IUE-CWA Pension Fund Frequently Asked Questions


 

Click on the questions to see the answers below.

1. How do I apply for my IUE-CWA Pension?

2. How can I enroll in the IUE-CWA 401(k) Plan?

3. If I quit my job, can I get my pension in cash?

4. When can I get my 401(k) Plan money?

5. What is a Joint & Survivor Option?

6. Can I still contribute to an IRA if I'm in a 401(k) Plan?

7. How much can I contribute to my 401(k) Plan in a year?

8. What is the earliest I can retire under the IUE-CWA Pension Plan?

 

 

 

How do I apply for my IUE-CWA Pension?

You may download a pension application form, fully complete the form and mail it with all required documentation to the Fund office.  It's a good idea to submit the fully completed form 3 months before your planned retirement date.

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How can I enroll in the IUE-CWA 401(k) Plan?

1. Your company must be signed up to participate in the 401(k) Plan. Contact the Plan Office to see if you company participates.

2. You can download the 401(k) enrollment form here.

3. Complete the form and mail it back to the Fund office... it's that easy!

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If I quit my job, can I get my pension in cash?

If you are a vested participant and no longer working for a company who is participating in the IUE-CWA Pension Plan AND if you are not yet receiving a monthly benefit check, you may apply for your benefit in a Lump Sum.

If you are eligible, you may receive a Lump Sum Benefit payment provided the value of your benefits is not more than $5,000 at the time of your application. 

The value of your benefits is determined by mathematical formula.  Factors included in this formula are your age, service, and current interest rates as determined by the PBGC.

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When can I get my 401(k) Plan money?

1. The Plan is designed for Retirement savings.  You may retire and start drawing your 401(k) savings in a lump sum or over a period of years beginning as early as age 55.

2. In the event you become disabled and eligible to receive Social Security disability payments, then you may begin receiving your 401(k) savings in a lump sum or over a period of years as you choose.

3. You may, for certain Hardship reasons, withdraw an amount from your 401(ki) Plan to address the needs of the specific hardship.  Hardships are defined as "safe harbors" by the IRS as:

  • For the purchase of your first home to be used as your primary residence
  • To avoid eviction from or foreclosure on your primary residence
  • For extraordinary medical expenses for yourself or a dependent
  • Secondary education expenses for yourself or a dependent
  • Funeral Expenses for your parents, spouse, or dependents
  • Payment to repair damage to your Primary Residence that could qualify for the casualty deduction under IRS Code Section 165

    Please not that you must demonstrate there are no other financial resources available to you to meet these hardships.

4. If you lose your job for any reason, you are eligible to receive your 401(k) savings in a lump sum. 

5. You may be able to take a General Purpose Loan or a Primary Residence Loan while you are working.  Find out how loans work here.

6. You may be eligible for an Age 59 1/2 Withdrawal from the Plan while you are working.

Be aware however, if you have not attained the age of 59 1/2, IRS regulations impose a 10% penalty upon early withdrawals of tax deferred savings.  In addition, you will be required to pay the deferred taxes on such withdrawals.

Because the IUE-CWA 401(k) Plan is designed to be a retirement savings plan, you cannot make withdrawals from the plan under any other circumstances than those listed above.

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What is a Joint & Survivor Option?

A Joint and Survivor Option (J&S Option) provides a continued payment to your spouse in the event you die prior to your spouse after you retire.

A 50% J&S Option under current federal law is automatic for a participant who is retiring and has been married for one year or longer, unless the participant's spouse agrees to decline this option.

A J&S option works very much like life insurance.  A J&S option reduces the amount of monthly benefit paid to the retiree, but insures the continued payment of a benefit to a surviving spouse.

Under the IUE-CWA Pension Fund plan, a retiree and spouse may choose to accept the automatic 50% J&S Option, or they may elect a 75% or 100% J&S Option.  In addition, retirees and their spouses may choose to NOT elect a J&S Option at all and elect a normal "Five Year Certain and Life Thereafter" benefit.

