Common Questions About Your Secure Retirement

There are many common questions caregivers have about the plan. Click each question to learn more.

OTHER QUESTIONS?

Call 1-866-770-1917 and select option 3 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time, Monday-Friday).

These FAQs highlight key terms of the plan. Details are in the plan documents. In the event of a conflict between these highlights and the plan documents, the plan documents control.

Q. Who pays for the plan’s administrative costs expenses?

A. The reasonable administrative costs of the plan are shared by all participants on a pro-rata basis.

Q. What types of things are included in the expenses?

A. The largest expense for this type of plan relates to the administration of participant accounts. A breakdown of the expenses for the plan by category can be found here:

Pie Chart

 

Q. How do I participate in the secure retirement plan?

A. You are automatically enrolled in the Secure Retirement Plan if you work for an employer required by terms of a Collective Bargaining Agreement with SEIU 775 to make contributions to the plan.

Check www.seiu775.org/findyourcontract/ to see if your employer is included. You become a participant with the first qualifying hour your employer reports as worked on or after March 1, 2016, under one of the above referenced Collective Bargaining Agreement. Once the administrative office receives this information, it will create your account and mail you a Summary Plan Description.

The Summary Plan Description describes key features of the plan. Details are in the plan documents. In the event of a conflict between these highlights or the summary plan description and the plan documents, the plan documents control.

Q. How can I start receiving my retirement funds?

A. You must be vested and of normal retirement age (65 years or older) to access your retirement benefit.

Vesting means you have a non-forfeitable right to the amounts credited to your account. In other words, once you are vested, these funds “belong” to you.

Q. What obligation do I have as a participant in the Secure Retirement Plan?

A. You must keep our administrative office advised of any change of address so that it is able to contact you and so that you continue receiving your annual statement and summary annual report (SAR) link to SAR. You should also designate a beneficiary to receive your benefit in the event you pass away before your entire benefit is paid out.

Vesting means you have a non-forfeitable right to the amounts credited to your account. In other words, once you are vested, these funds “belong” to you.

Q. How do I become vested?

A. To become vested, you must work at least 300 hours per plan year (March to February) for three years. Only hours worked on and after March 1, 2016, for employers covered by terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement are included.

Unfortunately, years of service as a caregiver before that date do not count toward vesting in your retirement benefit. We recommend checking the Social Security Administration to understand the best strategy for your situation to maximize your Social Security benefit.

Q. What type of hours count for the 300-hours vesting requirement?

A. In addition to hours providing service to clients, training hours and paid time off (PTO) hours count toward satisfying the 300 hours requirement for a year of vesting service. Contributions to the retirement plan’s trust are not made for training hours and paid time off.

This means you may have more hours for vesting than for contributions purposes. Your Collective Bargaining Agreement determines the hours for which your employer must make a contribution to the plan.

Q. What happens if I don’t have enough hours to vest?

A. If you don’t earn 300 hours in a given plan year, that year will be considered a “break in service”. Break in service means contributions will be credited to your account, but the year will not count toward the three-year vesting requirement.

If you don’t meet the hours requirement for five plan years in a row, you will experience a “permanent break in service”. At that point, your accumulated balance will be forfeited to the plan.

Q. What obligation do I have as a vested participant in the Secure Retirement Plan?

A. You need to keep our administrative office advised of any change of address so that it is able to contact you and so that you continue receiving your annual statement and summary annual report (SAR) link to SAR. You should also designate a beneficiary to receive your benefit in the event you pass away before your entire benefit is paid out.

 Q. Who decides how the contributions the plan receives are invested?

A. The investments for the plan are directed by the plan Trustees. The Trustees have retained RBC (Royal Bank of Canada Brokerage) as the 3(21) investment fiduciary for the Secure Retirement Trust.

  1. RBC acts as the 3(21) investment fiduciary (a paid professional who provide investment recommendations to the plan sponsor/trustee).
  2. The Trustee retains ultimate decision-making authority for the investments and may accept or reject the recommendations.
  3. Both the Trustees and RBC share the fiduciary responsibility.

Q. What specific investments did the Trustees and RBC select?

A. As of February 28, 2018 (the latest plan year end), assets were invested using the following guidelines.

Asset Class, Min/Max Weight, Asset Class Target Weight

 

Q. What if I leave home care work before I reach normal retirement age?

A. If you are vested, your account is paid to you even if you leave before retirement. If your account is $2400 or less, it will be paid out to you after you haven’t worked for 24 calendar months.

Q. What happens if I pass away before receiving my entire retirement benefit?

A. If you are vested, your account will be paid out to your beneficiaries either as a lump sum or under the payment plan previously established for you.

Q. I never named any beneficiaries, who will receive my funds if I pass away?

A. If you are vested but have not named specific beneficiaries, the plan will default to paying out your balance as follows:

  • First to your surviving spouse.
  • If there is no spouse, then to your living children (natural, adopted and step)(in equal shares).
  • If there are no children, then to your living parents (in equal shares).
  • If there are no living parents, then to your living siblings (in equal shares).

Q. What obligation do I have as a vested participant in the Secure Retirement Plan?

A. You must keep our administrative office advised of any change of address so that it is able to contact you and so that you continue to receive your annual statement and summary annual report (SAR)link to SAR.

Q. If I am at or near retirement age (65), what does the retirement plan mean for me?

A. This will depend on a variety of factors: how many hours you work, future collective bargaining agreement contribution levels, when you actually choose to retire (assuming you meet plan requirements), investment performance over time, and the terms of the Plan.

Q. How do I receive retirement payments from the retirement plan?

A. You will need to meet the following criteria to receive a retirement benefit: 1. You must be age 65 or older, and 2. You must be fully vested in the plan.

Q. How is the benefit paid to me?

A. If your account is more than $2,400, it will be paid in monthly installments. If your account is $2,400 or less, it will be paid in a single lump sum.

Q. If I am nearing retirement age, what can I do to improve my levels of retirement income?

A. You might be able to increase the number of hours/years you work to increase the amount of money contributed.

You may also want to check www.ssa.gov to understand the best strategy for your situation to maximize your Social Security benefit.

Q. Am I required to take required minimum distributions at age 70 1⁄2 if I am still working?

A. No. You can delay beginning payments until as late as April 1 of the calendar year after the year in which you stop working.

Under federal tax law, you may be subject to a 50% excise tax if you don’t begin payment of your benefit by this date.

Q. How often does my account balance change?

  1. If you are working as a caregiver, your employer will submit contributions each month based on the qualifying hours you worked during that time period.
  2. Each quarter the plan updates the value of your account as follows:
  • Your account balance as of the prior quarter.
  • Plus contributions received for hours reported that quarter.
  • Plus your pro-rata share of any investment gains or interest the plan earned.
  • Less your pro-rata share of any investment losses the plan experienced.
  • Less your pro-rata share of any expenses for that quarter.

Q. What do you mean by pro-rata?

A. Pro-rata means that you will receive a proportionate share of overall gains, losses or expenses based on the size of your account relative to the entire plan. For example, if your account balance equaled one percent of the total balance of the plan, you would be entitled to one percent of the gains and would be assessed one percent of the expenses.

Q. Am I still able to contribute to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or another employer retirement plan while I participate in this retirement plan?

A. You should consult a tax advisor regarding your unique situation, but, in general, participating in this plan will not prevent you from making those types of contributions subject to general IRS provisions.

Q. Can I make payroll deductions to increase my contributions into the plan?

A. At this time the Secure Retirement Plan can only accept employer contributions.