We are very grateful to be in an economy where there is work to be had within our craft and trade. What is equally gratifying to report is because of the current work situation there is a considerably lower call for this benefit. What’s the end result? Participants are refiling their S.U.B. Fund balances. Which is great.
Now we neither want another pandemic or economic downturn to ever occur again, nor for anyone not to be able to get access to their S.U.B. Fund balance because they had not met the $1,200.00 balance eligibility requirement. To that end, we think all members will find the following improvements as welcome news.
Specifically, effective June 1, 2022, the former $1,200 eligibility balance requirement was reduced to $300.00. Meaning, a participant qualifies for S.U.B. Fund weekly benefits if they:
- Have attained a $300.00 balance in their account, and,
- Signed the I.B.E.W. Local 697 out of work list, and,
- Are available to accept a call for work, and
- Can show proof that you are receiving unemployment compensation benefits from a state or would have been eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits from a state had your unemployment compensation benefits from that state not been exhausted.
Further, the Plan has been modified to have the S.U.B Fund balance of an active participant who:
- Has an active account balance of $300.00 or greater; and,
- Has not had a contribution by a Contributing Employer made to their I.B.E.W. Local Union 697 S.U.B. Fund within twelve-months from the last work month a contribution was reported; and
- Has not received a weekly I.B.E.W. Local Union S.U.B. Fund benefit during that same twelve-month consecutive period,
to automatically transfer to their I.B.E.W. & Electrical Industry Local 697 Money Purchase Plan and Trust account.
In the case of a Temporary Employee (traveler) their S.U.B. Fund Benefit balance will be RECIPROCATED to their Home Local as follows:
- To their Defined Contribution Plan, if no Defined Contribution Plan exists in their Home Local; then
- To their Home Local’s Defined Benefit Plan
However, any and all participants (Local 697 participants and temporary employees (travelers) alike) are hereby notified that if they don’t meet the aforementioned criteria, and again, A) have a S.U.B. Fund Benefit Balance of less than $300.00; B) have not received employer benefit contributions for a period of twelve (12) months and/or have not received a weekly S.U.B. Fund Benefit in twelve (12) months, will have their S.U.B. Fund Benefit balance forfeited.
Before anyone gets upset about a benefit balance getting forfeited, we remind you that this too is an improvement as the forfeiture threshold prior to June 1, 2022, was any balance below $1,200.00. We understand you think it still sucks, but it is nevertheless an enhancement for the better, and hence progress.
If you are like me, you are more than likely asking yourself what happens to these forfeited benefit balances. Good question. Answer: Any forfeited balance benefit is used to offset expenses. Yes, believe it or not, it costs money to keep, record and account for these benefits, and it cost money to issue payments, financial statements, make the necessary governmental filings and to maintain legal compliance.