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Annuity General Information


It is very important that you apply for payment of the Individual Account balance within three months from the date you terminate employment.  If you do not file an application within that time, the Board of Trustees will retain the Individual Account balance until you contact the Fund.

If you do not apply for payment of the Individual Account balance and the Board of Trustees cannot locate you, or if you request deferred payment and the Board of Trustees cannot find you, your Individual Account balance may be used to defray the Annuity Plan’s administrative costs until a claim is made along with an application for payment. However, you and your beneficiaries have the right to claim your Individual Account balance at a later date.

Annuity Application

If you are married and wish to designate someone other than your legal spouse as beneficiary, you must obtain your spouse's written consent, witnessed by a Notary Public.

If your designated beneficiary does not survive you or if you do not designate a beneficiary, the balance will be paid to your surviving spouse. If you are single, or your spouse dies before you, your surviving children will receive equal shares of your Individual Account balance. If you do not have any children, your estate will receive your Individual Account.

Beneficiary Designation

If your application for benefits is denied, you will receive a written statement that includes the following:

  • The specific reason(s) for the denial
  • Reference to all pertinent Plan provisions of the Annuity Plan on which the denial is based
  • A description of additional information needed to reconsider your application and why the information is needed
  • A statement of your right to bring a civil action under ERISA Section 502(a)
  • A detailed explanation of the steps needed to appeal the decision
  • A copy of any internal rule, guideline, protocol, or similar criteria that the Plan relied on, or a statement that a copy is available to you at no cost for an annuity application based on a disability as defined by the Plan.

In many cases, you can resolve disagreements about benefit eligibility or amounts informally by calling the Fund Administrator. You have the right to have your application reconsidered if a disagreement is not resolved.

If you disagree with a denial or benefit amount, you or your authorized representative may appeal the decision in writing within 60 days and must provide any supporting documentation. If you are disabled as defined by the Plan, you or your authorized representative may appeal the decision within 180 days.

The appeal should be sent to the Board of Trustees at the Fund Administrator’s office. A participant or authorized representative who appeals a denial of a claim may include a written request for a hearing before the Board of Trustees with the appeal.

You, or your authorized representative, may submit a request for a review in writing and must clearly and concisely state the reasons for disputing the denial. You must submit all relevant documents and materials with the request. You have a right to examine and obtain copies of any Annuity Plan documents relevant to your application upon request and free of charge.

You automatically waive your right to a review of the denial of benefits if you do not submit your request for a review within the appropriate 60-day, or 180 day period.

The Board of Trustees, or a subcommittee appointed by the Board of Trustees, will make a decision about your appeal within 60 days after receiving the appeal. If the appeal is based on a disability, the Board of Trustees will decide within 45 days after receiving the appeal. If special circumstances require more time for processing the review, the petitioner will receive a notice of the extension within the review period. If the application is not based on a disability, the Annuity Plan may extend the initial 60-day period for another 60 days. If the application is based on a disability as defined by the Plan, the Annuity Plan may extend the initial 45-day period up to an additional 60 days in 30-day increments.

 For complete Claims & Appeals information, refer to the Summary Plan Description & Plan Document.

You must meet one of the following requirements referred to in the Annuity Plan as your Settlement Date and be terminated from Covered Employment (with all Employers) to receive money from your Individual Account:

  • At Your Normal Retirement Date: If you reach age 60 and no contributions have been made to your Individual Account for at least three consecutive months.
  • When you begin receipt of your Pension Fund Benefits: If you are receiving a pension from the Stationary Engineers Local 39 Pension Plan, you are considered retired and may apply for money in your Individual Account.
  • When you stop working in the industry: Regardless of your age, you may apply for the money in your Individual Account if no contributions were made to it in the previous consecutive three months.
  • You are disabled as defined by the Plan: Disabled means that you are entitled to receive Social Security Disability Benefits or, regardless of age, are qualified for California State Disability Insurance, or Worker's Compensation benefits for at least six months or other criteria as defined by the Plan.  You will be required to provide proof of such eligibility for disability benefits.

 Payment of your benefit will begin on the first day of the month following the later of:

  • The month you supply a completed application for benefits and signed election form, or
  • 30 days after the Annuity Plan advises you of your available payment options.

Your benefit under the Annuity Plan is paid under an automatic annuity form unless you elect an optional form of payment. If you are married at the time of the benefit payment date your spouse must also elect the optional form of payment.

If you are not married at the time of your Benefit Payment Date, your automatic annuity form is payable as a single life annuity. This pays you a fixed amount each month for the rest of your life.

You will receive a written explanation of the forms of payment available under the Annuity Plan between 30 to 90 days before you start receiving the payments.

The Annuity Plan is required by law to give you at least 30 days before you start receiving payments to change your mind after you make your decision. However, you may decide to start receiving payments before the end of the 30-day period if you—and your spouse—waive the 30-day period.

If you or your Beneficiary are eligible for more than one type of benefit under the Annuity Plan, you or your Beneficiary may choose the type of benefit to receive, but neither you nor your Beneficiary may receive more than one annuity from the Annuity Plan.

You and your spouse may leave the money in your Individual Account and take the payment later. Your Individual Account funds will continue to be invested according to the investments you elect, and your Individual Account will continue paying a share of the Annuity Plan's expenses.


Optional Forms of Payment

If you and, if married, your spouse, want an alternative form of payment you may elect from any of the optional forms available at the time of retirement, including a lump sum or partial lump sum. The amount of monthly payments under alternative payment forms will be determined when you retire. You will receive this choice at least 30 days before your Benefit Payment Date to allow you to consider which option best serves your retirement needs.

If you make an election and then change your mind, you may revoke your election and choose a different form of payment any time before your benefit payment date. If you are married, you and your spouse must both provide in writing the waiver of the automatic annuity form.

For purposes of this Annuity Plan, the Qualified Survivor Annuities and spousal consent requirements are applicable if you have been married throughout the one-year period prior to your death or the date benefit payments begin. Spousal consent rights are revocable upon divorce.


50% Joint & Survivor Annuity

If you are married, your benefits will be paid as a 50% Joint and Survivor annuity unless you choose an optional form of payment and your spouse consents to this form of payment. Your spouse’s consent must acknowledge approval of the choice, and the consent form must be witnessed by a Notary Public. You may revoke your decision within the 90-day period before your annuity payments begin. The annuity pays you a fixed amount every month based on the value of your Account at retirement, for the rest of your life. If you die before your spouse, your spouse will continue to receive 50% of the monthly payment for the rest of their life.

There are special forms provided by the Fund Administrator and Recordkeeper to elect to waive the automatic 50% Joint and Survivor Annuity form of benefit.


75% Qualified Joint & Survivor Annuity

If you are married, you may elect a 75% Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity. Your spouse must agree to this different type of payment which pays a lower initial monthly benefit. Upon the death of the Participant the spouse continues to get 75% of the monthly benefit.


Lump Sum Payment

If your Individual Account does not exceed $1,000 you will receive a lump-sum payment.

If you choose a lump sum, you may elect to have your Account balance rolled over to another qualified plan, including an Individual Retirement Account or IRA when you retire. You should check with the Fund Administrator to determine if the plan you are considering rolling over the account balance to is a qualified plan.

In general, you start participating when you begin working for Employers covered by either a Collective Bargaining Agreement or Subscriber Agreement that requires your Employer to contribute to the Annuity Plan on your behalf. There are no minimum service requirements to become a Participant and you remain a Participant as long as the Annuity Plan holds an Individual Account for you. Contributions are always 100% vested.