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The answers to frequently asked questions below are general in nature and do not modify the terms of their respective Plans. You should refer to the related Summary Plan Description for more specific information regarding each Fund's Plan.
Do I have to retire at a certain age as specified by the rules of the Pension Fund Plans?
No. You may continue to work as long as you like; retirement under the Pension Fund is voluntary. However, if you are a 5% owner of the stock (or voting shares) of an Employer, your pension payments will automatically begin on the April 1st following the year in which you turn age 70 ½ even if you are still working.
Can I withdraw pension contributions made by my employer on my behalf?
No. This is a defined benefit plan and you are entitled to a monthly retirement benefit once you become vested. You are not entitled to the specific contributions made on your behalf.
Will proof of age be required when I apply to retire?
Yes. You will need to furnish proof of your date of birth when you retire. If you are married, proof of marriage as well as proof of your spouse’s date of birth will be required.
What is the definition of a “group health plan” as defined by ACA?
In order to qualify to enroll in a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA), which is what the National Health and Welfare Fund’s MRP is, you must have primary health coverage that is a group plan sponsored by an employer (that is, obtained through employment) or sponsored by a union. Your primary health coverage cannot be “individual” coverage for this purpose.
What is the definition of individual health coverage?
Individual coverage is coverage that you purchase on your own (whether directly from an insurance carrier, such as Cigna, Aetna, United, BlueCross or BlueShield, or through a state insurance Marketplace (previously called the “Exchange” such as in the state of Massachusetts) or that you obtain through a government program such as Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration, National Programs (such as the U.K.) etc.
Why can I no longer use my individual health coverage as the basis for enrollment in the stand-alone MRP Plan?
Guidance was issued by the government on September 13, 2013 which dictated that, in order for someone to enroll in an HRA (like the MRP Plan), they must be actually enrolled in an employer/union sponsored group health plan. The National Health & Welfare Fund must comply with this legal requirement.
What happens if I do not provide the Fund Office with proof of other employer/union sponsored group health coverage and the required certification by the open enrollment deadline of December 15, 2014?
If a member qualifies for coverage through the National Health & Welfare Fund, can they still obtain coverage through the Marketplace?
As far as we understand, there is no prohibition on purchasing coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace even if a person has other health coverage. However, if you have coverage under the Fund (or an offer to opt into coverage), you may be disqualified from receiving a federal subsidy for coverage purchased through the Marketplace.
Does coverage obtained through the Marketplace qualify as valid group coverage in order to enroll in the stand-alone MRP Plan?
No. In order to enroll in the stand-alone MRP Plan, your other coverage must be employer or union sponsored group health coverage.
Is coverage through Medicare, Medicaid, or the Veteran’s Administration acceptable as “other group health coverage” pursuant to ACA requirements?
No. These are not employer/union sponsored plans and are therefore not considered acceptable other coverage for enrollment in the Fund’s MRP stand-alone option pursuant to ACA guidance.