Frequently Asked Questions
- When can I retire?
- The earliest age in which you can collect a retirement pension is at age 55 unless you are disbaled. This is an early retirement pension and requires that you have at least 120 service credits for Program A. Note that your pension may be reduced if you retire before age 65. If you are considering retirement you should plan to meet with a Pension Specialist; please contact our Member Service Department at 212-388-3500 to schedule an appointment.
- What is the maximum pension?
- There are several pension funds that cover members of SEIU Local 32BJ and each pension fund has a different maximum amount. The maximum Pension for Program A increases every year; it is $1262 in 2010 and will increase in the future to $1,400. For Program B or C it depends on your employer’s level of contribution. Please note that when calculating your pension amount we will take into account multiple factors such as age, accrued service credits and maximum pension in effect at the time that you stopped working in covered employment.
- What is a Joint and Survivor pension Option?
- The Joint and Survivor Pension is similar to the Husband and Wife Pension but it is for same-sex domestic partners who meet the plan’s requirements.
- I am planning to retire, when should I request my pension application?
- You should request an application 6 months prior to the date you want your Benefit to start and call Member Services to schedule a meeting with a Pension Specialist.
- Why do I have to get the pension application notarized if I want a 36 month guarantee and I am married?
- Your spouse must agree to give up the Husband and Wife option, since this may leave her or him without a pension benefit if you should die first.
- If I stop working but do not apply for my pension, will I lose it?
- No, if you are vested*, you will be entitled to a pension benefit. The amount payable and the age that you can collect are determined according to the Plan rules.
* Vested means having reached Normal Retirement Age while you are a participant, or accumulating five years of Vesting Service. Once you are vested, your benefit will be non-forfeitable and cannot be lost even if you leave covered employment before you reach the age at which you may apply for a benefit.
- I am collecting a pension and will be moving out of the country. Can I sign up for direct deposit?
- You will be able to sign up for direct deposit as long as you have a checking or savings account with a US based bank.
- I am retired and while retired I divorced and remarried. Will my current spouse be entitled to the Husband & Wife Option?
- No. Your current wife will not be able to collect a Husband & Wife surviving spouse pension.
- If I choose the Husband & Wife option and my spouse passes away, may I change my option to 36 Month Guarantee Option?
- No. If your spouse dies before you, you will continue to receive the same monthly benefit for the remainder of your lifetime and all Plan benefits will end upon your death.
- If I retire and then go back to work, will I lose my pension?
- Your pension may be suspended, but you will not lose your pension. The rules depend on whether you are working in the building service industry, how many hours you work and your age. After you reach the April 1st following the year in which you turn 70 ½ , your benefits will not be suspended regardless of where or how many hours you work and you will receive a pension payment each month.
- Will I receive an annual cost of living increase once I collect my pension?
- The pension plan does not provide an annual cost of living increase.
- Why didn’t I receive a 13th Pension Check like I did last year?
- The 13th check that was paid to pensioners and beneficiaries in 2008 was a one-time additional benefit, equal to the amount of the December pension benefit as a result of the 2007 Commercial Building contract negotiations.