Bakery Drivers Local 734 - Health and Welfare Fund | Benefit and Vesting Service
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Benefit and Vesting Service

Benefit and Vesting Service

Your eligibility for a pension depends on your years of benefit service and your vesting status depends on your years of vesting service. The amount of your pension is always based on your benefit service.

Benefit Service
The benefit service that you earn in a calendar year in based on the number of weeks you worked in covered employment.

You can earn up to a maximum of 33 1/3 years of benefit service.

All years during which you work in positions requiring employer contributions on your behalf are counted.

benefit and vesting IMAGE INSERT

Note: If you were working in a job covered by a collective bargaining agreement with Local Union 734 before January 1957 for the Drivers Plan or January 1958 for the Inside Workers Plan, and your employer was then obligated to contribute to the fund, you will be credited with years of benefit service just as if contributions had been made to the fund on your behalf. If it is difficult to prove where you worked prior to the time the plan was established, you may use the best available evidence, such as union records or Social Security verification. However, the Trustees will make the decision of years of benefit service you are entitled to prior to 1957 (Driver Division) or 1958 (Inside Workers Division).

Benefit Service for Non-Work Periods
You will receive years of benefit service for the following non-work periods:

  • During weeks or months that you receive workers’ compensation benefits because of an illness or injury received in covered employment, but only for weeks or months that your employer is required to contribute to the fund;
  • During weeks or months that you are disabled and receive weekly disability benefits from the Local 734 Welfare Fund;
  • Military service, provided you make yourself available for work in a job covered by the collective bargaining agreement within 90 days after your discharge or within 90 days after your recovery from a disability that continues after your discharge as required by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA);
  • You may earn up to five years of benefit service and vesting service (unless a longer period is required by law) during qualified military service. To be eligible for benefit service or vesting service, you must enter qualified military service before incurring a one-year break in service. Benefit service and vesting service is based on the number of weeks of covered employment you worked in the last full plan year or the 12 months before you entered military service.

Vesting Service

Your vesting service is used to determine your vesting status. You receive one full year of vesting service for each year during which you had at least 22 weeks of covered employment. You may earn a fractional year of vesting service in which your number of weeks of covered employment in a plan year is divided by a period of covered employment in the calendar year equivalent to 22 weeks. Once you have five years of vesting service you are 100% vested in a pension (if you worked at least one hour after May 1, 1999). This means you are entitled to a pension benefit.

All your periods of covered employment will be used in determining your benefit service and vesting service under the plan if your covered employment terminates and you:

  • Are subsequently rehired in covered employment; and
  • Have not had a break-in-service;
  • Have not started to receive a pension under the plan.

However, if prior to your date of rehire, you have not worked at least 11 weeks in covered employment for a period of two consecutive years, the amount of the pension payable at retirement will be determined separately for each period of your covered employment based on:

  • Years of benefit service earned during each period of active participation; and
  • Benefit levels applicable to each period of active participation (based on the plan provisions that are in effect at the end of each period of your active participation).

You will also earn vesting service (but not benefit service) if your covered employment terminates and you continue to be employed with the same contributing employer in a position that does not require contributions to be made to the Plan (non-covered employment).

Generally, most other plan provisions in effect when you were last considered an active participant under the plan will apply to you.