Frequently Asked Questions

Questions & Answers

Participant Questions

How do I request a pension estimate?

To request a pension estimate, the request must be made in writing; it can be faxed or mailed to the Fund Office. In the request, please include your name, CPF ID (or SSN if you do not know your CPF ID), the date of retirement, and, if you are married, your spouse's name and date of birth. Click here to fill out our Estimate Request Form.

If I do not have a right to a benefit, can I withdraw the contributions paid to this Fund on my behalf?

No. Contributions made to this Fund by Participating Employers are only payable in the form of benefits to an eligible Retiree and/or Beneficiary.

What happens if I cease to work as an Operating Engineer?

Your record will be kept indefinitely by the Central Pension Fund. If you have 5 years of Vesting Service, have at least 1200 hours of Credited Future Service (1000 hours if your I.P.D. was January 1, 1982 or later) and at least one hour of service reported to the Fund on or after January 1, 1989 and prior to your 65th birthdate, you can apply for a benefit at your Normal Retirement Date.

If you have 10 years of Vested Service, have at least 1200 hours of Credited Future Service (1000 hours if your I.P.D. January 1, 1982 or later), you may apply for a benefit at your Early Retirement Date.

What happens if I stop working as an Operating Engineer and leave the industry before I am vested?

Your record will be kept by the Central Pension Fund. If you never work as an operating engineer again, you or your Beneficiary(s) may not have a right to any benefit and if so, the contributions made on your behalf will be forfeited and absorbed into the Trust.

How often can I expect to receive information about my record with the Central Pension Fund?

Twice each year active and/or vested Participants will receive a Statement of Fund Record from the Central Pension Fund, provided you have kept us advised of your correct mailing address.

I did not keep all of my Statements. How can I find out what my record is with the Central Pension Fund?

Write to the Central Pension Fund and request a copy of your record.

What should I do if my employer(s) did not report for me?

Write to the Central Pension Fund and tell us the following:

  • Your social security number, complete name and address
  • Name and address of the employer(s)
  • Locations of each job in question and local union jurisdictions
  • The approximate dates worked on each job
  • Number of hours worked on each job
  • Copies of your pay stubs, if available.

If I work in the jurisdiction of a Local Union that has its own pension plan and does not participate in the Central Pension Fund, what happens to my hours?

Write the Central Pension Fund and advise us:

  • Which Local Union's jurisdiction you were working in
  • Number of hours worked
  • Dates worked
  • Names of your employers.

With this information we can contact the administrator of the other plan and advise you if you have service with that plan, which we can recognize for vesting purposes.

I worked 2000 or more hours in one year. Why didn't I receive two (2.00) years of Credited Future Service?

The maximum Credited Future Service in a calendar year is one (1.00) year

What happens to the contributions that are paid by my Participating Employer?

The contributions are immediately deposited into interest-bearing accounts. They remain there for a short period of time and are then transferred to the investment accounts of the Central Pension Fund. The contributions are invested in common stocks, bonds, real estate, and other investment vehicles as permitted under the Fund's investment policies. All investments of the Fund are made on the basis of guidelines established by the Board of Trustees of the Central Pension Fund and are handled by independent professional investment managers.

Why haven't I received my Statement of Fund Record?

Semi-annual statements are mailed directly to Participants for whom the Fund Office has an address. You should keep both the Fund Office and your Local Union office advised of any address changes.

Are you thinking about changing jobs?

You should find out whether you are going to be working for another Participating Employer. If so, your participation in the Central Pension Fund will continue. If you are unable to continue work for a Participating Employer, your previously earned credits will be maintained by the Fund Office; however, you will not earn additional credits until such a time as you return to work for a Participating Employer.

What is Forfeiture of Benefits?

