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PENSION


ANNUAL EARNINGS STATEMENTS

When are the Annual Earnings Statement or Report of Covered Earnings and Pension Accruals sent out?
Are all of my earnings under Actors' Equity jurisdiction applied towards my pension accruals?
If I receive the Annual Report of Covered Earnings and Pension Accruals does that mean I am vested and entitled to a pension?
If I am a pensioner how is my increase from covered employment calculated and when does it go into effect?
If I am vested and currently receive a monthly pension, am I supposed to be receiving the amount credited on my Annual Report of Covered Earnings and Pension Accruals?


PENSION PLAN

What does being vested in the Plan mean?
What are the requirements for vesting?
What is a permanent "Break in Service"?
What is Vesting Service?
What is the normal retirement age?
What is the earliest retirement age?
Is there a death benefit payable after I die?
Is there a life insurance policy in effect, if so, what is the benefit?
How do I apply for my pension?
What is the minimum pension?
What is the maximum pension someone can receive each year?
Are there any earnings limits when determining my pension benefit?
What happens if I don't take my pension at age 65?
Does my pension increase at all?
What are the requirements for disability pension?
Can I roll my pension over into another Plan, IRA, Money Market, etc.?
I would like to borrow monies against my pension, is that allowed?
Can I name anyone as a beneficiary?
Can my spouse or any other beneficiary share in my pension benefit?
My spouse is a member of Equity; can we both collect pension? Can he/she continue to collect his/her pension as well as my survivor pension after my death?



Pension

Annual Earnings Statements

When are the annual earnings statement or Report of Covered Earnings and Pension Accruals sent out?

The Report of Covered Earnings and Pension Accruals for each year is sent out in the fall of the following year.


Are all of my earnings under Actors' Equity jurisdiction applied towards my pension accruals?

Currently, only pensionable earnings are applied towards your pension.
The weekly limit on pensionable earnings depends on the type of contract.
Earnings under contracts that do not require contributions to the Pension Fund are not included in your Statement nor do they increase your pension accruals.


If I receive the Annual Report of Covered Earnings and Pension Accruals does that mean I am vested and entitled to a pension?

The Report of Covered Earnings and Pension Accruals does not address the question of whether a member is vested. Receipt of the Statement does not constitute vesting. You should review this statement to be sure that your weekly earnings submitted under the Pension Plan are correct. If there is a discrepancy with any earnings reported, please contact the Retirement Services Department.


If I am a pensioner how is my increase from covered employment calculated and when does it go into effect?

If you are a pensioner and you continue to work, your pension will be increased effective January 1st of the following year. The increase will be reflected in your monthly pension benefit in the fall of following year in which you worked. It will be retroactive to January. Your annual increase will be 3% (current accrual rate) of your pensionable earnings plus $132 for the year if you worked at least two weeks of covered employment.


If I am vested and currently receive a monthly pension, am I supposed to be receiving my Annual Report of Covered Earnings?

You will receive a statement of weekly earnings that will be used as a guide when the determination is made to increase your monthly beneifit each year. Any discrepancies should be reported in order to make the proper adjustmentss to you monthly benefits.



Pension Plan

What does being vested in the Plan mean?

Being vested in the Plan means that you have a guaranteed right to a pension at retirement age.


What are the requirements for vesting?

You can become vested under 10 years of vesting service or 5 years of vesting service. To be eligible for 5-year vesting you must have 5 years of vesting service (without a permanent break in service prior to January 1992), and be age 55 by 1992. If you are not age 55 by 1992, then you must have 5 years of service (without a permanent break in service prior to January 1992) and work at least 1 hour after June 1999.

If you are not eligible for 5 year vesting, you must have two weeks of employment in any 10 calendar years without a permanent break in service prior to June 1992. With ten year vesting, you can qualify for the "Two for One" rule. The "Two for One" rule states that if you work 20 weeks or more in a calendar year, you will receive two vesting credits for that year. The "Two for One" rule can only be applied for a maximum of 3 years. The "Two for One" rule cannot be applied in the 5 year vesting plan.


What is a permanent "Break in Service"?

If you worked in covered employment on or after January 1, 1992 and had not experienced a permanent "Break in Service" (as defined below) before January 1, 1992, you are not affected by the Break in Service Rules

The following Break in Service rules apply prior to January 1, 1992: If you had less than 10 years of vesting service, your service is lost if you failed to work for a substantial period of time based on the following schedule:

Years of Vesting Service Consecutive Years
in Which a Performer
Fails to Earn a
Year of Vesting Service
1 year 5 years
2 through 4 years 7 years
5 through 9 years 10 years
10 or more years Unlimited

Any performer who had at least five years of service prior to the period of unemployment that caused the loss of credit will have the lost credit restored if they return to work after December 31, 1991 and earn one year of pension service.

Pension benefits produced by the restored years of service will be applied for benefit payments payable on or after January 1, 2003. There will be no retroactive payments or adjustments for periods of time before then, regardless of when the performer reached retirement age.

The five years of service prior to the break that is required for eligibility for the new rule must be years for which contributions were made to the Pension Fund and the "two for one" rule will not apply.


What is vesting service?

You earn one year of vesting service for each calendar year in which you worked at least two weeks in covered employment.


What is the normal retirement age?

The normal retirement age is 65. If you elect to receive your pension at age 65, your monthly benefit will be unreduced.


What is the earliest retirement age?

