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Anchorage, AK 99503

 

 

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In case of a difference, actual Plan Provisions will apply.
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Frequently Asked Questions - Reciprocity

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 Reciprocal Agreement. 

Another type of Reciprocity is "pro-rata".  This is available only for defined benefit pension plans.

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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 union funds.

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How long does the transfer of funds take to be sent back to my Home Local?

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.

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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.

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How is the Health & Welfare pro-ration calculated?

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.

For example,

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)   =   $400.00

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 has H&W 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 is working)
                = $350.00  (maximum amount paid by the employer under that agreement)

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 prorated hours.

How are prorated hours calculated?

For example,

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:

   Dollar Amount Contributed                  $400           =  68.37 hours for your hour bank
     Home Fund Hourly Rate                    $5.85

 

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How do I sign up for Reciprocity?

To 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 the 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.

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Do I need to reciprocate both Health & Welfare and Pension?

No, you may reciprocate either Health & Welfare or Pension.

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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 to the 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 ERTS website.

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