Your Accrued Benefit will be forfeited if you incur a Break In Service. For most participants this would only occur if you do not accrue the necessary years of Vesting Service, (5 years if you have hours reported to the Fund on or after January 1, 1989, otherwise, 10 years), prior to your 65th birthdate. A Break In Service occurs when the number of consecutive years during which no vesting service was earned equals or exceeds 5 or the number of prior years for which vesting service was earned. If you have a Vested Interest you cannot incur a Break In Service.

What is Suspension of Benefits?

Your monthly benefit will be suspended if you return to work in disqualifying employment and exceed the provisions as described below.

Benefits may be suspended upon your request prior to age 70 1/2 only. After age 70 1/2 we must pay you your benefit.

What is Return to Work? (Prior To Age 70 1/2)

After you have retired and except for the first month of your retirement, you can return to work in a job classification which is covered by the IUOE or in the job classification for which we received contributions for you and continue to receive your monthly benefit provided you do not work more than 40 hours in a calendar month.

You do not have a right to a monthly benefit for any month(s) in which you work more than 40 hours:

with an employer engaged in an industry in the organizing jurisdiction of the IUOE, in which Participants covered by the Plan were employed and earned benefits at the time of your retirement,
in a trade or craft for which you were employed at any time under the Plan, and
in the geographic area covered by the Plan at the time your retirement began.

Please note that for purposes of this rule, a trade or craft includes a related supervisory position.

You are not eligible to commence receiving retirement benefits if you continue to work for your last contributing employer regardless of your job classification.

Also, you are obligated to notify the Board of Trustees, in writing, of any post-retirement employment that exceeds 40 hours in a calendar month. If you do not, the Board may presume all your work is disqualifying employment, until you prove it is not.

Retirement Questions

How do I request a duplicate 1099-R Form?

To request another copy of your 1099-R, please use the Contact Us page on this site. Be sure to include the tax years needed in the message. Or you may call us at 202-362-1000 to request a copy.

How do I request a pension verification?

To request a pension verification, the request must be made in writing; it can be faxed or mailed to the Fund Office. In the request, include your name and CPF ID (or SSN if you do not know your CPF ID).  Also include the contact information for the recipient of the pension verification.

Are you considering making a decision about future retirement plans? Address your questions to:

Participant Records Department
Central Pension Fund
4115 Chesapeake Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20016-4665

If I am planning to retire, can I find out how much my benefit will be?

Yes, in fact, you should find out before acting on a retirement decision. Send your written request to the Fund Office. Be sure to include your correct social security number or CPF ID number, full name and address.

I know when I want to retire. How far in advance should I file my Application?

We recommend that you file your application no more than four months, and no less than two months, before your desired retirement date.

I want to get my first pension check as soon as possible after my last paycheck. Should I quit work at the beginning, middle or end of the month?

Provided that your Application has been filed and processed in a timely manner, your first pension check will be issued in the first week of the month following the month in which you last worked. Regardless of whether your last day worked was the 1st, 15th, or 31st day of the month, your first pension check will be issued at the beginning of the next month. Therefore, if you work until the last day of the month you will minimize the time between your last paycheck and your first pension check. Your initial check will be a paper check that is mailed from our office.

Do I have to report my benefits on my income tax form?

Yes. However, you do not do this until you start receiving your benefit payments. The Fund Office will send you a 1099R. If you need further information, you should contact the Internal Revenue Service.

Must I retire at my Normal Retirement date?

No. You may continue to work and earn more Credited Future Service, but your benefit will not begin until after you have retired.

What happens if I become disabled?

You have a right to a Disability benefit if you become totally and permanently disabled, and have been awarded Disability benefits by the Social Security Administration in connection with such total and permanent disability. You must also have 15 years of Vesting Service, and be under the age of 55.

Can I provide a lifetime benefit for my spouse in the event of my death after retirement?

Yes, provided you elect a Joint and Survivor Annuity at the time you retire. This is the normal form of payment for a married participant.

Can my monthly benefit be deposited directly to my bank?

Yes, write to the Central Pension Fund in Washington, D.C. requesting information on this service. The Fund will return the necessary form for you to complete.

When are the monthly benefit checks sent?

