Vesting and Building Your Benefits
Why is it important to be vested?
Here are three reasons why:
- Once you are vested, you have a right to a benefit from NEBF and you cannot lose that right.
- You will not lose any vesting service credits or pension credits that you have already earned should you incur a break in service.
- You may earn additional pension credits if you return to covered employment without having to become vested again.
Effective January 1, 1988, you are considered vested when you have accumulated 5 vesting service credits. Different rules apply to becoming vested prior to January 1, 1988.
If you are not vested and incur a break in service, you lose all vesting service credits and pension credits that you have accumulated. However, if you retire at age 65 or older and have not lost your pension credits, you may be eligible for a benefit even if you are not vested.
Building Your Benefit
On your first day of covered employment, you became a participant in the National Electrical Benefit Fund (NEBF). Every hour you work in covered employment will count toward your eligibility for a benefit from the NEBF.
Your eligibility for a benefit and the amount of that benefit depend on the number of credits you earn. Generally, credits are earned for hours worked in covered employment. There are two types of credits you can earn: Vesting Service Credits and Pension Credits.
Vesting service credits determine your right to a benefit. To be vested means that you have a non-forfeitable right to a benefit from NEBF.
Pension Credits are generally earned while working in covered employment. They are used to determine your benefit amount. You cannot earn pension credits for hours worked in non-covered employment. Pension credits are not based on union membership. There are two types of pension credits: Benefit Service Credits and Past Service Credits. These are added together to give the total number of Pension Credits that are used to determine your benefit amount.
For more details on earning vesting service credit and pension credits, please refer to the NEBF Summary Plan Description.