Glossary of Terms
The following explains the meaning of some common terms as they appear in the Summary Plan Description (SPD).
Active Participant Any person employed by the Fund, the Union, or other Employer acceptable to the Board of Trustees who earns $750 in Covered Earnings in a calendar year ($375 if the Participant had at least three years of Vesting Service as of December 31, 2003). If the Participant has a One-year Break in Service, he or she loses Active Participant status until that individual again satisfies the Plan's participation rules (described in the SPD).
Administrative Committee A Committee of the Board of Trustees to which the Board of Trustees has delegated certain functions with respect to Fund administration.
Benefit Multiplier The dollar amount by which each $100 of contributions is multiplied to determine the amount of your pension benefit. It varies with the Participant’s age and the year in which the Covered Employment took place.
Benefit Payment Options- see How Pension Benefits are Paid- Payment Options for additional details:
50% Joint and Survivor Benefit - A monthly pension benefit is payable for the participant's lifetime. Monthly payments are lower than under a Single Life Benefit because the total monthly payments are expected to be paid over two lifetimes. The reduction for this Payment Option is based on the age difference between the participant and the joint annuitant. If the joint annuitant is alive when the participant dies (even if divorced at that time), he or she will receive 50% of the monthly benefit for the rest of his or her life. This is the normal form of benefit payment with the spouse as the joint annuitant for a married participant.
75% Joint and Survivor Benefit - A monthly pension benefit is payable for the participant's lifetime. Monthly payments are lower than under a Single Life Benefit because the total monthly payments are expected to be paid over two lifetimes. The reduction for this Payment Option is based on the age difference between the participant and joint annuitant. If the joint annuitant is alive when the participant dies (even if divorced at that time), he or she will receive 75% of the monthly benefit for the rest of his or her life.
Single Life Benefit - A monthly pension benefit is payable for the participant's lifetime only. No other amounts are payable to anyone following the participant's death. This is the normal form of benefit payment for an unmarried participant.
Board of Trustees The group of individuals who operate the Fund, consisting of an equal number of Union representatives and Employer representatives.
Canadian Plan The Musicians’ Pension Fund of Canada.
Collective Bargaining Agreement Any collective bargaining, participation, or other written agreement acceptable to the Board of Trustees requiring an Employer to make contributions to the Fund on behalf of its employees.
Covered Earnings Earnings on which your Employer is required to make contributions to the Fund. For musicians, Covered Earnings are limited to scale wages, as defined in the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Covered Employment Employment by an eligible employee for an Employer in a category for which the Employer is required to make contributions to the Fund.
Disability Pension Benefit The pension benefit that a Participant who has at least 10 years of Vesting Service is entitled to receive upon leaving Covered Employment due to a Total Disability.
Employer An employer obligated to make contributions to the Fund on behalf of its employees under the terms of a Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Fund The American Federation of Musicians and Employers’ Pension Fund, the purpose of which is to pay pension and related benefits to eligible individuals and their beneficiaries.
Fund Office The Fund's administrative office, located at One Penn Plaza, Suite 3115, New York, NY 10119 (Tel: 212-284-1311 or 800-833-8065 Extension 1311).
Initial Pension Benefit The benefit a Participant receives when he or she first is eligible for a Regular Pension Benefit or a Disability Pension Benefit.
Joint Annuitant A Participant’s Spouse or other designated individual who continues to receive pension benefit payments after the Participant’s death under the monthly 50% or 75% Joint and Survivor Benefit form of payment.
Married Legally married to a person of the opposite sex.
Normal Retirement Age Age 65 or, if later, the date on which a Participant completes five years of participation in the Plan on or after April 1, 1988, and is an Active Participant in that calendar year.
One-year Break in Service Generally, any calendar year in which a Participant fails to earn at least one-quarter year of Vesting Service.
Participant An Active Participant, a former Active Participant who is receiving a benefit from the Fund, or a former Active Participant who has a vested benefit from the Fund but has not yet begun to receive payment of that benefit.
Pension Effective Date The first day of the first month for which you receive your pension benefit. Your earliest Pension Effective Date is the first day of the first month following the month in which the Fund Office receives from you a complete Part 2 of the Pension Application if the Fund Office receives these forms on or before the 15th day of the month or, if the forms are received after the 15th day of the month, your Pension Effective Date will be the first day of the second month following receipt of the forms. See Applying for Your Pension Benefit - The Two-Part Application for additional details.
Permanent Break in Service Generally, a period of five or more consecutive calendar years during which a Participant, who is not vested in his or her benefit under the Plan, fails to earn at least one-quarter year of Vesting Service.
Plan The written American Federation of Musicians and Employers' Pension Plan document and other related documents, as amended from time to time, setting forth the rules and regulations of the Fund.
Pre-retirement Death Benefit The benefit payable to the surviving Spouse or other beneficiary of a vested Participant who dies before he or she begins to receive a pension benefit.
Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) A court order that requires all or part of a Participant’s benefits to be paid to or on behalf of his or her Spouse, former Spouse, child, or dependent, and that meets certain legal requirements described more fully in the Plan.
Re-determination Benefit The additional pension benefit that may become payable to a Participant who has Covered Employment after beginning to receive an Initial Pension Benefit and after his or her Normal Retirement Age.
Regular Pension Benefit The benefit that a vested Participant becomes eligible to receive at Normal Retirement Age or upon earlier retirement from Covered Employment at or after age 55.
Re-retirement Pension Benefit The additional pension benefit that may become payable to a Participant who has Covered Employment after beginning to receive an Initial Pension Benefit and before his or her Normal Retirement Age.
Retirement Account Benefit Also known as RAB, a benefit based on qualified contributions made on behalf of a Participant before 1968.
Spouse An opposite-sex spouse to whom a Participant is legally Married.
Total Disability A Participant's permanent and total inability to engage in Covered Employment as a result of a medically diagnosed physical or mental disease or injury, as determined by the Administrative Committee in its sole and absolute discretion.
Union The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada AFL-CIO and any local union affiliated therewith.
Vesting Service Service by a Participant for an Employer that counts toward the Participant's becoming vested in pension benefits from the Fund. Vesting Service is generally determined based on the amount of the Participant's Covered Earnings during a particular calendar year.