Frequently Asked Questions -
What is Reciprocity?
Reciprocity is designed for people who wish to work outside the
jurisdiction of their local union fund. Using reciprocity,
benefits earned at a union fund a person traveled to (away fund) are
sent back (reciprocated) to their home fund. This type of
reciprocity is referred to as "Money Follows the Man". This type
of reciprocity is used for Health & Welfare, Pension and
Retirement Saving Plan benefits. Both of the union funds involved must be
signatory to the Electrical Industry Pension/Health & Welfare
Another type of Reciprocity is "pro-rata". This is available
only for defined benefit pension plans.
What is my "home fund"?
Your "home fund" for money purchase pension is the union fund for
the Local with whom you are a member and have credited service.
If you do not have credited service in that fund, then your home
fund will be the fund with whom you have credited service.
Your "home fund" for
Health & Welfare is the union fund for the Local with whom you are a
member and with whom you have had Health & Welfare
eligibility within the past six years. Each home fund has the
final say on the acceptance of benefit contributions from other
How long does the transfer of funds take to be sent back to my Home
When you work outside of Local
1547's jurisdiction or you are a traveling participant working in
Local 1547's jurisdiction, the minimum length of time for
processing contributions through reciprocity is two to three months.
If the Trust Fund offices and Local Unions are not informed on
your traveling status and you are not signed up on the Electric
Reciprocal Transfer System (ERTS) with designated Home Fund (s)
listed, this will cause additional delays in processing your
contribution on your behalf.
Will I get
full benefit credited to my account?
For "money follows the
man" reciprocity, your
home fund Defined Benefit (DB)-Pension and/or Defined Contributions
(DC) -Retirement Savings Plan will receive full
credit for each hour worked. All of the employer contributions
paid in to the away fund is forwarded to your home fund. For
"pro-rata" pension reciprocity,
years of service in one plan may be used to vest in another related
plan. No money is transferred between plans using pro-rata
reciprocity and no additional benefits are accrued.
The health & welfare (H&W) hours sent back to your home fund equals
your hours worked multiplied by the current H&W rate of the local
you are presently working for. This amount, however, cannot exceed the dollar
amount contributed by your employer.
Which means that when the H&W rate of the Local where
you are currently working (participating fund) is less than
that of your home fund, the number of health and welfare hours sent
to your home fund will always be pro-rated. When the health
and welfare rate of the participating fund is equal to or greater
than that of your home fund, then all of your hours will not be
subject to a proration of H&W hours.
How is the Health & Welfare pro-ration
It is necessary to pro-rate
health and welfare (H&W) hours when the participating fund's H&W contribution rate is less than your home fund's contribution
rate. The H&W dollar amount reciprocated cannot exceed the dollar
amount paid by your employer from the local you are presently
working for. To pro-rate the hours, the
dollar amount paid by your employer is divided by the hourly H&W contribution rate of your home fund.
If the participating fund's H&W contribution rate is greater than the home fund's
contribution rate, it is not necessary to pro-rate hours. For
example, Joe's home fund is Local 101 in Anytown, USA. Local
101's H&W rate is $4.00 per hour. Joe is currently working out
of Local 1547, whose H&W
contribution rate is $5.85 per hour. Joe worked 100 hours in
the month, so his employer contributed $585.00. The amount to
be reciprocated to Local 101 is calculated as follows:
100 (hours worked) X $4.00 (Local 101 rate)
Since $400.00 is less than $585.00 paid, the
full 100 hours will be sent to Local 101. The away fund will
retain the difference between the amount contributed and amount sent
to the home fund.
If the participant is working under an
agreement that has a H&W rate lower than their home fund rate, the
contributions only reflect the amount the employer is contractual
obliged to contribute. For example, Joe's home fund is Local
101 in Anytown, USA. Local 101's H&W rate is $4.00 per hour.
Joe is currently working out of Local 1547, under an agreement which
contribution rate is $3.50 per hour. Joe worked 100 hours in
the month, so his employer contributed $350.00. The amount to
be reciprocated to Local 101 is calculated as follows:
100 (hours worked) X $3.50 (Rate of the agreement the participant
= $350.00 (maximum amount paid by the employer under
Since $350.00 is the maximum amount the
employer is obliged to pay, the 100 hours will be sent to Local 101
at that agreement's full H&W rate and entered into the system as
How are prorated hours calculated?
Bob's home fund is Local 1547, whose
H&W contribution is $5.85 per hour. He is currently working
out of Local 777 in Boomtown, USA, whose H&W contribution rate is
$4.00. He worked 100 hours in the month, so his employer
contributed $400. The number of hours to be reciprocated
to Local 1547 is calculated as follows:
= 68.37 hours for your hour bank
Home Fund Hourly Rate
How do I sign up for Reciprocity?
initiate reciprocity you will need to go to a participating Union Hall
or Trust Fund office with valid photo ID and sign up online using
Electronic Reciprocal Transfer System
(ERTS). Once you are
enrolled in ERTS you may
review signatory locals, request reciprocity, and release reciprocity
with participating funds via the internet.
Do I need to reciprocate both Health & Welfare
No, you may reciprocate either Health &
Welfare or Pension.
Do I qualify for Reciprocity?
To qualify for reciprocity, you must be
working under the Inside or Outside Agreement through an IBEW Local
that is signatory
Electrical Industry Pension/Health &Welfare Reciprocity Agreement.
To determine if a certain Local participates in reciprocity, you may
call their offices, or call the Alaska Electrical Trust Funds and
request the reciprocity representative. If you are enrolled in
ERTS, you may review the information online at the