Summary Plan Description

Glossary of Key Terms

This Glossary of Key Terms is provided to help you understand the Plan by summarizing several of its key terms. However, any questions about Plan coverage that concern these terms will be answered by the Fund Office. The Fund Office is not limited to the summary definitions provided in this Glossary.

Beneficiary: the person(s) or entity you designate to receive your pension benefit if you die after you start receiving pension benefits.

Board of Trustees (Trustees): the individuals appointed and designated according to the terms of the Trust Document of the Sheet Metal Workers’ National Pension Fund to administer the Plan.

Break in Past Service: if you did not earn a full year of Past Service Credit in three consecutive calendar years, resulting in the loss of any Pension Credit earned prior to this date.

Break in Service: there are two types of Breaks in Service, a One-Year Break in Service and a Permanent Break in Service. Either Break in Service can cause you to lose your Years of Service and Pension Credits if you are not Vested in the Plan. See How Your Service Counts for more information.

Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA): the negotiated labor agreement(s) between the Union and an Employer or an Employer association requiring the Employer or association to contribute to the Plan on behalf of its bargaining unit employees.

Construction Work: work performed as a building trades or industrial journeyman or apprentice. Work in any other job classification commonly understood to be construction work in the Sheet Metal Industry for purposes of collective bargaining also counts as Construction Work.

Continuous Non-Covered Employment: work for a Contributing Employer in a classification that does not require contributions to be made to the Plan, if that work is continuous without termination or discharge with your Work in Covered Employment for the same Contributing Employer.

Contributing Employer (Employer): any Employer who has a legal obligation to contribute to the Plan.

Contribution Hours: the total number of hours for which Plan contributions are required to be made for your work in Covered Employment.

Contribution Rate: the hourly rate required to be paid by your Employer for each Hour of Work you perform in Covered Employment.

Covered Employee: any person who works in Covered Employment. An Owner-Member may be a “Covered Employee” if:

  • A Contributing Employer is required to contribute to the Plan on behalf of the Owner-Member pursuant to a CBA;
  • The Owner-Member is working in Covered Employment; or
  • The owner is not included in a collective bargaining unit represented by the Union but is permitted to be treated as such pursuant to rules set forth in Department of Treasury Regulations and the Employer contributes to the Fund on behalf of the Owner-Member.

The rules governing the participation of Plan Owner-Members changed January 1, 2002. If you had contributions made on your behalf as an owner, officer, or director before 2002, the Employer and Local Union were required to complete a Registration Statement with the Plan in order to earn Years of Service and Normal Retirement Pension benefits. In order to determine your status with the Plan be sure to file an application for vesting information to determine your status for that period.

Covered Employment: generally consists of employment in a job classification covered by a CBA which requires your Employer to make Plan contributions for the work you perform. It may also include work that an employee performs in a job classification under a similar type of agreement—called an Adoption Agreement or a Participation Agreement—for a Local Union or a Related Organization (e.g., a JATC), which requires contributions be made to the NPF for the work the employee performs for the Local Union or Related Organization.

Disqualifying Employment: rules on what constitutes Disqualifying Employment differ, depending upon your age at the time you are working. See Suspension of Benefits for more information.

Effective Date: the date of your first monthly pension payment. Your Effective Date, once you meet all requirements, will be determined based on the date the Fund Office receives your fully completed application.

Future Service Credit: you receive months of Future Service Credit when you work in Covered Employment performing Construction Work or Non-Construction Work, or work as a Salted Organizer or a Youth-to-Youth Apprentice after your contribution date.

Home Local (Local Union): the Local Union to which you belong and which has a CBA or Participation Agreement that requires contributions to the NPF.

Home Local Schedule (Rehabilitation Plan Schedule): the Rehabilitation Plan Schedule that your Local Union and Employers negotiated into the CBA for your job classification.

Hours of Work: the hours that you work in Covered Employment and for which you are paid or entitled to be paid. This does not include time during which you receive workers’ compensation or unemployment compensation, or hours during which you have a Break in Service.

Joint and Survivor Annuity: provides you with monthly pension payments for life and, after you die, for the life of your spouse.

JATC: a Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee.

No Increase Consequences (NIC): if you were covered under a CBA that was under the First Alternative which did not subsequently make a required Contribution Rate increase as part of the Rehabilitation Plan, you are eligible only for the Unsubsidized Early Retirement Pension and/or the Age 62 Pension.