Checks are issued the last working day of the month for the following month. January's check is dated January 1 and is mailed out the last working day of December. If you have elected to have your benefit sent directly to your bank via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), these monies are sent electronically to your bank by the first working day of each month. This is an excellent way to avoid lost, stolen, delayed, and misplaced benefit checks.

If I do not receive my monthly check on the first of the month, should I assume it has not been mailed and call you?

No, sometimes there is a delay due to holidays or heavy mail loads. However, if you have not received it by the 15th of the month, you should call the Fund Office collect and advise them.

I moved and notified the Postal Service of my move. Why is my check still being sent to my old address?

You must also notify the Fund Office of any change in your address. You may do this by submitting U.S. Postal form 3576 or by advising us by mail.

Is there any benefit payable to my beneficiary if I die after I retire?

It will depend on the form of payment you select at the time of retirement.

If I die before I retire, is there a death benefit for my beneficiary?

Generally, yes. The amount of the benefit will depend on your status with this Fund.

Can an alternate payee receive a lump sum payment of his or her interest in the participant's accrued benefit pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order under the Central Pension Fund?

All retirement benefits under the Central Pension Fund, including benefits paid pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, are only paid in the form of a monthly annuity.

How do I change my Direct Deposit information?

If you are changing financial institutions, you must complete a new Authorization Agreement for Direct Deposit Form. However, if you are with the same financial institution and just wish to change your account number, you will need to send the change to the CPF office in writing.

General Questions

What Type of Pension Plan Is the Central Pension Fund?

The Central Pension Fund is a defined-benefit plan.

What is the connection between the Central Pension Fund and the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE)?

The Central Pension Fund and the IUOE are separate legal entities, but participation in the Central Pension Fund is limited to individuals represented by the IUOE.

Does any portion of union dues go to the Central Pension Fund?

No. Contributions from Participating Employers on behalf of participants are the sole contributory source for CPF. No individual contributions are permitted.

How is the Fund Administered?

The Fund is administered by the Board of Trustees, half of whom represent the Participating Employers and half of whom represent the Participating Employees. The Trustees hire a staff which is under the direction of a salaried Chief Executive Officer who reports directly to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees also retain legal counsel, actuary, consultants and auditors as needed in order to perform the tasks assigned to them by the Trust agreement and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974.

Who Is The Administrator?

The Board of Trustees are the Administrators of the Plan. The Plan is called the Central Pension Fund of the International Union of Operating Engineers and Participating Employers. Its business address is 4115 Chesapeake Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016-4665, the telephone number is (202) 362-1000, fax number is (202) 364-2913.

Mr. Michael R. Fanning, Chief Executive Officer of the Fund is the person designated as agent for service of legal process at 4115 Chesapeake Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016-4665.

What Is the PBGC and What Does it Do?

Benefits under this Plan are insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), if the Plan terminates. Generally, the PBGC guarantees most vested normal age retirement benefits, early retirement benefits and certain disability and survivor pensions. However, the PBGC does not guarantee all types of benefits under covered plans; and the amount of benefit protection is subject to certain limitations.

The PBGC guarantees vested benefits at the level in effect on the date of plan termination. However, if benefits have been increased within five years before it terminates, the whole amount of the plan's vested benefits or the benefit increase may not be guaranteed. In addition, there is a ceiling on the amount of monthly benefits the PBGC guarantees which is adjusted periodically. Currently, the PBGC's maximum guarantee limit is $16.25 per month times a participant's years of service.

For more information on the PBGC insurance protection and its limitations, ask your Plan Administrator or the PBGC's . Inquiries to the PBGC should be addressed to the Technical Assistance Division, PBGC, 1200 K Street, N.W., Suite 930, Washington, D.C. 20005-4026. The PBGC may also be reached by calling (202) 326-4000 (not a toll free number). Additional information is available through the PBGC's web site at http://www.pbgc.gov.

How Is The Plan Funded?

