Q. What’s the difference between covered and non-covered employment?
A. Covered employment is work that you perform for an employer who is obligated to make contributions to the Pension Trust on your behalf under a pension agreement with a Teamster local union. Non-covered employment is work you perform that is not covered under a pension agreement with a Teamster local union.
Q. After I retire, I will be moving to California. Before retirement, I lived and worked in Washington. If I go back to work next year in California for a different company, will the reemployment rules still apply to me?
A. Yes. As long as you are performing work that is within the 13 Western States, the Plan’s suspension of benefits rule will apply. It is important that you contact your Area Administrative Office before returning to work and request a formal determination of your proposed work to find out if it is suspendible employment.
Q. I have been offered a job and they want me to start right away. Can I receive a determination over the phone as to whether the job is considered suspendible employment?
A. No. Determinations cannot be given over the phone. In order to receive a determination on whether a job is considered suspendible employment, you must submit a Request for Evaluation of Reemployment to your Area Administrative Office. Determinations are typically mailed out by the Administrative Office about three to four weeks after the receipt of your request. If you decide to start working for the employer before you receive your determination letter, make sure you do not work over the hours limit in case the work is determined to be suspendible employment.
Q. I am working in suspendible employment and want to make sure I do not go over the hours limit. What hours count toward the hours limit?
A. If you are working in suspendible employment, any hours you are compensated for count toward the hours limit. Time you are compensated for, such as vacation and holidays, count toward the hours limit, even if you do not perform any work during this time.
Q. How can I find out how many covered hours I have and how much my benefit would be if I retire at age 65?
A. You can ask your Area Administrative Office for the following statements:
Work History Statement—Shows the hours contributed on your behalf of your covered employment.
Accrued Benefit Statement—Shows your age 65 benefit based on your coverage to date.
Estimate of Benefits—Shows the approximate amount of your monthly benefit (based on your coverage to date) and payment options you could receive on the pension effective date you choose. Available within a few years of retirement.
Q. If I have automatic bank deposit, when are my electronic benefit payments credited to my account?
A. Electronic benefit payments (EFTs) are sent to your bank in time to be credited on the first banking day of the month. For example, if the first of the month falls on a Sunday, your EFT will be credited on the following Monday (except holidays). In most cases, the bank posts payments to your account that same day.
Q. If I don’t have automatic bank deposit, when are my benefit checks mailed?
A. Benefit checks are mailed five business days before the first of the month. If your checks are sent by mail, they may not always arrive by the first. If your check is late, wait until the fifth of the month before calling Prudential Financial’s toll-free number at (800) 336-3387. If you lose your check or know that it is stolen call the toll-free number immediately.
Q. Must taxes be withheld from my benefits?
A. Under federal tax law, Plan benefits are subject to federal income tax withholding. Some states also require income tax withholding on pensions. When you receive your Option Election Packet, you’ll have more information about income tax withholding.
Q. How do I change my tax withholding?
A. Once you are retired, you can call Prudential Financial at (800) 336-3387 and they can make the change in your withholding over the phone.
Q. Will my pension benefit ever increase?
A. If you return to covered employment after retirement, there are two ways you may qualify for increased pension benefits once you retire again.
Q. When I retire, do I make a new beneficiary designation?
A. Yes. You'll need to name a new beneficiary for any lump sum death benefits payable at your death. If you are married when you retire and want to name someone other than your spouse as your Plan beneficiary, your spouse's consent is required.