International Funds

2015 IPF/IHF Annual Report Highlights Plans for the Future

Journal: Issue 4 - 2016


The 2015 IPF/IHF Annual Report, mailed in October, reviews International Pension Fund (IPF) and International Health Fund (IHF) benefit programs and highlights recent developments including IPF Plan changes and new offerings from the IHF. The Report also provides detailed financial information, instructions on BAC Member Portal registration, IPF benefit accrual tables, signatory fund listings, information from the BAC Member Assistance Plan, updates on the BAC SAVE Retirement Savings Plan (RSP), and much more.

IPF Rehabilitation Program Plan Changes

Despite being projected solvent through 2044 by Fund actuaries, effective January 1, 2016 IPF was considered in “critical” status under the current tests set out in the Pension Protection Act. Pursuant to the Act, the Trustees instituted a Rehabilitation Plan. While no changes are being made to annual benefit accruals or benefits currently being received by IPF pensioners and their beneficiaries, changes are being made for those with retirement effective dates as of July 1, 2016. The following box outlines these changes:

What Will Not Change

  • No changes in benefits already in pay status
  • No changes in benefits if participant retires and applies by May 31, 2016, and has a pension start date effective no later than June 1, 2016
  • No changes in current benefit accrual rates
  • No reduction in pensioner’s benefit at normal retirement age
  • No changes in 3% or 4% IPF PPA rate increases already called for
  • No Employer Surcharges

What Will Change

  • Early Retirement subsidies reduced for new pensioners
  • Disability pension subsidies reduced for new pensioners
  • Inactive Vested participants must return to active service to qualify for early retirement benefit
  • Lump Sum Death Benefits capped at $5,000.00
  • Pop-up benefit eliminated for new joint and survivor options
  • 5 year guarantee no longer available for new single-life pensions
  • IPF rules will apply to merged plan benefits for new pensions

Outreach to Inactive Vested Participants

A critical element in maintaining the health of both the Union Masonry Industry and the IPF is the re-capture of skilled craftworkers representing the “inactive vested” demographic of participants in the IPF. Inactive vested members include former BAC craftworkers who earned 5 years or more of service credit before they left the trade. Under the Rehabilitation Plan, these members are not eligible for benefits until age 64. Should these members return to covered employment and earn three years of Future Service Credit (4,500 hours), these participants would be eligible for reduced early retirement. The International Union, working in conjunction with the IPF, sent a letter to these members in August 2016 urging them to reach out to their Local Unions for potential work opportunities. The chart on page 19 demonstrates 10-year demographic trends among retired, active, and vested participants. Currently the IPF has 6/10 of an active working participant for each pensioner or inactive vested. During the great recession, the IPF went from 12,000 deferred vesteds to almost 24,000. With work coming back, these former workers can help meet growing needs for manpower in many BAC Local Unions. If you are aware of a former member who is looking for work, please put them in touch with your Local Union.




Member Portal Enhancements

Implemented in 2014, the BAC Member Portal introduced Union members to on-demand benefit information via computer and mobile devices. Building on this innovation, the IPF and the IHF are expanding the scope of content available to participants. Members can stay in virtual contact with the Union and Fund offices to receive updates on benefit contributions and reciprocal transfers. They can report changes in contact information, beneficiary designations, upload forms, and even pay dues to Locals and ADCs that have opted for that capability. Members can review their IPF and BAC SAVE RSP Annual Statements and those seeking work can check the BAC Job Network for employment opportunities. Now, as an added feature, participants in the BAC SAVE RSP can view their account balances and apply for benefits through the Portal. Participants of the IHF are now able to complete their annual health & welfare open enrollment online through the Member Portal. In addition, in 2017 the IHF will further enhance the Member Portal by allowing members to complete their initial enrollment and make any changes to their benefits due to qualifying events through the Portal.

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