  • A 50% J&S Option Example:

    Laura and her husband George are both 65.  Laura decides to retire at age 65 with 30 years of service.  Laura and George decide to accept the automatic 50% J&S Option.  Laura's normal "Five Year Certain and Life Thereafter" benefit is $900 per month.  After accepting the 50% J&S Option, Laura's monthly benefit is reduced to "insure" two lives, her own and George's life at 50% of the monthly benefit she will then receive.

    In this example, because Laura and George are the same age the reduction factor is only .9000.  Laura's pension with the 50% J&S Option becomes $810 per month and in the event she dies before George, he will then receive 50% of $810 or $405 per month for the rest of his life.
     
  • A 75% J&S Option Example:

    Sammy is age 65 and his wife Bunny is age 58.  Sammy decides to retire at age 65 with 30 years of service.  Sammy and Bunny decide to elect the 75% J&S Option.  Sammy's normal "Five Year Certain and Life Thereafter" benefit is $900 per month.  After electing the 75% J&S Option, Sammy's monthly benefit is reduced to "insure" two lives, his own and Bunny's life at 75% of the monthly benefit Sammy will then receive.

    In this example, because Sammy is 7 years older than Bunny and because Bunny is insured for 75% of Sammy's benefit, the reduction factor is .8163.  Sammy's pension with the 75% J&S Option becomes $734.67 per month and in the event he dies before Bunny, she will then receive 75% of $734.67 or $551.00 per month for the rest of her life.

     
  • A 100% J&S Option Example:

    Mark is age 65 and his wife Edith is age 61.  Mark decides to retire at age 65 with 30 years of service.  Mark and Edith decide to elect the 100% J&S Option.  Mark's normal "Five Year Certain and Life Thereafter" benefit is $900 per month.  After electing the 100% J&S Option, Sammy's monthly benefit is reduced to "insure" two lives, his own and Edith's life at 100% of the monthly benefit Sammy will then receive.

    In this example, because Mark is 4 years older than Edith and because Edith is insured for 100% of Mark's benefit, the reduction factor is .7900.  Mark's pension with the 100% J&S Option becomes $711.00 per month and in the event he dies before Edith, she will then receive 100% of $711.00 per month for the rest of her life.

These examples cover how the J&S Options work when the participant/worker dies before the spouse.  The J&S Options cover the spouse for the remainder of their lives after the death of the participant/worker. 

If the spouse should die first, the Pop-Up Provision, added to the IUE-CWA Pension Plan in 2000, allows the participant/worker who survives his or her spouse to "Pop-UP" their benefit to the original "Five Year Certain and Life Thereafter" amount, as if they had not elected the J&S Option with their spouse.  Using the last example, if Edith dies first, Mark's benefit will "Pop-Up" to the original $900 monthly benefit and will continue for the rest of his life.

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Can I still contribute to an IRA if I'm in a 401(k) Plan?

Yes.  However, the IRS will impose limits on how much you can contribute based on a number of factors such as your gross income and whether or not you're married.  As each individual's personal financial situation is different, we suggest you contact your professional tax advisor for the amount you may contribute to your IRA.

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How much can I contribute to my 401(k) Plan in a year?

For calendar year  2014, the limit on 401(k) contributions will be $17,500.  If you are age 50 or older in 2014, you may defer an additional $5,500.

These limits are established annually by the IRS.

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What is the earliest I can retire under the
IUE-CWA Pension Plan?

You may retire and receive a reduced pension at age 55, provided you have accumulated at least 5 years of Credited Vesting Service (If you terminated employment prior to December 31, 1987, different rules apply.  Please contact the Fund office for more information). 

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IUE-CWA Pension Fund
400 W. 7th Street, Suite 233 * Bloomington, In 47404
812.671.0690 / 812.671.9696 fax

Copyright 1997-2014 IUE-CWA Pension Fund

This page was last modified: 02/20/2014