Generally, the Plan bases Benefit Units on employment covered by the Plan after June 30, 1961.* You may earn Benefit Units, equal to whichever of the following is less:
- the number of actual Years of Participation in the Plan; or
- the number of years and quarters (rounded to the next lower quarter) determined by dividing your total benefit hours of service by 1600.
In general, a benefit hour of service is each hour of employment for which you are paid or entitled to payment for performance or non-performance of duties. You can also receive benefit hours of service for the following:
- time spent in military service (refer also to the "Participation" Section of this SPD);
- periods during which you received weekly accident and sickness benefits from the Electrical Welfare Trust Fund; or
- periods during which you received Worker’s Compensation benefits up to a maximum of 40 hours per week limited to 13 weeks for any one disability.
To compute your Benefit Units, the Plan considers your Years of Participation to all be complete years and complete quarters between the first day of the month in which Benefit Hours are first credited to you and the later of:
- December 31 of the last plan year in which you are credited with at least 400 Vesting Hours of Service; or
- The last day of the last month in which you are credited with any Vesting Hours of Service if you did not earn at least 400 hours of service in the plan year which includes that month and if you earned at least 400 benefit hours of service in the previous year, provided, however that,
- Any years between, in which you did not receive 400 hours of vesting service, are disregarded.
EXAMPLE #1 OF BENEFIT UNIT CALCULATION:
Derek earned 20,000 benefit hours of service during 10 Years of Participation in the Plan. By dividing 20,000 by 1,600, we get 12.5 years. Since the Plan does not credit more Benefit Units than the number of Years of Participation, Derek is credited with 10 Benefit Units.
EXAMPLE #2 OF BENEFIT UNIT CALCULATION:
Joe earned a total of 34,600 benefit hours of service during 24 Years of Participation in the Plan. By dividing 34,600 by 1,600, we get 21.63 years dropped to the next lower quarter or 21.5. In this case, the Plan will credit Joe with 21.5 Benefit Units.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Vesting credits determine your right to a pension. The rules regarding when you receive credit are broad and even include some periods of unemployment.
Benefit Units determine the amount of your pension and are based on much more restrictive rules for counting time toward earning Benefit Units.
* Past benefit Units are also credited for limited time and lower Benefit Unit rates prior to July 1, 1961.