Pop Quiz time.
ERTS is an anacronym for:
- Expected Return to Service
- Electronic Resources Tracking System
- Embedded Real Time Systems
- Electronic Reciprocal Transfer System
Actually, this is a trick question as ERTS is an anacronym for all those things. However, for I.B.E.W. tradespersons, the most applicable answer is the definition found after the letter “D”.
Now, if you selected an answer other than “D”, we offer to you an obligatory and seeming sad trombone sound, as well as the following points for consideration:
- If you don’t know if you completed an ERTS form or don’t remember, fill out a new one. Just do it. It takes less than forty seconds to complete.
- The ERTS form is a simple form for a simple job: getting the various benefit contributions earned in another Local’s jurisdiction reciprocated back to the respective and corollary Local 697 Benefit Plans. (Pension, Health and Benefit and Money Purchase Plan & Trust).
- Non-reciprocated Health and Benefit Plan contributions can cause that traveler to lose their and their family’s insurance eligibility in their home Local’s Health and Benefit Plan. The loss of which means the cessation of you or your family’s medical, dental, pharmaceutical and vision benefits, the immediate revocation of your beneficiary’s right to receive a Health and Benefit Plan Death Benefit, and the eventual forfeiture of any HRA benefit.
- Non-reciprocated Pension contributions can cause a break in service in the members Pension contribution history. The result of which is a smaller monthly Penson benefit during your retirement.
- The Fund Office is prohibited by the International from completing this form for you as only you can advise that other Local’s Benefit Office of what to do with the benefit contributions earned while working outside the Local 697 jurisdiction.
- The International also states that unless a traveler is working under a National Agreement, a traveler must sign in at that Local Unions Hall office and check to make sure that that Local has their ERTS designations logged within in their system. If not, the traveler is to complete the form.
- Please note that the International does not say that those individuals working under a National Agreement do not have to complete an ERTS form. They do, just like every journeyperson does. So if you are working under a National Agreement, you are not exempt from completing this form.
Bottom line, go online to https://erts.ibew.com and check your ERTS election. If you don’t see one, that means you never made one. If you don’t want to do that, and again, are unsure if you ever completed an ERTS form, contact the Fund Office and we will securely email or mail you a new form. Or better yet, stop by the Fund Office, we love to see you. We will provide you with a blank form to complete and forty seconds later it will be done. Easy-peasy!