COVID-19 Updates from the Pension Department

As our members face unprecedented challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, I know many are concerned about how this situation will affect their futures and their pension. I want to assure our members that the Pension Office is continuing to operate as normally as possible, and we’re doing our best to service participants during this challenging time. 

  1. Checks are still being processed as usual, and benefits payments to retirees are moving forward without interruptions.
  2. All applications will be processed based on the intended retirement date, in accordance with our normal process. 
    1. All applications currently on file with the Pension Fund are being processed and the retirement date will be honored. 
    2. New applications will continue to be processed, but participants may see minor processing delays. If your application is processed after the first of the month, your application’s retirement date will be honored retroactively. 

Pension Fund Office Hours Call Center: 

We are accepting phone calls to the Pension Fund Office from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm EDT for any and all questions from our members. If we can’t take your call, please leave a message, and your call will be returned promptly. You can reach the Office at 1 (800) 554-2479.

In these uncertain times, we want to assure you all that the Fund is still operating and doing our best to service our participants. Our members’ peace of mind is most important to us. Please reach out with any questions or concerns. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay informed.

Find us here: 


Fund Improvement Plan Update

How will my retirement be affected by the Fund Improvement Plan? Why was this plan implemented? Now announcing “Fund Improvement Plan Update,” part of a new suite of IUPAT Pension Whiteboard videos to answer all your questions.

This video explains the steps taken to stabilize the fund against unpredictable fluctuations, including three key modifications made in 2017 to ensure an optimal pension fund. With an ever-changing economy, members should know that their pension is safe. Watch to learn more!

Retirement Options

What options do members have when going into their retirement? How do plans differ? Now announcing “Retirement Options,” part of a new suite of IUPAT Pension Whiteboard videos to answer all your questions.

The video below explains the different pathways members can take, and what benefits they qualify for, when going into retirement. With six plans to choose from, members should understand all their options before picking a retirement pension benefit. Watch to learn more!

Funded Percentage

How can you tell how your pension plan is performing? How does the changing economy affect your benefits? Now announcing “Funded Percentage,” part of a new suite of IUPAT Pension Whiteboard videos to answer all your questions.

This video covers how to measure the strength of the IUPAT Pension Fund and how well the fund is performing currently. No matter how the fund performs, IUPAT retirees are guaranteed a monthly payment in retirement. Watch to learn more!

Preparing for Retirement

Not sure how to prepare for retirement? How do you opt into the pension plan? Now announcing “Preparing for Retirement,” part of a new suite of IUPAT Pension Whiteboard videos to answer all your questions.

This video explains the simple pension application process and how members can get ready for their retirement. If you’re thinking about retirement soon, this video details how members can access their benefits. Watch to learn more!

Benefit Accrual

How do IUPAT members accrue benefits throughout their life? How does that affect your retirement? Now announcing “Benefit Accrual,” part of a new suite of IUPAT Pension Whiteboard videos to answer all your questions.

The following video explains the basics of how members can accrue benefits for their retirement and how to contribute to the Pension Fund. The longer you work with the IUPAT, the larger your guaranteed retirement stipend will be.  Watch to learn more!

What is a Pension?

Do you have questions about your IUPAT pension? Not sure what a pension is or what benefits our union offers? Now announcing “What is a Pension?” –  part of a new suite of IUPAT Pension Whiteboard videos to answer all your questions.

The first video in this series covers the basics of what a pension is and what benefits retirees receive. Whether you have just joined the union or have been a member for years, it’s important to know how a pension functions. Watch to learn more!

Fund Administrator Speech

Fund Administrator Tim Maitland explained updates to and performance of the IUPAT Industry Pension Fund to delegates of the 32nd General Convention. Delegates heard about the performance of the fund since the 2008 recession, the Funding Improvement Plan, and technical advances to the Pension Department.

Weren’t able to attend? Watch a video of the full speech and access his presentation below. Have further questions? Reach out to us at 1(800) 554-2479 or

Fund Administrator, Tim Maitland

Notice: Pension Accrual in 2020

View Original Notice here.

RE: Pension Accrual in 2020

You may have recently received your Pension Statement for the hours you worked in 2018. Next year you will receive your statement for the hours you are working in 2019 (this year). Please remember that in 2018 the pension investment returns were -3.7%. This triggered provisions in the FIP II that will be reflected as a zero accrual on your 2020 pension statement.

