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CONTRACTORSTRAINING FUND

 
Frequently Asked Questions

Contractors: Bargaining Unit (BU)

What is a remittance report?

A remittance report is used to report monthly fringe benefits. Fringe benefits must be funded for all employees doing covered work in accordance with your Carpenters' Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Once you have filed your initial remittance report, pre-printed forms will be mailed to you each month. If you make your payment in a timely manner, the remittance report will list the individuals for whom you paid contributions the previous month. Click here to print a copy of the remittance report.

I understand there are several areas within the Fund's jurisdiction. If my company has job sites in multiple areas, can I report all the hours on one form?

As a general rule, each area must be reported on a separate form. For questions regarding specific areas, please contact the Fund Office.

Where do I send remittance reports?

The remittance reports and payments should be mailed to:

North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters Central Depository
PO Box 282
Eau Claire WI 54702

Do I have to write separate checks for each Fund and each location?

No, payments due to all Funds (Defined Benefit Pension, Defined Contribution Pension, Health, Vacation, Training, Dues deduction, UBC, LMC, IAP/CAF,UBC MW, CLMC) for work in the Fund's jurisdiction can be combined on one check.

Can I submit reports electronically?

Yes. You will need to complete an online remittance application to obtain a user id and password. Please call the Fund Office to get a copy of this application or download it here.

When are the remittance reports due?

Remittance reports must be postmarked by the 15th of the month following the work month.

For example: payment for January work hours must be postmarked on or before February 15th.

What if the 15th of the month falls on a weekend or holiday?

If so, the next business day's postmark will be accepted.

What happens if the remittance report is postmarked later than the 15th of the month?

Interest is assessed on all contributions at the rate of 1.5% per month. Interest is charged on a daily basis, so if you are two days late, you are assessed two days interest.

If we performed no work during the month, are remittance reports still required?

Yes, an inactive remittance report must be filed with the Fund Office. Once we are notified, no further remittance reports are due until work is performed again. A blank remittance report will be sent to you for future funding.

Why is an inactive report required?

It is important for the Fund Office to know your activity status. If you do not file a remittance report, we do not know whether you are inactive or delinquent. Your company will be placed on our suspected Delinquency List until the Fund Office receives a remittance report indicating you did not work in the jurisdiction.

What is a suspected delinquency list?

This is a list of all Employers who have not submitted their monthly remittance reports. It is sent to the Board of Trustees, Business Agents, Fund Auditors, Attorneys, and to contributing Employers.

Why did I receive a "Verification of Fringe Benefit Provisions" letter?

When the Fund Office receives a copy of your signed CBA, we send you the verification letter to confirm the benefit contribution rates in the labor agreement. The contribution rates and the geographical jurisdiction(s) will be listed. If you are a newly signed employer, a remittance instruction booklet and blank remittance forms will be included with the verification letter.

What should I do if I think there is a discrepancy on my verification letter?

Please notify the Fund Office in writing with 10 days of the date of the verification letter.

What is a payroll audit?

The Funds' Auditors will contact you six months to a year after you sign your first CBA. The Auditors will conduct a review of your payroll records to verify accurate and timely reporting and payment of benefit contributions. Any discrepancies found by the Auditor will be billed to your company. When you signed your CBA, you agreed to cooperate with the Auditors and to provide the information requested.

How often will I be audited?

Generally, companies are audited once every 2.5 to 3 years.

Will I be charged for this audit?

An appearance fee of $100.00 MAY be billed to contractors who fail to be present or prepared at the time of the scheduled audit. This fee encourages Employers to comply with appointment letters from the audit staff and to give proper notification in the event that an audit date is inconvenient.

There MAY be an additional audit fee of $250.00 for Employers that are audited more frequently because of their delinquencies.

Contractors: Non-Bargaining Unit (NBU)

As an owner of a company, can I participate in the Funds under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)?

No, the CBA does not cover owners or officers of a company. However, you may qualify to participate under the Alumni Agreement or the Non-Bargaining Unit (NBU) Agreement. Contact the Fund Office for Requirements for Participation.

What is an Alumni Agreement?

The Alumni Agreement is for owners and officers of companies who have had previous contributions paid in their behalf to the Funds under a CBA and want to continue participating in the Funds. This agreement allows you to choose which Alumni employee classifications will participate.

What is an NBU Agreement?

