Find Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Retirement

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Participant Questions

What can I do to ensure I get the full amount of benefits coming to me when I retire?
An annual statement that shows all of the hours reported on your behalf is mailed to you each year. Review this statement, comparing it to your check stubs each year, to verify that all hours you worked have been reported. If hours have not been reported correctly, you should send copies of your check stubs to the Administration Office so that we can adjust your account accordingly. This comparison can also be done each month via the Trust website.
What are my responsibilities regarding my pension benefits?
You are required to notify the Administration Office of changes or corrections to the following:
  • Birth Date
  • Address changes
  • Name changes
  • Marital Status changes (marriage, divorce, death of spouse)
Can I add money to my pension Plan?
No, your employer pays contributions for every hour you work (per your collective bargaining agreement) to finance the Plan. No contributions are required by or permitted from you.
When I become deceased, will my spouse automatically get my pension benefits?
  • Pre-Retirement Death benefits are dependent upon your age and Vesting Credits at the time of death.
  • If you retired prior to your death, any Death benefits will be paid based upon the form of benefit you elected at your retirement.
  • Contact the Administration Office for more details on your death benefits.
Can I withdraw my pension benefits if I have a financial hardship?
No, these pension benefits are payable once you reach the age and service requirements and retire. They are generally a monthly benefit payable for your lifetime.

Retirement Questions

I am planning on retiring in the next few years. How early should I apply for my retirement?
You can apply up to a maximum of 6 months in advance of your retirement date. However, generally we recommend applying 60 days in advance.
What types of options are available to me at retirement?
The Plan provides a monthly benefit to be paid for your lifetime. Participants who are married at retirement will be offered Spouse Options. If one of the Spouse Options is elected, the monthly amount is reduced based on the ages of you and your spouse to provide your spouse a lifetime benefit following your death.
What types of documents might I need to submit when I apply for retirement?
Depending on your marital status, some or all of the following will be required:
  • Birth Certificate or other designated age proof documents (for both you and your spouse)
  • Marriage Certificate(s)
  • Name change document(s)
  • Divorce Decree(s)
  • Qualified Domestic Relations Order(s)
Is there any benefit payable to my Spouse if I die after I retire?
It will depend upon the form of payment you elected at the time of your retirement.
Must I retire at my Normal Retirement Age?
No. If you continue to work after attaining Normal Retirement Age (generally Age 57 for benefits earned prior to April 1, 2009 and Age 65 for benefit earn after March 31, 2009) your monthly benefit may be increased due to your age at Retirement. This is called a Deferred Retirement. Contact the Administration Office for more details and to see if you qualify.

General Questions

What type of Plan is Alaska United Food and Commercial Workers Pension Fund?
This Plan is a defined benefit pension plan.
What is the Plan Year?
The Plan Year is January 1st to December 31st.
Are my Pension benefits taxable?
Distributions you receive from this Plan are taxable income for federal income tax purposes. State income tax may also apply; check with your tax advisor.