The Plan is funded by employer contributions, which are held in trust pursuant to a Trust Agreement between the International Union of Operating Engineers and Participating Employers who have collective bargaining agreements with the International Union of Operating Engineers or affiliated local unions. Contributions are made by Participating Employers under the provisions of their respective Collective Bargaining Agreements.

What Is the Source of Contributions?

Participating Employers pay a monthly amount based upon the hours worked and/or paid based on the provisions of the relevant Collective Bargaining Agreement. The amounts contributed are pre-tax contributions and are not considered employee wages for purposes of income tax or Social Security Tax.

Who manages CPF's assets?

CPF's assets are managed by professional managers who follow the investment objectives established by the Board of Trustees.

How often is the Fund valued?

An Actuarial Valuation of this Fund is prepared annually.

How often is this Fund audited?

This Fund is audited annually, and a financial statement is published in the Central Pension Fund newsletter (CPF Report) once a year. The CPF Report is circulated to all participants.

What Is The Plan Year?

The Plan Year is February 1 to January 31.

Who Sponsors The Plan and Who Makes the Contributions?

The Plan is sponsored by the International Union of Operating Engineers and Participating Employers who have signed a Collective Bargaining and/or Participation Agreement(s). The Participating Employers make payments in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Local Union.

What is a merged plan?

Merged Plans are pension plans which were established independently of the Central Pension Fund and later became a part of this Fund. If you were a participant in a plan that merged into the Central Pension Fund, your benefit will be calculated as specified in the merger agreement.

Reciprocity

Reciprocity provides a means of combining service credits earned under the Central Pension Fund with service credits earned in other IUOE pension plans that have signed the International Union of Operating Engineers National Reciprocity Agreement (Related Pension Plans), so that you will have a right to a monthly benefit.

You could benefit from this provision if your years of Vesting Service have been divided between the Central Pension Fund and one or more Related Pension Plans.

The Central Pension Fund uses the pro-rata method in calculating reciprocity. To have a right to a pro-rata monthly benefit you must:

  • be retired and not performing work for which hours and monies were being reported,
  • have combined service credits with the Central Pension Fund and the Related Pension Plans that can be combined so that you would have a right to a benefit (that is, you have a Vested Interest in each plan), and
  • have at least one (1) year of Credited Future Service in each plan based on actual participation.  

Why don't my contributions earn interest?

Your contributions do earn interest through the Fund; however, the Plan is a defined-benefit plan where benefits are calculated on the basis of the contributions made by Participating Employers. It is not a savings account, an IRA, or a 401(k) plan and all assets are pooled. Thus, it would be improper to attribute the return on the Fund's assets to an individual participant. A defined-benefit plan such as the Central Pension Fund transfers the investment risk from the individual Participants to the Plan. It promises a known benefit with many additional features, something which cannot be determined under an IRA, savings account or 401(k) plan.

What do I do if a Participant or Recipient has passed away?

If a Participant or Beneficiary with the Central Pension Fund has passed away, please contact our office as soon as possible. We will provide you with further instructions.

As a contributing employer in the Central Pension Fund, do I have any exposure to employer withdrawal liability?

The Board of Trustees has received an Employer Withdrawal Liability Report as of January 31, 2014, which report reflected the Fund had no unfunded Vested Benefit Liabilities. Furthermore, the Board of Trustees elected to "fresh start" employer withdrawal liability as of February 1, 2014. Therefore, at the present time no employer who completely withdraws from participation on or after February 1, 2014 has any exposure to potential employer withdrawal liability.

Qualified Domestic Relations Order

What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order? (QDRO)

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order is a judgment, decree, or order (including approval of a property settlement agreement) that relates to the provision of child support, alimony payments, or marital property rights to a spouse, former spouse, child or other dependent of a participant, which is made pursuant to state domestic relations law (including community property law) and meets specific criteria under federal pension law.

Who is an "alternate payee"?