The NBU Agreement is for owners, officers, and/or employees not covered under a CBA, who have not had previous contributions paid to the Funds under a CBA. This agreement requires "All or None" participation, which means ALL owners, officers, and any staff that are not covered by a CBA must be funded.

Which Funds can we participate in?

The Alumni Agreement is available for the Defined Benefit Pension Fund, Health Fund, Vacation Fund, and Training Fund.

The NBU Agreement is available for the Defined Benefit Pension Fund and the Health Fund only.

You may choose to participate in any of the Funds, but a separate signed agreement is required for each Fund.

Are the Alumni and NBU benefits the same as the benefits for the CBA participants?

Yes, the benefits are the same.

When can my company sign an Alumni or NBU agreement?

The Alumni Agreement can be signed at any time. However, the NBU Agreement is available during the first year after an Employer signs the CBA. After the first year, NBU Agreements must be approved by each Fund's Board of Trustees.

Can my company participate in an Alumni and an NBU Agreement with the same Fund?

No, you can only participate in one type of agreement for each Fund. However, if you qualify, you may participate in an Alumni Agreement for one Fund and an NBU Agreement for another Fund.

Once our agreement is signed and approved, can we add our names to the report with the CBA employees?

No, employees covered by your Alumni or NBU Agreement must be reported on a separate remittance report.

Will my Alumni or NBU participation be affected if I fail to pay contributions for my CBA employees?

If your company fails to contribute for the CBA employees, your Alumni or NBU contributions will not be credited until CBA contributions are current.

Health Plan: Eligibility

I just started working for a contributing Employer. When will I be eligible for coverage with the North Central States Carpenters Health Fund?

You will be eligible for coverage on the first day of the second month after you work 500 hours of covered employment in a twelve-month period. For example, if you reach 500 hours during the month of June, you will be initially eligible on August 1.

How many hours do I have to work to keep my coverage?

After initial eligibility, you need 390 hours per work quarter or 1,560 hours per four preceding work quarters.

What are the quarters for eligibility?

Hours that you work in the work quarter of December, January, and February will determine eligibility for the coverage quarter of May, June, and July. There is a chart on the first page of the Eligibility Rules in your SPD that shows all the quarters for the year.

What happens if I do not work enough hours?

If employer contributions are not received to continue your eligibility, you will be notified thirty days prior to the end of your coverage and will be given the option to make self payments. Payments are due by the 25th of the month prededing the month of coverage. For example, payment for June coverage is due on May 25.

How are the self payments calculated?

The amount of your self payment is based on the number of hours that you are short of the required amount of hours, multiplied by the current Health Fund rate.

Can I switch plans at any time? How do I get back on the Traditional Plan C (Option 1) once I have elected the Reduced Self Payment Plan (Option 3)?

No. Once you elect a plan you must stay on it for the entire quarter.

If you elect the Reduced Self Payment Plan (Option 3), you must work enough hours in the next work quarter to either give you eligibility or reduce the self-contribution amount to less than what the Reduced Self Payment Plan (Option 3) costs in order to get back on the Traditional Plan C (Option 1).

Can I apply for single coverage?

No. The plan offers family coverage only.

How can I become eligible again if I do not pay the self-contribution amount?

If your coverage lapses, you can become eligible again by working the required number of hours. If it has been less than 12 months since your loss of eligibility, you will be eligible on the first day of the third month following the month that you work 450 hours of covered employment. For example, if you reach 450 hours in June, your eligibility will reinstate on September 1.

If it has been over 12 months since your loss of eligiblity, the rules for initial eligibility would apply.

I have been working but my employer has not paid the required contributions to the Health Fund, what can I do?

Contact the Fund Office and let them know. You will be asked to send copies of your check stubs and to provide jobsite information. If you lose your eligibility because your employer failed to make the required contributions, you will receive self payment information. If you do not make the self payment, you will not have coverage until the employer makes the contributions. If you do make the self payment and the contributions come in from the employer, you will be refunded up to the amount that you self paid.

What if I work outside of the Fund's jurisdiction?

You may have your hours transferred to the North Central States Carpenters' Health Fund. You should request a transfer form from the Fund Office before you begin working. The Fund will accept health contributions as long as it is within the previous twelve months. Click here to print a copy of the Health Reciprocity Form.

I am close to retirement age, can I continue the Health coverage after I retire?

