Pension & Reciprocity
Director: Howard Ritchie
What's New in Pension & Reciprocity:
2015 Employees Benefits Conference: January 29 - 30
About the Pension and Reciprocity Department
The IBEW Pension and Reciprocity Department merged together on March 1, 2003. The department reports and provides assistance to the International Officers on departmental areas of responsibility: pension and death claim payments, construction industry reciprocity and membership records.
The IBEW has a long history of designing and providing benefits to help its members. In 1922, the IBEW created the Electrical Workers Benefit Association (EWBA) to ensure sufficient resources to provide a dignified interment when an IBEW member passed away. The delegates to the 1927 IBEW Convention authorized the creation of a pension fund, and in 1928, the Officers of the IBEW introduced the IBEW Pension Benefit Fund (PBF) to provide much-needed and previously unattainable pension benefits for all participating members.
These two plans functioned separately for many years and to improve benefits a decision was approved to combine the plans. At the 1991 Convention, the EWBA and PBF were amalgamated into one fund, and as a result, death and pension benefits were significantly improved. At that time, all EWBA beneficiary designations became null and void, and all death benefits after this time have been paid by the PBF. The most recent changes to the PBF death benefits were approved at the 2001 Convention and became effective January 1, 2002. These improvements increased the death benefit payment to $6,250 and provided for an accidental death benefit of $12,500. The death benefit changes were made effective retroactively to September 10, 2001, to provide assistance to beneficiaries of our members who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. At the 37th IBEW Convention held in September 2006, the delegates approved an increase to PBF pension benefits providing a $4.50 credit per year of service. All members retiring January 1, 2007, or later will receive these improved payments.
The Department provides assistance with and research into membership records, for the purpose of determining eligibility for pension and death benefits providing this assistance to the International Officers and various departments in the International Office. The Officers and departments utilize these requests for organizing activities, political action, and informational mailings. The Department researches and corrects data not provided (or incorrect data) for members. This research includes reviewing per capita reports, obligation forms, beneficiary forms (including old EWBA records), and correspondence, and when necessary, contacting local unions directly for information to maintain accurate records. The Department also is in charge of maintaining records and producing the Local Union Directory.
Construction Industry Reciprocity
The Pension Director also serves as the Reciprocal Administrator (RA) for the Electrical Industry Pension Reciprocal Agreement and the Electrical Industry Health and Welfare Reciprocal Agreement. In this position, the RA is responsible for administering these agreements, maintaining current data on all participating funds, correcting and updating information to local unions, trust funds and members, and addresses all inquiries related to these agreements.
Enabling the transfer of members' pension and health & welfare contributions back to their home funds no matter where they may be working.