Breaks in Service and Loss of Credit

The Pension Trust exists primarily to provide retirement security for Carpenters who earn their living over a major portion of their working years for work in Covered Employment. For this reason, the Plan requires reasonable continuity of service.

If you leave Covered Employment before you are Vested, you can lose all of your accrued benefits. Your status as a Plan Participant, earned Pension Credit and Vesting Service Credit, can be cancelled as a result of a One Year Break in Service. Furthermore, if you are not Vested or retired at the time you incur a Permanent Break in Service, any previously earned Pension Credit and Vesting Service will be forfeited.

One Year Break in Service

Since January 1, 1976, you incur a One Year Break in Service during a calendar year in which you earn fewer than 500 Hours of Service in Covered Employment. In addition to preventing you from increasing the amount of your Pension, multiple One Year Breaks in Service can adversely affect your Pension. A One Year Break in Service can be repaired if you earn 1,000 or more Hours of Service in a subsequent calendar year. Even if you have a succession of One Year Breaks in Service, as long as you do not incur a Permanent Break in Service, you can repair a string of One Year Breaks in Service by working at least 1,000 hours in Covered Employment in a calendar year.

Permanent Break in Service

Between January 1,1976 and January 1,1987, a Participant has a Permanent Break in Service, if, between January 1,1976 and January 1,1987 he/she has at least three consecutive One Year Breaks in Service and the number of such consecutive One Year Breaks in Service equals or exceeds the number of Vesting Service Credits which he/she had accumulated prior to such consecutive One Year Breaks in Service.  

On and After January 1,1987, a Participant has a Permanent Break in Service after January 1,1987 if he/she has at least five consecutive One Year Breaks in Service and the number of such consecutive One Year Breaks in Service equals or exceeds the number of Vesting Service Credits which he/she had accumulated prior to such consecutive One Year Breaks in Service.  

Reinstatement of Credit after a Permanent Break in Service

If you earn at least one year of Future Service Credit and then incur a Permanent Break in Service, you can restore the Pension Credit and Vesting Service lost due to the Permanent Break in Service by earning thereafter at least five Future Service Credits (without an intervening Permanent Break in Service). The Pension benefit payable for the reinstated Pension Credit will be calculated based on the benefit rate scale in effect at the time of your Separation from Service.  

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