FIP II established safeguards to protect the Fund against any future years of negative investment returns. This provides that participants would receive a zero benefit on their contributions in the second year following a year of a negative investment return. This was a deliberate strategy to prevent another catastrophic loss such as we had in 2008.

This action saves the Fund approximately 90 million dollars, but most importantly protects and safeguards the balance you currently have in your retirement benefit. This will go directly to reducing the Plan’s unfunded liability. Keeping the Fund on track towards being fully funded. However, due to the new accrual formula established in 2017, most participants will likely more than offset a year of zero accrual.

Participants will still accrue hours in 2020 and normal accruals are scheduled to resume in 2021.

Since 2008 our fund has paid out over 3 billion dollars in benefit payments to our retirees and beneficiaries while never missing a payment. Over the same time period, we also increased the assets to the fund by 1 billion dollars.

We need you to understand the fund is secure in meeting its obligations and will continue to be as long as we take the necessary steps to adjust for the decrease in participants and contributions experienced after the 2008 recession.

To illustrate how the zero accrual will not significantly impact your pension benefit, see the reverse of this page for an estimate projection.

Tim D. Maitland

Fund Administrator

Are You Ready for Retirement?

How can you know when and if you are ready to retire? What should you do to prepare? While entering this phase of life can be exhilarating, it has the potential to be overwhelming just like any other new and different experience. 

Retiring can be both successful and fulfilling but it requires proper advanced planning, education on the do’s and don’ts, and savvy know-how about the tips and tricks of the trade. In this blog we will provide some resources and information to better prepare you for your retirement!

First, you can ask yourself a few questions about whether or not now is the right time to retire!

  • WHO do I want to spend my retirement with? Is it important to have friends and family nearby?
  • WHAT financial resources do I need? What will I do with my time? WHERE do I want to live?
  • WHY do I want to retire? Is it really time? Am I financially ready? Are my friends and peers retired?
  • WHEN do I want to retire? What is my goal age and approximately how long will I be retired?
  • HOW do I want to live my life? Do I plan to maintain my same quality of life?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average American will likely spend at least 20 years in retirement, though fewer than half have calculated how much they really need to save. Further, with modern medical and techno- logical advances, people are living longer and more active lives. It is estimated that retirees need revenue of at least 70-90% or more of pre-retirement income in order to maintain their standard of living. 

You should not retire before you understand exactly how to do so successfully nor should you retire just because you have reached a certain age. If you love your job, there’s no reason to stop working before you need or want to. In some instances, letting your money grow a little while longer may be the wisest course of action. 

Expect the unexpected. Emergencies and unforeseen occurrences can and will arise during any stage of life. Be sure to calculate in the costs of various scenarios: a new roof or car, living past age 100, nursing home costs, a market downturn or even inflation. And don’t forget to review trusts, wills, powers of attorney, and beneficiaries. 

Here are a few dates that will help you stay on track!


  • IRA contributions must be made by April 15each year.
  • For retirement funds, the first required minimum distribution must be taken by April 1of the year after you turn 70 1⁄2.


  • 401(k) plans and minimum distributions from traditional retirement accounts are due at the end of each calendar year on December 31.
  • Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their prescription drug coverage each year between October 15 and December 7.


  • The IUPAT Pension Fund recommends submitting your pension application approximately 90 days prior to your anticipated retirement date.
  • You can sign up for certain Medicare plans during a seven- month time period before you turn 65. However, Medigap has a different six-month initial enrollment period that begins when you’re 65 or older and only after you’ve enrolled in Medicare Part B.
  • You can sign up for Social Security beginning at age 62. However, payments are reduced if you sign up before you reach full retirement age.

Realistically evaluate your retirement needs. Do not assume that you can live off less or that downsizing will always be the practical option. Consider: are your debts paid off? Are dependent children still a factor? What about elderly parents? Additionally, it may also be a good idea to involve a spouse, partner, and other immediate family members in the decision-making process; they may have insight to share. And while it is true that the ultimate decisions are yours to make, your retirement can be a major change for everyone in your life.

Granted, in today’s world, retire- ment is no longer the guaranteed rite of passage that it used to be. But it is still a beautiful part of life. For a novice retiree, it is a new phase with its own rewards and challenges. Organizations like the IUPAT and the International Pension Fund work hard to make a successful retirement for its participants a reality. 

Have more questions? Feel free to contact us and speak to someone at the International Fund about your pension plan, obtain an estimate of your benefits, submit an application, or anything else, contact 1-800- 554-2479 or