An "alternate payee" is any spouse, former spouse, child or other dependent of a participant who is recognized by a domestic relations order as having a right to receive all, or a portion of, the benefits payable under the Central Pension Fund with respect to such participant.

My spouse and I are in the process of obtaining a divorce. Can I obtain a portion of my spouse's accrued benefit under the Central Pension Fund?

In order for a former spouse (i.e., "alternate payee") to obtain any legally enforceable claim to a portion of a participant's accrued benefit under the Central Pension Fund, a court must enter an order satisfying the criteria for a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, as set forth under applicable federal pension law, 29 U.S.C. § 1056(d)(3), and pursuant to applicable state domestic relations law.

What must a Qualified Domestic Relations Order under the Central Pension Fund contain?

While we encourage you to include all of the information set forth in our sample language (see Question (5) below), at a minimum, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order under the Central Pension Fund must contain:

  • the names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and birth dates of both the participant and the alternate payee;
  • the correct name of the Plan-the Central Pension Fund of the International Union of Operating Engineers and Participating Employers;
  • the dollar amount or percentage of the participant's accrued benefit to be awarded to the alternate payee; and
  • the relevant marital period to be used to calculate the alternate payee's interest.

The "marital period" is a period of time specified in the Qualified Domestic Relations Order upon which the division of the participant's benefit between the participant and the alternate payee is to be based. The marital period must fall within the period of the participant's participation in the Plan and must have a beginning date and an ending date, including the month, day and year.

In addition, the order should clearly provide guidance with respect to the following issues:

  • the alternate payee's rights, if any, to future accruals;
  • future increased vesting and its effect on the alternate payee's interest in the participant's accrued benefit; and
  • the effect of either the participant or the alternate payee predeceasing the other. 

Does the Central Pension Fund have sample language for Qualified Domestic Relations Orders?

Yes. You can request a copy of sample language for Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, which has been approved by the Board of Trustees, by writing to our office at the address shown below:

Central Pension Fund of the
International Union of Operating Engineers
and Participating Employers
4115 Chesapeake Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20016-4665
Fax No.: (202) 364-2913
Attn: Assistant Fund Counsel

Please be sure to include the participant's name and Social Security number in your request.

Can I obtain a copy of the summary plan description and the procedures for Qualified Domestic Relations Orders relating to the Central Pension Fund?

The Central Pension Fund is a non-contributory defined benefit plan and as such, does not maintain separate account balances with respect to participants, their beneficiaries or alternate payees. Participants only have a legal interest in their accrued monthly benefit payable at retirement, not the underlying employer contributions. 

How may a participant's accrued benefit be divided pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order under the Central Pension Fund if the participant has not yet commenced receiving benefits?

Generally, one of two methods can be used to award an alternate payee an interest in a participant's accrued benefit pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order if the participant has not yet commenced receiving benefits. The most common method of dividing a participant's accrued benefit is to separate the benefit into two separate single life annuities, each subject to a 60 payment minimum guarantee. In the alternative, the alternate payee may receive a specific percentage or a specific dollar amount of the participant's monthly benefit accrued during the marital period.  

How may a participant's accrued benefit be divided pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order if the participant has already commenced receiving benefits under the Central Pension Fund?

If a participant has already begun receiving benefits under the Central Pension Fund, the alternate payee may only receive a specific percentage or a specific dollar amount of the participant's monthly benefit accrued during the marital period pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order. All calculations will take into consideration all payments made prior to the entry of such Qualified Domestic Relations Order.

How are benefits paid pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order under the Central Pension Fund?

All retirement benefits under the Central Pension Fund, including benefits paid pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, are only paid in the form of a monthly annuity.

Can an alternate payee receive a lump sum payment of his or her interest in the participant's accrued benefit pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order under the Central Pension Fund?

All retirement benefits under the Central Pension Fund, including benefits paid pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, are only paid in the form of a monthly annuity. 

Can an alternate payee receive a lump sum payment of his or her interest in the participant's accrued benefit pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order under the Central Pension Fund?