Yes, you may continue coverage after retirement if you satisfy the following minimum requirements:

Provide written proof of retirement from your pension fund;

OR 

Be receiving Social Security retirement benefits;

AND

Be eligible as an active participant during the Coverage Quarter immediately preceding the date of coverage in the Retiree Program;

AND

Have contributions made in your behalf by a contributing employer in each of the five years immediately preceding retirement; or have 20,000 or more hours of contributions from contributing employers at the time of your retirement;

AND

Make the self payment no later than the 25th of the month preceding the current coveage month at a rate to be determined by the Trustees from time to time.

 

Health Plan: Health Benefits

What is covered under the Comprehensive Major Medical Benefits?

Comprehensive Major Medical Benefits cover certain costs of medically necessary care. After a deductible has been paid, the Plan pays a specified percentage of reasonable expenses. Covered expenses include certain comprehensive major medical services related to:

  1. Hospital services for room and board and intensive care, miscellaneous services and supplies, and outpatient services for surgery or emergency room treatment. Inpatient services for nervous or mental disorders and AODA treatment.
  2. There is a separate co-payment for each hospital emergency room visit of $50.
  3. Physicians' services for: surgery, anesthesia and its administration; medical services during in-hospital, outpatient, office, and home visits; certain chiropractic services; and outpatient treatment for nervous and mental disorders, substance abuse, and alcoholism.
  4. Diagnostic x-ray and laboratory services
  5. Prescription drugs and medicines through the Preferred Provider Pharmacy Program. Express Scripts/Accredo
  6. Other covered services and supplies ordered by your physician, such as ambulance service; radiation therapy; blood or plasma and its administration; specified medical supplies and specified durable medical equipment; initial artificial limbs and eyes and their medically necessary replacement; breast prostheses; and dental services for treatment of a fractured jaw or injury to natural teeth (Limitations may apply).

What is not covered under the Comprehensive Major Medical Benefits?

There is limited coverage for some services such as chiropractic care, routine physical exams, TMJ, care in a Skilled Nursing Facility, hearing aids and exams, and admission kits.

Services not covered include speech pathology, treatment for infertility, cosmetic surgery, services to treat work-related illnesses or injuries, charges that exceed reasonable and customary limits, in-hospital convenience items, counseling for parenting issues, marriage counseling, and couple's counseling.

What is meant by reasonable and customary charges?

Reasonable expenses for X-ray and lab and surgical procedures are provided by a national company that compiles a database of healthcare charges in each geographic area. Updates are provided to the Fund every six months.

Is there a deductible for major medical coverage?

There is a per person deductible per calendar year with a maximum family deductible per calendar year. Please refer to In-Network/Out-of-Network for more information. Deductibles are waived for the following care:

  • many routine immunizations
  • routine physical examinations for you and your spouse (up to the annual maximum benefit amount)
  • hospice care (requires preauthorization)
  • skilled nursing home care, subject to limitations (requires preauthorization)
  • well child care for dependents ages newborn-26, subject to limitation

Is there a co-payment required on my major medical coverage?

A co-payment is the percentage you pay after your deductible has been met. Please refer to In-Network/Out-of-Network for more information. You may pay a lower co-payment by using a preferred provider. View participating providers at: www.anthem.com.

Is there an out-of-pocket maximum for major medical benefits?

There is an out-of-pocket maximum per person per calendar year with a maximum out-of-pocket per family per calendar year. Once the annual maximum has been met, the plan pays covered charges at 100% for the remainder of the calendar year. Please refer to In-Network/Out-of-Network for more information.

What is my Routine Physical Exam benefit?

The Routine Physical Exam benefit includes charges for a general physical examination by a physician and routine screening labs and x-rays ordered by a physician. If you have already been diagnosed with a medical condition, the lab work, x-rays, and exam are considered under the major medical benefit of your Plan and are subject to the deductible and co-insurance. If an exam and/or lab work is required to renew a prescription, those charges are payable under the major medical portion of your Plan.

Are there dental and vision benefits under my plan?

Dental and Vision benefits are provided for all active participants and can be elected at the time of retirement for those on the Retirement plan.

What hospitals and providers can I go to?

Any hospital or accredited provider within the United States; however, in order to receive the maximum benefits, you may wish to choose a Preferred Provider.

View participating facilities at: www.anthem.com

Can I obtain medical care outside of the country?

