Pension Plan / FAQs
What happens if I am divorced? Can my ex-spouse claim a portion of my pension?
The Retirement Equity Act of 1984 allows a participant’s pension to be viewed as marital property. Under this federal law, an Alternate Payee (former spouse) can be awarded a stated portion of the Participant’s Pension by a court order that meets the requirements of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). If you are divorced and your Pension is determined to be marital property, a QDRO can be issued by the court. A QDRO Checklist and sample QDROs are available from the Pension Office (at no charge) and are also available on the carpdc website here.
What happens if I die without having a designated pension beneficiary?
If you are married for at least one year at the time of your death, your death benefit, if any, is payable to your spouse. If you’re married and die less than one year after the date of marriage, your death benefit is payable to your spouse unless you designated a different beneficiary after your marriage. If you are not married, then the beneficiary designation you made under this Plan (or, if there is no such designation, the most recent beneficiary designation in effect under the Carpenters’ Health and Welfare Trust Fund) will determine who gets your death benefit from the Pension Plan. If no beneficiary has been named at all, then the beneficiary shall be your surviving spouse, or if none, your living descendants (on a “per stirpes” basis), or if there are none, your estate.
How do I designate a pension beneficiary?
If you are married, your beneficiary is your spouse, unless you are married for less than one year at the time of your death and you designated a different beneficiary after your marriage.
What is Normal Retirement Age and can I start receiving my pension benefits before that?
The Normal Retirement Date for active participants is the first of the month coinciding with or following your 62nd birthday. If you have earned at least 10 years of Credited Service, you are eligible to draw an Early Pension effective the first of the month coinciding with or following your 55th birthday. You may retire early by completing the necessary paperwork and submitting the required documentation. Your benefits may be reduced since they start before your Normal Retirement Date. The reduction, if any, depends on your age, the amount of Credited Service you have and your active status at retirement.
Am I required to stop working if I start my pension?
Not necessarily. Effective July 1, 2013, when you start an Early Retirement Benefit, you need to stop working in order to receive full benefit immediately if you earned pension credit after this date. This rule does not apply at all to the accrued benefit you earned through June 30, 2013. Therefore, if you plan to retire and continue working, you must declare your intentions at retirement. See below for details.
When should I request a pension benefit estimate?
You should contact the Pension Office two (2) to three (3) months prior to your desired retirement date.
How do I apply for my pension benefits?
Contact the Pension Office for an application packet or to make an appointment to apply: 314.644.4802 or Toll-Free at 877.232.3863, press 2 for assistance.
When are pension benefits issued?
Pension benefits are issued by direct deposit on the first business day of each month.
Once I begin receiving my pension, will I receive a tax statement?
Pension 1099Rs are mailed no later than January 31st each year to all participants who received a pension benefit during the prior calendar year.