No. With limited exceptions for death benefits, the Central Pension Fund's Plan of Benefits does not permit lump sum payments. As noted above, benefits are only payable in the form of a monthly annuity. 

Can an alternate payee "roll over" his or her interest in the participant's accrued benefit under the Central Pension Fund pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order?

No. As noted above, there is no provision in the Central Pension Fund's Plan of Benefits for a lump sum distribution to a participant, beneficiary or alternate payee. Therefore, an alternate payee's interest in a participant's accrued benefit under the Central Pension Fund is not eligible for "roll over" into an individual retirement account or another tax-qualified plan. 

When can an alternate payee commence receiving benefits pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order under the Central Pension Fund?

Generally, an alternate payee may commence receiving benefits only after the participant has attained "Earliest Retirement Age" which, under the Central Pension Fund's Plan of Benefits, is the first day of the month following the month in which the participant attains age 55. If an alternate payee commences receipt of benefits prior to the participant's attainment of Normal Retirement Age (age 65), generally the alternate payee's benefits will be reduced in accordance with the Plan's requirements. Each alternate payee must advise the Board of Trustees of the Central Pension Fund in writing of his her desire to commence receipt of benefits. The alternate payee should include the effective date on which he or she would like benefits to commence.

Can a participant who is already receiving benefits under the Central Pension Fund revoke his or her existing payment election (e.g., 50% Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity, 66 2/3% Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity, etc.) pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order?

A participant who is currently receiving benefits under the Central Pension Fund may only revoke his or her existing payment election on a prospective basis, pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order that is approved by our office and entered by a court having jurisdiction under applicable state law. 

What effect will a participant's death have upon an alternate payee's benefits pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order under the Central Pension Fund?

If the participant's benefit under the Central Pension Fund has been divided into two separate single life annuities, the death of the participant will not have any effect on the Plan benefits that are payable to the alternate payee; likewise, the death of the alternate payee will not have any effect upon the Plan benefits that are payable to the participant.

If the Qualified Domestic Relations Order only awards the alternate payee a specified dollar amount or a specific percentage of the participant's monthly benefit accrued during a specified marital period, upon the participant's death, the alternate payee's right to receive benefits will be forfeited unless the Qualified Domestic Relations Order provides that the alternate payee is to be considered the surviving spouse for purposes of any Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity or Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity benefits under the Plan (see Questions (16 and (17) below). Similarly, under this scenario, an alternate payee's benefits will cease upon such alternate payee's death, subject to the Plan's 60 payment minimum guarantee. 

Is an alternate payee eligible to receive a Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity under the Central Pension Fund pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order?

If the participant's benefit is divided into two separate single life annuities, generally an alternate payee need not be considered the surviving spouse for purposes of a Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity, because the participant's death will not affect the alternate payee's ability to obtain his or her own separate single life annuity. Although not generally written in this manner, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order could also provide that an alternate payee is to be considered the surviving spouse for purposes of any Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity to the extent of the alternate payee's interest pursuant to the Qualified Domestic Relations Order. Note, however, that if an alternate payee is designated as surviving spouse for purposes of any Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity, and if such alternate payee commences receiving a survivor annuity, such alternate payee's right to receive the separate single life annuity described in the first sentence of this paragraph would cease.

If the alternate payee is awarded a specified percentage or a specific dollar amount of the participant's benefit, an alternate payee may be considered a surviving spouse for purposes of a Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity if the Qualified Domestic Relations Order so provides.

May an alternate payee be designated as surviving spouse for purposes of a Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity under the Central Pension Fund pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order?

If the participant's benefit under the Central Pension Fund is divided into two separate single life annuities, an alternate payee may not also be considered a surviving spouse for purposes of a Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity, since doing so may cause the Plan to pay increased benefits.

If, however, the alternate payee is only awarded a specified percentage or a specific dollar amount of the participant's monthly benefit accrued during a specific marital period, an alternate payee may be considered a qualified spouse for purposes of a Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity, if the Qualified Domestic Relations Order so provides.

