Pension FAQs

What is the Retiree Signature Certification Form and why do I need to fill it out each year?

Each January we ask every retiree to sign a Retiree Signature Certification Form which must be signed by the retiree and notarized by a Notary Public.  The purpose of this form is to prevent fraudulent pension payments by verifying that you are alive and personally receiving your pension payment.  Failure to return the form may result in a suspension of your monthly benefit, so please return the form promptly.

How will I know that I have vested in my Plan benefit?

Your vested status is reflected on the benefit statement the Plan mails out each May.  If you have not received a statement, contact a Pension Representative at the Administrative Office by phone (907) 276-1246 or email to verify your address is current in the Plan records.

Can I opt for a lump sum distribution rather than monthly payments?

The Plan pays annuities. A lump sum distribution is not an option offered by the Pension Plan.

When do I need to submit my divorce decree?

You should submit a certified copy of your divorce decree to the Administrative Office as soon as you are divorced.  If your decree provides for division of your Plan benefit, you or your ex-spouse must provide a “qualified domestic relations order” or “QDRO” that describes how the benefit is divided. When you retire, your application cannot be processed until a complete divorce decree and, if applicable, a QDRO is on file.

Why does the Administrative Office require a full divorce decree?

The Findings, Property Settlement, or Petition for Dissolution will indicate whether a former spouse or dependent has an interest in your Pension or Retirement Savings Plans.  If the decree indicates your ex-spouse has been assigned a share of your benefit, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) must be provided by one of the parties.

Can I return to work in the state of Alaska after I retire and continue to receive my pension payments?

You generally are not eligible for a monthly pension payment for a calendar month in which you were paid for more than 40 hours of work in the state of Alaska if that employment is considered “post-retirement service.” See “Post-retirement Service” for details. 

If you want to know if work you are considering is “post-retirement service,” you can contact the Administrative Office for a determination. 

If you are discovered to be employed in post-retirement service, the Plan will automatically suspend payment of your benefit after notification, and will deduct the overpayments from your future benefit.

My spouse was a retiree with the pension plan and has passed away. Do I need to return the pension payment for the month of death?

The Plan pays a benefit for the month in which the participant dies but not for the month following death.  You will need to return any overpaid amounts to the Plan.  Be sure to notify the Administrative Office by phone (907) 276-1246 or email as soon as practical of a death so that the Administrative Office can provide information on any survivor benefits.

Retirement Savings FAQs

How can I check my account balance?

Please call 833-388-6466 or 833-38-UNION or click on the link below for more information.

John Hancock Retirement Plan Services

The direct phone line is serviced by the dedicated Participant Service Representatives at John Hancock.

I need some of the money in my account - how do I get a distribution?

Please review Initiating a Distribution to see if you meet one of conditions for taking a distribution.  If you are eligible for a distribution, contact the Pension Department at the Administrative Office by phone (907) 276-1246 or email and request a distribution form.

Can I take a distribution from my Voluntary Pre-Tax Contributions Account while I’m still working?

You can take a distribution of all or part of your Voluntary Pre-Tax Contribution Account if you need the money to meet an immediate and heavy financial need that the Plan has identified in accordance with federal tax law. The distribution will be subject to ordinary income taxes.  Note: Your distribution is subject to 20% federal income tax withholding and may also subject to a 10% early distribution excise tax.

Can I take a distribution from my Voluntary After-Tax Contributions Account while I’m still working?

You can take a distribution of all or part of your Voluntary After-Tax Contribution Account twice each calendar year, as long as your distribution is $200 or more.  The part of the distribution that reflects investment earnings will be taxed as income.  Note: The taxable portion of your distribution is subject to 20% federal income tax withholding and may also subject to a 10% early distribution excise tax.

How do I change how my Account is invested?

Please call 833-388-6466 or 833-38-UNION or click on the link below for more information.

 John Hancock Retirement Plan Services

The link above will guide you to accessing your account through the John Hancock Retirement Plan Services.

May I borrow or take a loan against my account?

No, the Plan does not permit loans and federal law does not allow a creditor to treat your Plan account as collateral for a loan.

Must the Plan withhold taxes from my distribution?

If you receive your distribution in a single lump sum the taxable portion of that distribution is subject to mandatory 20% federal income tax withholding. To avoid withholding on lump sum distributions you can elect for your distribution to be rolled over directly to your IRA or another qualified plan. You can elect for more taxes to be withheld, but you cannot avoid withholding. If you receive payment in another form (e.g., an annuity) you may elect to have no withholding. See TAXATION OF DISTRIBUTIONS in the Retirement Savings Plan Summary Plan Description (RSP-SPD) for more information.