Non-Construction Work: work for a Contributing Employer that does not meet the definition of Construction Work.

Non-Covered Employment: work for a Contributing Employer in a classification that does not require contributions to be made to the Plan.

Non-Signatory Employment: work in the Sheet Metal Industry (as defined by the Plan) that is not covered by a collective bargaining agreement with SMART.

Normal Retirement Age: the later of:

  • the date on which you attain age 65; or
  • the date which is the fifth anniversary of the first day of the Plan Year in which you commenced participation in the Plan, provided you are a Participant on the fifth anniversary.

Normal Retirement Pension: the pension benefit you receive when you are at least age 65, meet eligibility requirements, and retire.

One-Year Break in Service: any calendar year in which you work less than 435 Hours of Work in Covered Employment.

Owner-Member: the owner, officer, or director of a Contributing Employer who owns stock in, or is an officer or director of a Contributing Employer or whose spouse owns stock in, or is an officer or director of, a Contributing Employer.

Participant: an individual who satisfies the eligibility requirements listed in Eligibility and Participation.

Participation Agreement (or Adoption Agreement): an agreement between your Employer (as a non-bargaining unit employee) and the Plan requiring contributions to be made on your behalf to the Plan.

Past Service Credit: you may qualify for Past Service Credit if you were working in a job classification with an Employer that later became obligated to contribute to the Plan under a CBA.

Pension Credits: under the Plan there are two types of Pension Credit, depending on whether your work was before (Past Service Credit) or after (Future Service Credit) an Employer began contributing to the Fund.

Person for Whom: a Participant that was classified under the Rehabilitation Plan as a “person for whom contributions were not required to be made” as of December 31, 2013, when the Plan was in Critical Status. A Person for Whom is eligible only for the Unsubsidized Early Retirement Pension. See Early Retirement Pension Benefits for more information.

Plan (National Pension Fund, NPF, Fund): The Sheet Metal Workers’ National Pension Fund (SMWNPF).

Plan document: describes the provisions of the Plan in detail and is the final authority with respect to your eligibility to participate in, and the benefits you receive under, the Plan.

Plan Year: the 12-consecutive month period beginning January 1 and ending on December 31.

Pre-Retirement Surviving Spouse Annuity: a form of payment under which if you are married and die before retirement, your spouse is entitled to 50% of the amount you would have received under the 50% Joint and Survivor Annuity had you retired on the day before your death.

Pro-Rata Pension: a type of pension that allows you to use pension credit earned under another pension plan that participates in the Reciprocal Agreement to qualify for a pension under this Plan.

Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO): a court order or judgment that directs the Plan to pay benefits to your spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent in connection with child support, alimony, or marital property rights and that satisfies the requirements of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order under Section 206(d)(3) of ERISA.

Retiree: any person who receives benefits under the terms of the Plan. You cannot be engaged in any Disqualifying Employment, which includes any work in the Sheet Metal Industry, as of the date you want benefits to start in order to be considered retired under the Plan.

Sheet Metal Industry: employment that falls into any of the following categories:

  • Any and all types of work covered by a SMART collective bargaining agreement.
  • All types of work under the trade jurisdiction of the Union as defined in the SMART Constitution.
  • All types of work in a related building trade which includes but is not limited to Asbestos Workers, Boilermakers, Bricklayers, Carpenters, Electrical Workers, Iron Workers, Laborers, Operating Engineers, Painters, Roofers, Teamsters, or the Plumbers or Pipe Fitters.
  • Any other work to which a sheet metal worker has been assigned, referred, or can perform which is attributable to his or her skills and training as a sheet metal worker, which includes but is not limited to project management, residential construction, service work, engineering consulting, energy management, sign manufacturing, plumbing and electrical work, roofing, property management, and window/skylight repair and installation.

SMART: International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers.

Variable Benefit Accrual Rate (VBAR, Applicable Percentage): The benefit accrual rate for work performed on or after 2014, based on the average investment returns of the preceding three years.

Vested (Vested Status): completed at least five Years of Service.

Year of Service: a 12-month period in which you complete 870 Hours of Work in Covered Employment. Oftentimes, the work you perform in Covered Employment during the year will be for multiple Contributing Employers. All of those Hours of Work during the year are counted in determining whether you have earned a Year of Service. Years of Service are used to determine when you start participating and when you become Vested.

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