May an alternate payee designate a beneficiary to receive his or her interest in the participant's accrued benefit pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order under the Central Pension Fund?

If an alternate payee dies before benefits payable to him or her have been distributed in full pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order under the Central Pension Fund, any death benefits will be paid to the alternate payee's designated beneficiary. If the alternate payee has not designated a beneficiary or if the designated beneficiary does not survive the alternate payee, any death benefits will be paid to the alternate payee's estate.

It is the policy of the Central Pension Fund that an alternate payee may only designate a beneficiary after benefit payments commence to such alternate payee.

Is the alternate payee entitled to receive a portion of the participant's future benefit accruals pursuant to a Qualified Domestic Relations Order under the Central Pension Fund?

If additional benefits are earned based upon a participant's Plan participation subsequent to the date on which a Qualified Domestic Relations Order is entered by the court, the alternate payee's interest in the participant's accrued benefit under the Central Pension Fund generally will not be increased unless the terms of the Qualified Domestic Relations Order specifically provide for such an increase. 

Can an alternate payee receive an interest in a participant's accrued benefit under the Central Pension Fund if the participant is not vested at the time the Qualified Domestic Relations Order is entered by the court?

Yes. Although a participant may not have been vested at the time the Qualified Domestic Relations Order was entered by the court, an alternate payee will be entitled to receive the benefits awarded to him or her under the Central Pension Fund pursuant to the Qualified Domestic Relations Order if the participant later becomes vested, but the amount of the benefit will be based upon the marital period set forth in the Qualified Domestic Relations Order. If the participant does not have a vested interest under the Central Pension Fund at the time the Qualified Domestic Relations Order is entered by the court, and the participant does not subsequently becomes vested, the alternate payee's benefits under the Qualified Domestic Relations Order will be forfeited.

Will an alternate payee's benefits be increased under the Central Pension Fund if the Plan is subsequently amended to provide for such an increase?

If a Qualified Domestic Relations Order awards an alternate payee a portion of a participant's benefits earned during a specified marital period, and the value of the benefits earned during such period increases due to a Plan amendment after the Qualified Domestic Relations Order is entered by the court, the portion of the benefits awarded to the alternate payee will generally be increased in accordance with the Plan amendment unless the Qualified Domestic Relations Order specifically provides that the amount payable to the alternate payee will be determined without regard to any future Plan amendments increasing benefits.

If a participant is currently eligible to receive disability benefits under the Central Pension Fund, may an alternate payee receive a portion of such disability benefits?

If a participant is currently receiving disability benefits under the Central Pension Fund, the Qualified Domestic Relations Order must specify whether the alternate payee is entitled to share in the disability benefits payable to the participant before the participant attains Normal Retirement Age. The Qualified Domestic Relations Order must also specify the amount or percentage of such benefits awarded to the alternate payee. If the participant has not qualified for disability benefits under the Central Pension Fund at the time the Qualified Domestic Relations Order is entered by the court, but qualifies at a later date, the alternate payee will share in such disability benefits only if the Qualified Domestic Relations Order so provides. If the Qualified Domestic Relations Order is silent with respect to disability retirement, the alternate payee will not be entitled to receive a portion of any disability benefits payable to the participant.

What rights does an alternate payee have under the Central Pension Fund if a court enters a Qualified Domestic Relations Order on his or her behalf?

Under the law, an alternate payee has the status of a "beneficiary." Accordingly, copies of documents, announcements, descriptive materials, and other general information given to or generally made available to beneficiaries under the Central Pension Fund will be furnished to an alternate payee.

Will the Central Pension Fund review and approve a proposed Qualified Domestic Relations Order prior to its entry by a court?

Yes. Within a reasonable time (typically, one month) after it receives a proposed Qualified Domestic Relations Order, the Central Pension Fund will review and provide comments concerning the qualified status of a proposed order. Please mail or fax your request to the address shown above.