Pension Plan

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You have a defined contribution pension plan. Your employer contributes to the Pension Fund for every hour you work in covered employment. Those contributions go toward your participant account. The funds in your participant account are invested in the stock market. When you retire, you collect the funds in your account via an annuity or lump sum payment. The funds in your account may be higher or lower than the total amount of your employer’s contributions, depending on the performance of the Fund’s investments.


You become a participant when your employer contributes to the Pension Fund on your behalf for hours you work in covered employment. Contributions are made for each hour you’re paid, as set forth in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

How the Pension Plan Works

You’re immediately 100% vested in your pension. Once your employer contributes to the Fund, you have a non-forfeitable right to those funds—plus or minus any investment gains or losses— when you retire.

Although the balance in your account belongs to you from the very first contribution, your funds can be withdrawn only under the following conditions:

  • Retirement—You can begin receiving pension payments once you reach age 55. You must begin receiving pension payments starting on the April 1 following the calendar year in which you retire.
  • Disability
  • Death
  • Termination of employment—When you do not work under a CBA for 12 consecutive months.

In cases of financial hardship, you can apply to receive a payment from your Pension before your retirement.

Hardship Withdrawals

You can apply for a pension distribution before age 55 under any of the following circumstances:

  • To pay medical expenses when you are uninsured
  • To purchase a principal residence
  • To pay tuition and related educational fees for the next 12 months of post-secondary education for you or your spouse, children, or other dependents.
  • To prevent your eviction from your principal residence or foreclosure on the mortgage on your principal residence
  • To cover burial or funeral expenses

For more information, contact Zenith American Solutions.

Applying to Receive Your Pension Benefits

You can apply to begin receiving your pension at any time after you become eligible to receive a Plan benefit. Or your beneficiary can apply to receive your pension benefits following your death.

To start, complete the Pension Application Form. You can download it or request the form from the Administrative Office by calling (725) 238-5768.

Forms of Payment

You can collect your pension in the following ways:

  • An annuity purchased through a licensed insurance company (required if you’re married when you retire, unless you and your spouse both consent in writing otherwise within 30 to 180 days of your first payment)
  • A monthly amount of your choosing until funds are exhausted
  • An immediate lump sum of your choice, followed by a monthly, quarterly, semiannual, or annual amount of your choice until funds are exhausted
  • A full lump-sum amount equal to the total value of your participant account

Contact Zenith American Solutions for information on collecting your pension if you become disabled or to designate a beneficiary for your pension.