Early retirement age is between age 60 and 64. If you elect an early retirement pension, your monthly benefit will be reduced to account for receiving your pension over a longer period of time.


Is there a death benefit payable after I die?

It depends on whether you have five years of service, whether you die before or after you retire and what form of benefit you opt for if you retired before your death.

If you die before you retire: If you die before you retire and you have five years of vesting service, a death benefit will be paid on your behalf.

If you are married, or have a Domestic Partner/Same Sex marriage, the death benefit will be a lifetime monthly annuity to your spouse equal to 50% of the amount you would have received had you retired the day before your death. The annuity will be payable the first of the month after you become deceased. Alternatively, your spouse/Domestic Partner can select a lump sum equal to 60 times the monthly annuity you would have received had you retired the day before your death. If you are married and wish to designate someone other than your spouse to receive the death benefit, you and your spouse must both consent in writing on forms provided by the Retirement Plan Services.

If you are not married (or are married and waived the spousal benefit), a lump sum death benefit will be paid to your beneficiary on file equal to 60 times the monthly annuity you would have received had you retired the day before your death.

If you die after you retire: If you retired with a spouse's pension and you die before your spouse, your spouse will receive a lifetime monthly annuity equal to 50% of the amount you were receiving when you died. If you retired with a single pension (because you are single or rejected the spouse's pension), you are guaranteed 60 monthly payments. If you die before receiving 60 payments, the remainder will be paid to your designated beneficiary.


Is there a life insurance policy in effect, if so, what is the benefit?

At this present time, there is no life insurance policy in effect.


How do I apply for my pension?

You should complete a pension application and return it to the Retirement Plan Services along with proof of birth. You can also download applicaton materials directly: http://www.equityleague.org/pension/forms/pension_appprocess.html


What is the minimum pension?

With 10 years of vesting service, the minimum pension is $200.00 per month at age 65. There is no minimum pension with 5 to 9 years of vesting service. Your amount will be paid to you based on your actual earnings under the plan.


What is the maximum pension a person can receive each year?

There is a limit the IRS imposes on the pension benefits that a member can receive each year. For 2011 the yearly amount is $195,000.


Are there any earnings limits when determining my pension benefit?

Most contracts have a limit on the amount that can be accrued towards your pension. The IRS also has set an earnings limit by employer, when determining your pension benefits under the plan.

Here are the limits for the following years:

1989 $200,000 2001 $170,000
1990 $209,200 2002 $200,000
1991 $222,220 2003 $200,000
1992 $228,860 2004 $205,000
1993 $235,840 2005 $210,000
1994 $150,000 2006 $220,000
1995 $150,000 2007 $225,000
1996 $150,000 2008 $230,000
1997 $160,000 2009 $245,000
1998 $160,000 2010 $245,000
1999 $160,000 2011 $245,000
2000 $170,000 2012 $250,000
2001 $170,000 2013 $255,000


What happens if I don't take my pension at age 65?

If you don't take your pension at age 65, when you do decide to collect your benefit it will be actuarially adjusted back to your 65th birthday. There will not be a lump sum payment for the years in which you did not collect benefits after age 65.


Does my pension increase at all?

Your pension benefits will increase should you return to covered employment. For every year you work in covered employment, those earnings will be applied and will increase your monthly pension benefit.


What are the requirements for disability pension?

If the Social Security Administration has deemed you totally and permanently disabled, the Equity League Pension Trust Fund will consider you "disabled" under the Plan. When applying for a Disability Pension, you must have received your Social Security Award Letter. Payments will not be made retroactive back to the Date of Disability awarded by social security. Your payment will begin once your application has been submitted and approved under the Pension Plan. Your disability pension will terminate once you are no longer deemed disabled by Social Security Administration. Please contact the Retirements Services Department immediately once you receive this confirmation from Social Security Administration.



Can I roll my pension over into another Plan, IRA, Money Market, etc?

Your monthly pension benefits cannot be rolled over, borrowed against, taken out, or transferred to an IRA, Money Market, or other Pension Funds.


I would like to borrow monies against my pension, is that allowed?

Borrowing money against your pension benefit is not allowed.


Can I name anyone as a beneficiary?

If you are married, your spouse is automatically your beneficiary. If you wish to designate someone else, you and your spouse must both consent in writing on forms provided by the Retirement Plan Services. If you are not married or if your spouse consents, you may designate anyone as your beneficiary. Beneficiary forms are available from the Retirement Services Department.


Can my spouse or any other beneficiary share in my pension benefit?

Yes, your spouse or any other beneficiary you elect can share in your pension benefit. If a participant chooses a Husband & Wife/Joint and Survivor pension, the member will receive a reduced benefit so that his/her surviving spouse will receive 50, 75 or 100% of what he/she was receiving at the time of his/her death. If the participant chooses a Husband and Wife/Joint and Survivor pension, the member waives the 60-month minimum guarantee that would have been due under a regular pension.


My spouse is a member of Equity; can we both collect pension? Can he/she continue to collect his/her pension as well as my survivor pension after my death?

Yes, your spouse can collect his/her Equity pension while collecting a survivor benefit from the Plan.


©2001, 2002 Equity League Pension and Health Funds This site does not change or otherwise interpret the official Plan documents. To the extent that any of the information contained in this website is inconsistent with the official Plan documents (which, of course, includes the Trustees' rights to amend or modify the Plans at any time), the plan documents will govern in all cases. No official (other than the Trustees) has any authority to interpret the Plans, or other official Plan documents, or to make any promises to you about them. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy