Your Legal Plan is funded by contributions made by employers as specified in their collective bargaining agreements with I.B.E.W. Local 1547 (the “Local”) and special agreements between employers and the Board of Trustees. If you have a question about whether contributions on your behalf are being made by your employer, please contact the Administrative Office at (800) 478-1246 or by email.
Hourly (Hour Bank) Eligibility
If you are covered by an agreement calling for hourly contributions to the Fund, you are covered on the first day of the second calendar month following month in which 360 or more work hours reported and paid to the Fund within a three consecutive month period. After establishing your initial eligibility, you will remain covered as long as you have 120 or more hours in your Hour Bank. You can “bank” up to 960 hours for future coverage. See the Legal Plan Summary Plan Description (LP-SPD) for details.
Your eligibility for coverage as an Hour Bank Employee will continue until your bank drops below 120 hours or is exhausted.
If your coverage terminates because your Hour Bank account has less than 120 hours, your eligibility will be reinstated on the first day of the second month that follows after the Hour Bank has at least 120 hours. See the Legal Plan Summary Plan Description (LP-SPD) for more information on how to maintain your banked hour balance as you work to build up your Hour Bank, and what happens to your hours if you transfer to an employer that has bargained for monthly coverage.
If you are covered by an agreement calling for a flat rate monthly contribution you are covered on the first day of the calendar month following the calendar month during which your Employer makes the required contribution on your behalf (e.g., work during September provides coverage for October). Some agreements have work hour minimums in order for you to be eligible for a contribution. See the Legal Plan Summary Plan Description (LP-SPD) for details.
Your eligibility for coverage as a monthly Employee will continue as long as the required contribution is received from your employer. If your coverage terminates, you will be reinstated on the first day of the calendar month following the month in which you are again employed by one or more contributing employers under an agreement calling for a flat rate contribution and are eligible for a contribution under the appropriate collective bargaining agreement or special agreement.
Your dependents are eligible while you are eligible. Generally, dependents are defined as your legal spouse and your unmarried children less than nineteen (19) years of age or who were disabled and remain dependent upon you after that age, provided they are not in the Armed Forces. See the Legal Plan Summary Plan Description (LP-SPD) for complete definition of qualifying dependents.
Continuation of Coverage Options
If your coverage terminates, you may be eligible to continue coverage through self-payment. (see the section entitled SELF-PAYMENT PROVISIONS of the Legal Plan Summary Plan Description (LP-SPD)
In the Event of Your Death
- For Monthly Employees: If you should die while eligible under a Monthly Plan, coverage for your spouse and dependent children will end on the last day of the calendar month for which you earned a month of coverage.
- For Hourly Employees: If you should die while eligible under an Hourly Plan, coverage will continue to your spouse and dependent children for as long as your Hour Bank has sufficient (at least 120) hours to continue coverage.
- For Both Monthly and Hourly Employees: Your spouse or your personal representative may be eligible to continue legal coverage on a self-pay basis (see the section entitled SELF-PAYMENT PROVISIONS of the Legal Plan Summary Plan Description (LP-SPD). Retiree coverage may also be available to your surviving spouse in certain circumstances (see the section entitled RETIREE ELIGIBILITY below).
If you leave employment with a contributing employer for military service:
- If you have Hour Bank Eligibility, you may elect to either run-out your Hour Bank or freeze your Hour Bank until you return from military service. If you elect to run-out your Hour Bank, when your Hour Bank has less than 120 hours, you may then elect to continue coverage through self-payments.
- If you have Monthly Eligibility, you may elect to self-pay for coverage while you are on military leave.
- You must contact the Administrative Office prior to the date your military service begins and notify the Administrative Office once your military service ends.
Legal Plan benefits are available to employees who were active members of the Legal Plan, have retired and satisfy certain eligibility requirements. A monthly self-pay contribution is required for retiree legal coverage. While coverage is available, a retired employee (or eligible surviving spouse) will not be automatically enrolled in the plan and must complete an enrollment form with the Fund to be eligible for benefits.
- A retired employee who has attained at least age 48 and has had:
- 36 months of eligibility with this Legal Fund, for which retiree funding has been paid, in the 120 months immediately preceding retirement, or
- 6,240 hours of contributions reported to this Legal Fund, for which retiree funding has been paid, in the 120 months immediately preceding retirement, or
- 25,000 hours of contributions reported to this Legal Fund, for which retiree funding has been paid, prior to retirement,
(Monthly eligibility will be valued at 173.33 hours a month for 2 and 3 above.)
- A retired employee who is under age 48, has satisfied one of the conditions above, and
- Is receiving a disability retirement benefit from the Alaska Electrical Pension Fund, or
- Is totally disabled as defined by the Alaska Electrical Pension Fund and worked under a collective bargaining agreement with IBEW Local 1547 or a Special Agreement for five (5) years,
Retired employees are eligible on the first day of the calendar month coinciding with the date of retirement (or on the first of the calendar month following the termination of eligibility as an active employee under this Plan, if later).
While coverage is available, a retired employee (or eligible surviving spouse) must enroll with the Plan to be eligible for benefits. Enrollment forms are available on the Forms & Documents page or by calling the Administrative Office, and must be completed at the time of retirement.
If you do not enroll while you meet the eligibility requirements for retiree coverage, you will not be eligible to enroll in the future.
Retiree Self-Payment Contributions
A monthly self-pay contribution is required for retiree legal coverage. Payments are due on the first day of the month for which coverage is requested. For example, your payment for January coverage is due on January 1st. The Plan will not send you monthly notices of payment due. (See the section entitled SELF-PAYMENT PROVISIONS of the Legal Plan Summary Plan Description (LP-SPD).
Termination of Retiree Coverage
If you stop paying the monthly self-pay contribution for your retiree legal coverage you may not regain coverage under the Plan unless you re-satisfy the retiree eligibility criteria noted above.