Click each question below to learn more information. For any additional questions you may have, please contact the Benefit Office at (781) 272-1000 or (800) 342-3792.
Do I have to wait until age 65 to begin collecting my pension?
No. You may begin collecting a pension at a reduced rate as early as age 55, or earlier with a 30 year service pension. With 10 years, you may be eligible for a disability pension at any age.
Do I need to do anything to enroll in the Pension Plan?
No. You are automatically enrolled in the Pension Plan on the January 1 or July 1 after you’ve met the service requirements. If you are not married, you should complete a beneficiary designation form and submit it to the Fund Office.
When do I become vested?
You vest after you have earned 5 pension credits (five years), provided you have earned 250 hours in 1998 or later.
Do my credits with another fund count towards my pension?
Your credit earned in a different state could be counted provided the other fund participates in a reciprocal agreement and that you are vested in one fund or the other, or both combined. To participate in a reciprocal agreement, you must have a minimum of one pension credit. Please contact the Fund Office for complete details.
How can I find out how many pension credits and years of vesting service I have?
Access the Member Dashboard to view your total pension credits and vesting service.
How much is each of my pension credits worth at retirement age?
Please refer to the Member Dashboard to view your current pension value.
How many banked hours do I have?
You may check the summary on the Member Dashboard.
When do banked hours begin accruing?
All hours over 1,600 in a calendar year beginning with 1984, are bankable hours.
How do my additional or “surplus” banked hours work for me?
After using any needed banked hours, any left-over banked hours earned before 1/1/2010 will be paid for in your monthly pension.
What are the requirements for disability pensions?
You must earn at least 10 pension credits (10 years, with at least 250 hours in 1983 or later), and be deemed as totally and permanently disabled by Social Security, or by a physician selected by the Board of Trustees.
How much will I receive if I become disabled and begin collecting a disability pension?
If you have more than 15 pension credits, your disability pension is calculated the same way as a regular pension. If you have at least 10 but fewer than 15 pension credits, your benefit will be calculated the same way as the special minimum pension.
I stopped working in covered employment at age 45, but I was vested when I left. Will I be eligible for a pension?
Yes. You’ll be eligible for a vested pension. You can begin receiving your vested pension benefit any time after you reach age 55, but it will be reduced to provide the benefit as an early retirement pension. Otherwise, you’ll receive your benefit when you reach 65. Keep the Fund Office informed of any address changes so you can apply for and receive your pension when you reach the appropriate age.
What is the early retirement reduction amount at age 55?
It is 19% (3% per year for age 55 through 59, and 2% per year for age 60 through 61), with credit in 1999 or later. For credit earned after 1/1/2010, it is 30% (3% per year for age 55 through 64).
How do I provide for my spouse if I should die?
If you have been married for at least one year at retirement, there is an automatic 50% husband & wife payment option at no cost to you. You may also choose a 75% or 100% husband & wife option with a reduction to your monthly benefit. For credit earned after 1/1/2010, the 50% option has a base reduction of 8%, the 75% has a base reduction of 12%, and the 100% option has a base reduction of 16%.
What are the reductions for the different Husband & Wife payment options?
If you have credit after 1988, there is no reduction for the 50% option. If you have credit after 1999, you may also choose the 75% option, with a base reduction of 5.5%, or the 100% option, with a base reduction of 10%. For credit earned after 1/1/2010, the 50% option has a base reduction of 8%, the 75% has a base reduction of 12%, and the 100% option has a base reduction of 16%.
What happens if I take a Husband and Wife Pension but my spouse and I divorce during my retirement? Will my monthly payment amount increase?
No increase will be made to your monthly payments because of a divorce, and the person who was your spouse when your pension started will still be entitled to the benefit if you should die first. The only exception would be if you were not legally married for at least one year before divorcing; in that case, your former spouse would not be entitled to a benefit unless a QDRO has awarded it to him or her.
If I divorce and remarry, will my new spouse be eligible for a benefit from my pension?
Not after your pension starting date. If you divorce and remarry after your pension starting date, the new spouse will not be entitled to any benefits under the Husband and Wife Pension you have started receiving.
Can I change my payment form after I start receiving my pension?
No. Once you begin to receive your pension, you cannot change to a different payment form.
When I die, does my pension go to a beneficiary if I am not married?
The pension is guaranteed to be paid for at least 60 months. If you have not collected 60 payments at the time you die, your named beneficiary will receive the remainder of those 60 payments.
Is my pension payable for my lifetime? How about my spouse’s?
Yes. Your pension is always payable for your lifetime, and with a husband & wife option, your wife will receive benefits for her lifetime if you predecease her.
Will my pension benefit affect my Social Security Benefit?
Pension Plan benefits and Social Security benefits are separate benefits. The benefits payable under the Pension Plan are in addition to benefits paid under Social Security. Pension benefits will not reduce your Social Security benefits.
Will I get any cost-of-living increases in my pension?
At this time, the Plan does not provide for any cost-of-living increases.
Is there a limit on the amount I can receive?
Yes. The IRS limits annual benefits paid from plans such as the Pension Plan, but these limits are quite high. In the unlikely event you are affected by these limits, you will be notified.
Is my pension a taxable distribution?
Yes. Federal and State taxes apply.
Can I temporarily suspend my pension and return to work full-time?
Yes. However, you must notify the Pension Fund Office in writing in advance.
What are the rules regarding returning to work after collecting my pension?
If you are age 65 or older, you are allowed to work a maximum of 39 hours per month in covered employment while collecting your pension. If you decide to work more, you must contact the Fund Office to have your pension suspended.
What other benefits am I entitled to when I retire on my pension?
Please refer to the Massachusetts Laborers’ District Council Summary Plan Description for complete details on other available benefits.
What forms of identification do I need to submit with my Pension application?
You will need a photocopy of your Birth Certificate (or one of the other documents listed on the application, as well as copies of your Social Security card and a State-issued photo I.D., such as your driver’s license. If you are married, we will need the same documents for your spouse, as well as a copy of your marriage certificate.
Can I use my banked hours to attain a certain type of pension?
No. If you have, say, 28 pension credits and you have 8,000 surplus banked hours (2 additional credits), you would not be eligible for a Service Pension because you need to earn at least 30 pension credits. You could, however, work 250 hours for your 29th and/or 30th year and use banked hours to fill those years in.