Carpenters Southwest Administrative Corporation
Southwest Carpenters Pension Trust
For a Direct Deposit Form, please click here.
Please click on a topic below to read the information.
You become eligible for a pension after you become vested. Listed below are the types of pensions administered by the Trust, along with the vesting requirements and first available retirement ages for each pension type.
You incur a one-year break-in-service when you have worked fewer than 500 service hours during a calendar year.
You incur a Permanent Break-in-Service if you experience five consecutive break-in-service years. But if you have earned more than five Vesting Credits prior to your first break in service, you will not experience a Permanent Break in Service until the number of one-year breaks-in-service exceeds the number of whole Vesting Credits.
You may repair a Permanent Break in Service by earning an additional five Pension Credits after the Break. Repairing the Permanent Break will restore the credit and benefits you had accrued prior to the Break.
For more detailed information, contact the Administrative Office for a Pension Summary Plan Description.
The Pension Trust is intended to provide income to its retired participants and requires that retirees declare their intentions to stop working in the construction and building industry before they begin receiving payment.
If you find after beginning your pension that you need to return to employment, you should be aware that your benefits would likely be suspended. The amount of time they are suspended depends on your age and the length of time you are employed.
Your benefits will be suspended one month for every month you work in the building and construction industry. In addition, once you have ceased such employment, your benefits will be suspended an additional six months. If you failed to notify the Trust prior to beginning such employment, your pension will be suspended for an additional 12 months.
Your benefits will be suspended one month for each month that you work more than 40 hours. Required Beginning Date is April 1 of the year that follows the year in which you reached age 70 1/2.
Your benefits are not subject to suspension, regardless of your employment status.
The Southwest Carpenters Pension Trusts is a party to the International Reciprocal Agreement for Carpenters Pension Funds. As such, it allows for the crediting, for vesting purposes, of time earned with other building trusts. This includes most Trusts in the United States with the exception of Hawaii.
The Trust also allows for the transfer of contributions earned while employed in a region not covered by an employee’s home fund.
If your home fund is the Southwest Carpenters Pension Trust and you are going to be temporarily employed in a jurisdiction covered by a different trust (cooperating fund), you can request that the contributions be transferred back to this Trust. You begin this process by completing and submitting the Master Reciprocal Agreement Authorization for Transfer of Contributions and Waiver Form. If your home fund is not the Southwest Carpenters Pension Fund and you wish to have you contributions transferred to your home fund, you must request the transfer through your home fund.
If you have credit earned under the Arizona State Carpenters, Northern Nevada Pension Trust or Utah Pension Trust, please provide the Southwest Carpenters Administrative Office with a printout of your pension history with the other Trust(s) so you can be given related credit for vesting purposes with the Southwest Carpenters Plan.
The Trust provides up to 1200 hours of pension credit per year for periods of short-term disability. You must receive compensation for the disability period, either through State Disability, Workers’ Compensation or Carpenters Plan Weekly Disability Benefits, to qualify for the credit. To apply for the credit, forward copies of your checks stubs from this compensation along with a completed Affidavit for Pension Credit During Periods of Disability to the Trust office.
The Trust requires that you file the Affidavit no longer than one year after the disability period begins in order to receive full credit. Click here to print form.
The Trust issues pension checks once a month, payable on the first day of the applicable month. Pension checks are mailed on the last business day of the month prior. If your check is lost or delayed in the mail, we will be unable to process a replacement before the 10 th day of the month.
If you have reason to believe that your benefit check has been forged and cashed by another person you will need to file an Affidavit of Forgery. This form will need to be completed and signed in the presence of a Notary Public. Click here to print form.
The Trust strongly recommends that you consider direct deposit of your check to your bank account to avoid delays. To setup your payments for direct deposit, request the Authorization for Electronic Deposit Form from the Trust office, or click the link below to print the form at home. Once your electronic deposit information has been processed, the Trust will perform a pre-note with the information to test its accuracy. This will sometimes require one of your payments to be mailed to your home after the direct deposit information has been entered. Please allow for processing time following submission of direct deposit information.
The Trust pays Death Benefits under two categories: Pre-Retirement and Post-Retirement. Pre-Retirement benefits are paid on behalf of vested participants who die before they have had the chance to draw their benefits. When this happens, the Trust pays benefits according to Plan rules: either as a lifetime payment to a spouse, or as a three-year monthly payment to a non-spouse or a spouse who elects this option. You do not need to select how the payments are made. However, you should be sure to keep a valid Beneficiary Designation card on file with the Trust. This will allow the Trust to identify who is entitled to the available benefits.
Post-Retirement benefits are determined by the option you select at retirement. If you are married when you retire, your spouse will be your beneficiary unless you both elect otherwise. The Husband and Wife Pension is the default option for married persons. If your pension is paid as a Husband and Wife, your spouse will receive half of your pension upon your death. Generally your pension is reduced 12 to 13 percent when you take the Husband and Wife pension instead of a single-life pension. You should note that your spouse cannot be removed as your beneficiary once the Husband and Wife Pension begins, even if you are later divorced. However, if your spouse’s death precedes yours, your pension will be adjusted to the amount you would have gotten had you taken the single-life pension.
Even if you are not married, or if you elect to take the single-life payment, your pension is guaranteed for a minimum of 36 payments. When you complete a Retirement Application, you will be asked to include a designated beneficiary. If you have 10 or more years of Pension Credit with the Trust and have begun your retirement benefits, your beneficiary will also be entitled to a $1,000.00 death benefit.
To designate a beneficiary, complete the Beneficiary Designation request. You should complete a new designation anytime a life change occurs (marriage, death of a beneficiary, birth of a child, etc.).
If you have issues concerning a divorce or the separation of benefits, please call the Administrative Office at (213) 739-9300 and ask for extension 368.