Pension > SPD > Optional Forms of Benefit


Rather than the normal form of benefit described in the preceding section, you may elect instead one of the following four optional forms of benefits:

  • Joint and survivor annuity (50%, 66 2/3%, 100%),
  • Life annuity with 120 monthly payments guaranteed,
  • Level payment option which recognizes your entitlement to Social Security, or
  • Single life annuity

Remember that, if you are married, you and your spouse must reject the qualified joint and survivor annuity in writing, on a notarized form before choosing an optional form of benefit. (See the discussion When Are You Considered Married?" on page 20.)

If you are not married, the standard form of benefit payment is a single life annuity. However, you may alternatively elect the optional forms of benefits described in this section.

If the total value of your pension benefit is less than $5,000, the Trustees will automatically pay you your total pension benefit in a lump sum.

Joint and Survivor Annuity

Electing this option enables you to have your retirement payment spread over two lifetimes" yours and the beneficiary you name (your contingent annuitant)" instead of over your lifetime alone. To accomplish this, the retirement payment otherwise payable to you at retirement will be reduced; and then, depending on which percentage you choose, after your death 100%, 662/3%, or 50% of your reduced retirement payment will be paid to your beneficiary for life. The reduction will depend upon the age of your beneficiary as well as the percentage you elect. The beneficiary may be someone other than your spouse.

Note, however, if you are a married participant in bargaining unit employment on or after December 1, 1999, and you elect a 662/3% or 50% joint and survivor annuity with your spouse as the survivor annuitant, the survivor annuity will be enhanced automatically at a 75% survivor annuity. (This increase has no effect on your lifetime benefit.)

Important things to remember if you elect a joint and survivor annuity option:

  • If you die after you commence receiving your benefits, lifetime payments to your beneficiary will begin upon your death.
  • If your beneficiary is your spouse to whom you are married at your benefit commencement date, and your spouse dies after you commence receiving benefits, the Pop-Up Benefit described on page 20 applies, and your monthly benefit will be adjusted to the amount you would have received under a single life annuity (provided you comply with Plan procedures). Note, the Pop-Up Benefit only applies if you are in payment status on or after January 1, 1999.
  • If you choose someone other than your spouse as your beneficiary, the Pop-Up Benefit does not apply. If your non-spouse beneficiary dies after you commence receiving benefits, your payments will remain unchanged.

Annuity with 120 Monthly Payments Guaranteed

If you wish, you may elect to receive a retirement payment which is payable for your lifetime but guaranteed for 120 months. If you die before receiving the 120 payments, your designated beneficiary will receive the same monthly payment as you have been receiving for the remainder of the 120 payments.

If you elect this option, the retirement payment otherwise payable is reduced because of the 120-monthy guarantee feature.

Level Payment Taking Social Security into Account

If you retire before your normal retirement date and before becoming eligible for Social Security benefits, you may elect this retirement payment option. Under this option you may receive an increased retirement payment from the Plan before you are eligible to receive Social Security retirement benefits. The increased payment will automatically decrease when you qualify for Social Security. As a result, you can have an almost level retirement income for life, consisting of the combined payments from this Plan and from Social Security.

Single Life Annuity

If you elect this option, annuity payments will be made to you during your lifetime, and upon your death, no additional benefits will be payable.

Election of Options

You may elect an optional form of benefit or change a previous election any time within the 180 day period prior to your annuity starting date. If you are married, spousal consent is required. (See the discussion "When Are You Considered Married?" on page 20.)

How to Name a Beneficiary

When you retire, you may name a beneficiary or change your beneficiary by completing a form which can be obtained from the Fund Office. If you are married, you must name your spouse as beneficiary unless you and your spouse agree, in written, notarized form, to another named beneficiary.

If your beneficiary dies before your payment begins, you may name another beneficiary.