AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS AND EMPLOYERS' PENSION FUND
Summary Plan Description
The American Federation of Musicians and Employers' Pension Fund, or simply the Fund, is designed to provide you with a pension benefit for your retirement years. This pension benefit is in addition to Social Security and any other sources of income you may have during those years.
The Fund is operated by a Board of Trustees, which consists of an equal number of Union and Employer representatives. Your Employer makes contributions to the Fund on your behalf in accordance with the terms of a Collective Bargaining Agreement, participation agreement, or other written agreement acceptable to the Board of Trustees. These documents are all referred to throughout this booklet as Collective Bargaining Agreements.
The detailed rules and regulations of the Fund are included in a document called the American Federation of Musicians and Employers' Pension Plan and other related documents, collectively referred to as the Plan. This booklet is known as a Summary Plan Description for the Fund. It is meant to help you understand how the Plan works, but it neither replaces nor amends the Plan. Rights to benefits are determined only by referring to the full text of the Plan or by official action of the Board of Trustees. If there is any conflict between the rules and regulations set forth in the Plan and the information given in this booklet, the terms of the Plan will control. In addition, the Board of Trustees reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to amend or end the Plan at any time.
Here are some Plan highlights:
- The Plan is a defined benefit multi-employer pension plan. A defined benefit plan specifies the benefits to which participants may become entitled. Defined benefit plans do not have individual participant accounts into which Employer contributions are paid (even though your benefit is based on the contributions made on your behalf). A multi-employer plan is a plan that is maintained in accordance with Collective Bargaining Agreements between one or more Unions and one or more Employers that employ individuals represented by the Union(s).
- Your Employer makes all contributions to the Fund. You are neither required nor allowed to contribute.
- You become an Active Participant as soon as you earn $750 from Covered Employment in a calendar year.
- The more you earn in Covered Employment over the course of your career, the greater your pension benefit will be.
- You become vested in your pension benefit (which means you can never lose it) generally after you complete five years of Vesting Service.
- Once you're vested, you can start to receive your benefit as early as age 55, if you retire.
- When you receive your pension benefit, you generally have a choice of payment options. (If you're Married, special rules apply.)
- If you return to Covered Employment after you begin to receive your Initial Pension Benefit, you may be eligible for additional benefits.
- A Disability Pension Benefit is available to eligible Participants.
- If you die after becoming vested, but before you retire from Covered Employment, your Spouse (if you are Married) or other beneficiary (if you are not Married) may receive a Pre-retirement Death Benefit.
This Summary Plan Description outlines provisions of the Plan as amended through March 2005, and is generally applicable to pension benefits that have not yet begun to be paid. If you are already receiving benefits, they will generally continue under the same terms that applied when you first began to receive them.
We have tried to make this Summary Plan Description as clear and straightforward as possible. If you have questions about any of the information in this booklet or would like a copy of the Plan, contact the Fund Office at One Penn Plaza, Suite 3115, New York, NY 10119-3115 (tel: 212-284-1200 or 800-833-8065).