Medical services and treatment outside of the United States will be excluded unless incurred for care of an emergency condition as determined by the Plan.

Health Plan: Participant Responsibilities

Why do I need to complete a Family Form each year even though I have had no changes?

In order to keep our records updated with current information, you must complete a Family Form each year. Your previously provided family information is pre-printed on the Family Form sent to you annually. If you have had no changes, please sign and date the form and mail it to the Fund Office.

However, if there has been any change to the information we have on file, a new Family Form must be completed. These changes include adding a new spouse, adding a new child, terminating a dependent's coverage due to legal separation or divorce of a spouse, or death of a dependent. We also require notification when other insurance coverage is effective for one or more dependents or if a previously existing coverage has terminated.

Why do I need to fill out an injury form?

If a bill is received with an injury diagnosis, an injury form must be completed. The Plan contains subrogation language in the event an injury is the responsibility of a third party. If an injury or illness occurred at work or as a result of work, the claims must be filed with your Employer's Worker's Compensation carrier.

Do I need preauthorization for services?

In order for maximum benefits to be payable, hospital confinements and other services may require preauthorization/precertification. Some services that require preauthorization/precertification are:

  1. Hospital confinements
  2. Amniocentesis
  3. Non-Routine Circumcision
  4. Dental procedures in a hospital setting older than age 6
  5. Equipment for home use (including, but not limited to):
    1. Sleep Apnea Supplies
    2. Hospital Beds
    3. Oxygen
    4. Wheelchairs
  6. Growth Hormone
  7. Home Health Services
  8. Home Intravenous Therapy
  9. Hospice
  10. Diagnostic Laparoscopy (Women)
  11. Laser Uvulectomy
  12. Septoplasty
  13. Skilled Nursing Home
  14. Sleep Study for patients under the age of 35

Pension Plan: Active Employees

How can I transfer contributions for hours worked in another Fund's jurisdiction back to North Central States Carpenters' Pension Fund?

Call the Fund Office to request a pension transfer form from the Fund Office before you start working in another Fund's jurisdiction. If you stop working in another Fund's jurisdiction and return at a later date, check with the Fund Office to make sure your transfer is still in effect. Click here to print a copy of the Pension Reciprocity Form.

How do I designate a beneficiary?

If you need to designate or change a beneficiary, the beneficiary designation must be on a beneficiary form obtained from the Fund Office. It is important that you keep your beneficiary designation up-to-date as death benefits are paid according to the most recent designation filed by you as long as it is in accord with Plan provisions and the law. Click here to print a copy of the Beneficiary Form.

What if I get divorced?

When your divorce is final, the Fund Office will need a copy of your divorce documents and will provide information and forms if a portion of your pension benefit is awarded to your ex-spouse.

Can Vesting Credits and contributions be forfeited?

If you are not Vested and you have five consecutive Calendar Years without a year of Vesting Credit (300 hours), the contributions and Vesting Credits will be forfeited.

How do I become eligible for a benefit?

You must become a Participant and earn enough hours to be vested. You become a Participant the July 1 or January 1 following a twelve month period beginning with:

  • The first contributions received at North Central States Carpenter's Pension Fund

    - OR -

  • The start of a Plan Year starting after the first contribution received.

A minimum of 750 hours of contributions are credited on your behalf from your Employer during the twelve month period.

Five years of Continuous Vesting Credit is required for a Normal Retirement Benefit at age 62. Ten years of Continuous Vesting Credit is required for an Early Retirement Benefit at age 55.

If you've had a Break-in-Service, your Normal or Early Retirement Age may be different than age 62 or 55.

Is there a disability benefit available through North Central States Carpenters' Pension Fund?

Yes. You must be totally and permanently disabled and meet the Plan Requirements to receive a Disability Benefit.

Can I borrow contributions, receive a lump-sum payment, or roll over contributions from my Pension Fund before I retire?

No. The Plan does not allow withdrawal of contributions, lump sum payments, or rollovers of contributions. The only method of payment is a monthly pension benefit at Retirement Age.

How do I earn a Vesting Credit?

Each calendar year, you earn one year of Vesting Credit when at least 300 hours of employer-paid contributions are credited on your behalf.

Can I make contributions into the Fund?

No. The Plan is funded by participating Employers who contribute to the Pension Fund for hours worked under a labor contract or participation agreement. No contributions are required from Participants themselves and none are permitted.

