Summary Plan Description (Revised January 1, 2018)

Election Process

To apply for retirement benefits under this plan, please use the following guidelines:

  1. You must contact Retirement Services at Carpenters Trusts approximately two months before the month you want to retire. For example, if you want to retire effective March 1, 2019, you should contact Retirement Services by January 1, 2019.
  2. Retirement Services will mail you a Carpenters Retirement Plan Explanation of Payment Options and Election of Retirement Benefits form and related documents. You must complete these forms as soon as possible and return them to Retirement Services at Carpenters Trusts within the timeline described on the election forms. Your Carpenters Retirement Plan Explanation of Payment Options and Election of Retirement Benefits form must be completed in the presence of a notary public. In general, your retirement date is the first of the month following timely receipt of your completed election forms and other required documentation.
  3. You must also provide the following documents:
    • Proof of your date of birth (preferably a birth certificate or passport).
    • If you elect a joint and survivor benefit, proof of your spouse's or beneficiary's date of birth.
    • 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 monthly benefit 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 received on the first business day of the month.
  • For additional information about the election process, please see Article 6.8.

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.

Medicare benefits are currently available at age 65. You automatically apply for Medicare Part A (hospital benefits) when you apply for Social Security benefits. You must apply for Medicare Part B (medical benefits) before your 65th birthday or incur a permanent premium penalty. You must apply for Part B even if you have dollar bank eligibility under the Carpenters Health and Security Plan of Western Washington.