PBGC BENEFIT PROJECTION LETTER – NOVEMBER 2017

  • The Fund is mailing a PBGC Benefit Projection Letter (“Letter”) to Participants and Pensioners beginning November 30, 2017. This Letter notifies Participants and Pensioners that the Fund is projected to be insolvent at some time during the Plan Year ending June 30, 2023. The Letter discusses what you can expect when/if this happens.

 

  • For Pensioners, this Letter will provide an estimate of your current pension amount and also an estimate of the amount you are projected to receive if the Fund becomes insolvent.

 

  • For Participants not yet receiving a pension, this Letter will provide an estimate of your current benefit at age 65, 62 and 55. If you are between one of those ages, then the estimate is based on your age as of 7/1/2016 (the date that we used to determine your credited service). If you are married, and we have your spouse’s date of birth on file, then you will receive an estimate of the amount under a 50% Joint and Survivor Annuity. In addition, this Letter will provide an estimate of the amount that you are projected to receive if the Fund becomes insolvent.

 

  • If you are married but the Letter does not include the 50% Joint and Survivor Annuity estimate, please contact the Fund Office to provide/confirm your spouse’s date of birth and request a revised Letter. A revised Letter will be mailed to you within 60 days.

 

  • Included in the letter, and on this website, are sample letters for you to send to your Senator(s) and House of Representative(s). You can find the contact information by going to https://whoismyrepresentative.com/. The PBGC is projected to become insolvent around the same time as our Fund. It is important for you to send these letters to let Congress know that you want them to take action.

 

  • The letter is an informal notice. There will be further status reports leading up to the formal insolvency, currently projected to occur in the Plan Year ending June 30, 2023. Everyone will be notified in advance of the formal insolvency.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q:       How does this affect me as a participant in the Plan?
A:       Insolvency of the Fund may result in benefit reductions for you and, if applicable, your spouse.  As been the case since 1976, the JPT is insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), an independent agency of the United States Government. The current laws in effect call for the PBGC to provide the JPT, in the event of insolvency, the funding necessary to pay monthly retirement benefits to current and future retirees at the PBGC guarantee levels.  Based on the formula used to determine the PBGC guarantee level, the benefits of some participants will not be impacted at all by the JPT becoming insolvent, whereas other participants will experience reductions in their monthly benefit amounts.

Q:       How come the Fund is in the position that it is in?
A:       Over the last several years there has been a decline in the industry and the Fund’s loss of Participating employers and their employees.  This is a result of the overall decline in the printing industry, technology and the economy.  This is not due to poor money management but, rather the shear economics of the decline in the industry

Q: When will I get notification about my benefit and the insolvency?
A:       When the JPT’s actual insolvency is near, you will receive annual notices from the Fund stating what your monthly benefit will be during each year of the Fund’s insolvency.

Q: What is the strength of the PBGC/What should I do with these sample letters included in the envelope?
A:       You may have heard in the news that the PBGC itself may become insolvent in the next ten to twenty years unless Congress changes the law governing the PBGC.  The Board of Trustees encourages you to write or call your Congressperson and Senators and tell them that you are concerned that the PBGC might go insolvent and that Congress should come up with a solution to ensure the participants in insolvent multiemployer pension plans are able to secure a guaranteed monthly benefit from the PBGC. Sample letters are enclosed in the envelope with the Benefit Projection Letter. In addition, the sample letters are on here.

Q: How are the estimated benefits based on the PBGC guaranteed amount calculated?
A:     PBGC guarantees a monthly benefit payment equal to 100 percent of the first $11 of the Fund’s monthly benefit accrual rate, plus 75 percent of the next $33 of the accrual rate, times each year of the PBGC credited service. More information is found in the Annual Funding Notice that was mailed to you in October. You can also view the Annual Funding Notice here.

Q: I just received a letter stating that I am entitled to a benefit.  I retired 3 months ago. Do I get another benefit?
A:       No, please realize we ran the population of participants as of 7/1/2016.  The status at the time the reports were run and the data that was calculated is what type of letter you received.  Contact the Fund Office and request a revised Letter.

Q: I just received a letter and my spouse’s information was not included. I am married. Can I get an updated letter to reflect the 50% Joint & Survivor Annuity?
A:       Yes, we will send an updated letter to include the 50% Joint and Survivor Annuity within 30- 60 days. We did not provide estimates for the Joint and Survivor option if we did not have a spouse’s date of birth on file. In addition, we did not provide estimates for the Joint and Survivor option for early retirement prior to age 65 if the participant is in the default schedule (not preferred). These reductions are not calculated automatically in the system. Contact the Fund Office and provide your spouse’s date of birth. Contact the Fund Office and provide your spouse’s date of birth. We will update our system with the spousal information and send a revised chart within 60 days.

Q: What is the difference between Vesting Service and PBGC Credited Service?
A:       Vesting Service determines your eligibility for a pension. You receive a year of Vesting Service for each Plan Year (July 1- June 30) during which you are paid for at least 500 hours of work for which a Participating Employer is required to make Contributions to this Fund on your behalf. You also might have earned Vesting Service for benefit credit earned under a Predecessor Plan.  PBGC Credited Service for these estimates are based on the number of hours you worked each Plan Year. You earned 1 Year of Credited Service for each Plan Year that you worked 1,925 hours. If you worked less than 1,925 hour in a Plan Year than the PBGC Credited Service is prorated.

Q: Can I get an updated letter/estimate to reflect my current status?
A:       Employee Confirmation Statements indicating the amount due at age 65 based on vesting service through June 30, 2017 will be mailed to all Participants in December. In addition, Participants are entitled to one benefit estimate per year. In the event you wish to receive an updated estimate, contact the Fund Office and your request will be documented and  processed within 60 days.

Q: When insolvency occurs do I need to contact the PBGC directly with my questions or changes?
A:       No, the laws provides that the Fund will continue to operate as it currently does so you can still contact the Fund Office for any updates, concerns or questions.