The union advantage for retirement
In the union view, being an electrician is a job for life. We recognize that as a worker gets older, he becomes more vulnerable to the competitive pressures of the marketplace for construction labor. In the union system, our contractors employ workers until they retire instead of disposing of them during middle age. And when retirement age is reached, we need more than just Social Security.
A good wage is important to us, but so is planning for the future. So we quietly save a part of the negotiated package that doesn’t appear on the check and isn’t taxed, and invest these savings wisely. Our employer-paid pensions will allow us to retire with dignity.
Since this is a fringe benefit, it is not taxable when paid, and neither is the interest the money earns year after year. A nonunion worker saving on his own for retirement doesn’t have this tax advantage which very significantly increases the amount accumulated by retirement age. More importantly, it is probably difficult for him to save this amount from wages year after year and not use it for other purposes.
Local 684 Members Receive Four Retirements
Plan A is our defined benefit plan the employer pays an hourly contribution of $6.03 as of July 1, 2010 for every hour work.
A member is eligible to receive pension payments when:
· You reach age 62, and
· You have at least 5 years of credited service without a permanent break in service.
· You are eligible to receive Rule of Eighty pension when you have attained at least age 60 and the combination of your age years of credited service equal 80.
· Early retirement is available at age 55 with a reduction of ½ percent of benefit for each month you are younger than 62.
· Total contributions are added together then factored by a percentage for monthly payment.
· Spouse option is available with a 10 % deduction of monthly benefit.
Plan B is our defined contribution plan the employer pays an hourly contribution of $1.10 for every hour work.
A member is eligible to receive Plan B monies once they have qualified for Plan A. Payment can be made as a lifetime annuity, installments, or lump sum.
The national retirement plan (NEBF)
In addition to the Local 684 Retirement Plans, the contractor also contributes 3% of the worker’s on-the-check gross wages to the National Electrical Benefit Fund. This is a national defined benefit retirement and disability plan sponsored by the IBEW and NECA. When you become fully vested after five years, you receive a monthly benefit based on the number of years you have worked under the plan at age 65. As of July 1, 2001, the monthly amount is $32.00 per year worked, but the rate has continuously improved over the years. If you are totally and permanently disabled before retirement, the Fund also provides a benefit (currently a minimum of $600 per month).
The International Pension from The IBEW
The International Pension works the same as the NEBF, and currently pays $4.50 per month per year worked.
The union office can provide further details of the retirement plans.