Summary Plan Description

Application and Election Process

The application and election process is as follows:

  1. You should contact Retirement Services at the Trust Office two to three months before the month you want to retire. For example, if you want to retire effective January 1, 2015, you should contact Retirement Services between October 1, 2014 and November 1, 2014.
  2. Retirement Services will mail you an Application For Retirement Benefits, an Explanation of Payment Options and Election of Retirement Benefits form, and various related forms. You must complete these forms as soon as possible and return them to Retirement Services at the Trust Office within the timeline described on the election forms. Your Explanation of Payment Options and Election of Retirement Benefits form must be completed in the presence of a notary public. In general, if you satisfy the requirements to retire, your retirement date is the first of the month following timely receipt of your completed application, election form and other required documentation.
  3. You must provide proof of your date of birth (preferably a birth certificate or U.S. passport), proof of your spouse's or beneficiary's date of birth and, if you are married at retirement, a copy of your marriage certificate. If you have divorced at any time during your career as a carpenter, you must also submit a copy of your divorce decree, property settlement agreement and domestic relations order (if applicable). These documents are used to process your application only and are maintained under strict privacy guidelines.
  4. You may elect to receive your benefits as a direct deposit into your checking or savings account or as a paper check. Your direct deposit payments are deposited in your bank account on the first business day of each month. Your paper check is processed and mailed so it is generally received on the first business day of the month.
  5. You may elect to begin benefits from the Carpenters of Western Washington Individual Account Pension Plan and the Carpenters Retirement Plan of Western Washington at the same time. If you want to take advantage of the pension enhancement option (please see pages 30-34), you must retire at the same time from both plans. The same forms and documents are used for both retirement plans.
  • For additional information about the application and election process, please see Article 4.5 on pages 69-70.

Key Point

Social Security benefits are currently payable as early as age 62. Please contact the Social Security Administration at least three months before the date you want Social Security benefits to begin. You can start the Social Security application process by calling: (800) 772-1213. They will schedule an appointment for you at your local Social Security office. You may also apply for your Social Security benefits online at www.ssa.gov.