What is a Break-in-Service?

A Break-in-Service happens if you have four consecutive calendar years without working at least 300 hours for a contributing Employer. Any future improvements in the Plan would not apply to the contributions made prior to the Break-In-Service.

Pension Plan: Now That You're Retired

Can I work in Plan-Related Employment after I retire?

If you receive an Early Retirement Benefit, you cannot work the first 60 days from the date of your retirement, and you must make no prior plans or arrangements to return to Plan-Related-Employment. If you receive a Normal Retirement Benefit, you can return to work immediately. The number of hours you can work in Plan-Related Employment is limited. Your pension benefit is suspended for any calendar month in which you work 40 or more hours after having worked 400 hours in prior months in any one Calendar Year in "Plan-Related Employment".

Can I change my tax withholding?

Yes. Request a federal income tax withholding form from the Fund Office. If you reside in Wisconsin, a state income tax withholding form can be provided as well. Printable tax forms are available under Resources in the printable forms section of this website.

Does my monthly retirement benefit increase after I retire?

If you return to work for a contributing Employer, your monthly benefit will be adjusted the following January.

Will I receive a statement for income tax purposes after I retire?

Yes, you will receive a 1099-R form. The form is mailed no later than January 31 of each year.

Pension Plan: Thinking About Retiring?

Can my pension check be sent to my bank or other financial institution?

Yes. You can have your pension check directly deposited into your checking or savings account. Click here to print a copy of the Direct Deposit form.

What is the Joint and Survivor Option?

With the Joint and Survivor option, benefits paid to you as a retiree are continued after your death in a reduced amount to your spouse. Your monthly benefit is reduced because the total amount of benefit you have earned is expected to be paid over both your lifetime and your spouse's instead of yours alone. The monthly benefit payable to your spouse after your death is two-thirds of the monthly benefit that was paid or payable to you.

At what age can I retire?

Normal Retirement Age is 62 for Participants with 5 years of vesting credit. Early Retirement Age is 55 for Participants with 10 years of vesting credit. If you've had a Break-in-Service, your Normal or Early Retirement Age may be different than age 62 or 55.

Can I get a lump sum benefit when I retire?

If the actuarial equivalent of your pension benefit is a lump sum of $5,000 or less, your benefit will be paid to you in one lump sum amount rather than in monthly payments. If you are eligible for a lump sum benefit at retirement, you can roll it over or have payment made directly to you.

When should I call the Fund Office for a retirement benefit estimate and application?

Request your retirement benefit estimate no earlier than 90 days before and no later than 31 days before the month you want to begin retirement benefits.

Supplemental Retirement Fund

How do I obtain information about my Plan account?

Personalized account statements will be sent to you quarterly. The statement shows your account balance and any contributions and earnings credited to your account during the reporting period.

You also have access to an automated voice response system (800-456-7271) and Internet Site (www.associatedbank.com). You can get up-to-date information about your account balance, contributions, investment choices and other Plan data.

How do I make a claim for benefits?

Contact Associated Wealth Management by phone at 800-236-0082 to request a distribution election form or a printable form is available at their website www.associatedbank.com.

 

How do I designate a beneficiary?

If you need to designate or change a beneficiary, the beneficiary designation must be on a beneficiary form obtained from the Fund Office. It is important that you keep your beneficiary designation up to date as death benefits are paid according to the most recent designation filed by you as long as it is in accord with Plan provision and the law. Click here to print a copy of the Supplemental Retirement Fund Beneficiary form.

Can rollover contributions be made to the Plan?

Yes. If you have an existing qualified retirement plan, individual retirement account, individual retirement annuity, Internal Revenue code Section 457 plan, or annuity contracts excluding after tax employee contributions, you may transfer or roll over that account into the Plan at anytime.

Can I contribute to the Plan?

Your employer makes all the contributions to the Plan. No employee contributions are permitted under the Plan.

Can I take a loan from this Plan?

No. The Plan does not allow you to borrow money from your individual account.

Categories

Contractors: Bargaining Unit (BU)

Contractors: Non-Bargaining Unit (NBU)

Health Plan: Eligibility

Health Plan: Health Benefits

Health Plan: Participant Responsibilities

Pension Plan: Active Employees

Pension Plan: Now That You're Retired

Pension Plan: Thinking About Retiring?

Supplemental Retirement Fund