How Military Leave Works (Non-Military Personnel Should Read This as Well)

Notice Requirement. The Department of Defense strongly recommends that reservists provide notice to their civilian employers and Union Benefit Offices at least 30 days prior to departure for uniformed service. With that said, the Benefit Fund Office of the I.B.E.W. Local 697 understands that this is not always feasible to do. Circumstances arise, especially in a mobilization scenario, where a reservist has very little advance notice from military authorities. In cases like these, please have a family member contact the Benefit Fund office at 219-940-6181 and inform the staff that you have been called-up. By doing this the Health and Benefit Plan will freeze you and your families earned eligibility so that upon your return, it can be immediately reinstated.

After Service. After completion of a period of service of less than 31 days, the employee is required to report for work "not later than the beginning of the first regularly scheduled work period on the first full calendar day following the completion of the period of service and the expiration of eight hours after a period allowing for the safe transportation of the person from the place of that service to the person’s residence." If reporting at that time is impossible or unreasonable through no fault of such person (e.g., automobile accident on return trip), the employee is required to report for work as soon as possible thereafter.

If the period of service was 31-180 days, the employee is required to submit an application for reemployment within 14 days after the end of the period of service. If the period of service was 181 days or more, the individual must submit the application for reemployment within 90 days. These deadlines can be extended by up to two years if the individual is hospitalized or convalescing for a service-connected injury or illness.

The Crediting of Benefits During Your Period of Service and The Importance of Providing Copies of Military Pay Stubs to the Benefit Office.

Crediting Your Money Purchase Plan & Trust – There is no requirement for your employer or Benefit Plan to make contributions to your Money Purchase Plan and Trust while you are on active duty. However, once you return from military duty and:

  • Are reemployed by an employer who is signatory to the I.B.E.W. Local 697 collective bargaining agreement, and,
  • Provide the I.B.E.W. Local 697 Benefit Fund Office with your Military pay stubs for time served,

your Money Purchase Plan and Trust will be credited with the employer contributions that would have been made if you had been employed during the period of military duty. Be advised that there is no requirement that the contributions for the time of service to your Money Purchase Plan and Trust account include gains or losses that would have been allocated to the employee had the contributions been made during their military service.

Crediting Your I.B.E.W. Local 697 & Electrical Industry Pension Plan – Federal law (USERRA) requires that the period of military duty be counted as covered service with the employer for participation, vesting, and benefit accrual purposes. As such, the time spent in service will be treated as if they had been continuously employed and they will receive Pension credits for that time period of service.

Important. The depositing of monies within your Money Purchase Plan and Trust (the Annuity Fund) and the crediting of service credits to your I.B.E.W. Local 697 & Electrical Industry Pension Plan (the Pension Fund) is based upon you reporting to work within the aforementioned and permissible time periods. If you fail to report to work in accordance to the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, you risk losing these monies and credits. Certainly, neither you nor the Benefit Fund Office wishes that to occur. So, please make sure you are reporting back to work in a timely fashion AND providing the Plan with your Military paystubs.