Common Questions about the Secure Retirement Plan
Q. How do I participate in the retirement plan?
A. You must 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 are considered a participant with your first hour worked on or after March 1, 2016, under one of the above referenced Collective Bargaining Agreements.
Q. How do I receive retirement payments from the retirement plan?
A. You must be vested to be eligible for a retirement benefit and reach the plan’s normal retirement age of 65 to begin benefit payments.
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. However, we do recommend checking www.ssa.gov to understand the best strategy for your situation to maximize your Social Security benefit.
Q. What does vested mean?
A. Once you “vest” in a retirement plan, it means you have a non- forfeitable right to amounts in your account. This percentage is small at first, but grows the longer you work as a caregiver.
Q. What type of hours count for the 300-hours vesting requirement?
A. In addition to your hours providing service to clients, similar to the health care eligibility calculations, training hours and paid time off (PTO) hours count toward satisfying the 300 hours requirement for a year of vesting service.
However, 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 you are owed. Your Collective Bargaining Agreement determines the hours for which your employer must make a contribution to the plan.
Q. What happens if the 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. Am I still able to contribute to an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) 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.
Q. What if I leave homecare 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’ve had no hours for 24 calendar months.
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) and investment performance over time.
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 (see previous page)
However, the federal law also states participants also vest when they reach
“normal retirement age” as defined by the law.
So, if you haven’t vested through the three-year service rule, you vest at the later of the date you reach 65, or the 5th anniversary of the first day of the plan year in which you became a Plan participant. This is provided you are still active in the plan on that date.
This is provided that you don’t have a permanent break in service.
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. Can I both contribute to and withdraw money from the plan?
A. Yes, once you are both vested and attain normal retirement age (age 65), you may apply for a retirement benefit even if you are still working for an employer who is contributing on your behalf.
Your benefit will continue as long as you have a balance in your account.
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. Who pays for the Plan’s administrative costs?
A. The reasonable administrative costs of the Plan are shared by all participants on a pro-rata basis.
QUESTIONS? Call 1-866-770-1917 and select option 3