will begin payments to you calculated under IRS regulations.

The amount of your Deferred Vested Pension is equal to your Accrued Monthly Pension at the time you ceased to be an Active Participant and is payable beginning at age 65. If you are entitled to a Deferred Vested Pension, you may elect to collect the pension amount starting as early as age
55. Note that in this case the amount would be reduced by ½ of 1% for each month by which your age is less than age 65 at the time the pension begins. For example:

  • If you begin to collect a Deferred Vested Pension at age 65, you would receive 100% of your Accrued Monthly Pension.
  • If you begin to collect at age 55, you would receive 40% of your Accrued Monthly Pension.

You will receive payments for your lifetime with guaranteed payments for 60 months.

Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs)

If you are divorced before retirement, your spouse will lose all of his/her rights to your benefits under the Plan, unless the Plan is served with a qualified domestic relations order (“QDRO”) from a state court. The state court can preserve a former spouse or child’s right to share in your pension benefits. Your former spouse and child may receive a portion of your pension under a QDRO, and a QDRO may require you to retain your former spouse or child as a beneficiary under the guaranteed payment form. A divorce after retirement has no effect on the payment of benefits to your spouse by the Plan after your death under the normal joint and survivor form.

The Plan will pay all or a portion of your benefit in compliance with a court-issued Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) that meets Plan and all other ERISA standards. The Fund Office will treat a domestic relations order as a claim for benefits under the Plan and issue a letter acknowledging that the order is “qualified” (so as to entitle the spouse to benefits) or that it is “not
qualified” and will not be accepted by the Plan. Any party to the order can appeal the determination of the Fund Office under the procedures for appeal of a benefit denial. If you are scheduled to receive payment of your benefits while the Plan is considering the qualified status of the order, the Plan will segregate any amounts potentially payable to the spouse while the qualified status of the order is under consideration (up to a maximum of 18 months).

The Plan will generally ask you about any divorce or property settlement agreement when you apply for payment of benefits. You and your former spouse may need to verify that a former spouse has no right or claim to your Plan benefits before payment to you begins.