The first step in determining your Accrued Benefit is determining your Pension Credit. "Pension Credit" is a measure of your hours of Covered Employment, and is the sum of (i) up to 15 years of any Past Service that was not Covered Employment, plus (ii) your Future Service, but only to the extent these hours have not been canceled by a Permanent Break-in-Service. "Past Service" describes work hours of the kind currently covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement, but that was performed before the Plan was established and maintained to cover Inside Wire Employees. It also includes certain Military Service earned before December 12, 1994. "Future Service" generally includes your actual hours of Covered Employment under an Inside Wiremen Agreement on and after June 1, 1961. Because all (or almost all) members who have Past Service have already begun their pension, this booklet will generally refer to Pension Credit without distinguishing between Past Service and Future Service. If your Accrued Benefit includes any Past Service, contact the Plan Office for a separate explanation of special rules that apply to Past Service.
Military Service. Under the Uniformed Service Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act of 1994 ("USERRA"), Pension Credit includes service in the U.S. Armed Forces (and other qualifying uniformed services of the United States), provided you comply with all of the requirements of USERRA, the Plan and any rules established by the Board. The Plan provides Pension Credit only for uniformed service protected under USERRA upon a bona fide return to Covered Employment. The Plan Office will require documentation of dates and completion of service, which may include Form DD-214 (separation papers), a copy of endorsed orders, or a letter from your commanding officer specifying the dates and character of service. Generally, you will receive Pension Credit for USERRA military service if you are honorably discharged and return to civilian employment with an Employer (i) within one day following completion of less than 30 days of service, (ii) within 14 days following completion of more than 30 days, but less than 90 days, of service, or (iii) within 90 days following completion of more than 90 days of service. In determining your Pension Credit, the Plan will calculate your hours of Covered Employment during the 12-month period in which the highest number of hours were reported during the 24-month period immediately preceding the date you commenced USERRA military service or, if greater, by using the Plan Year in which you entered the uniformed services. Pension Credit will be awarded for no more than 5 years of uniformed service (with certain exceptions), and will not be credited until you satisfy the return to Covered Employment requirement.
Service for Other Entities. Pension Credit also includes work hours requiring Employer Contributions under (i) Collective Bargaining Agreements with the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Housing Authority, and (ii) Subscription Agreements for Alumni Employees.
Credit for Long-Term Disability. If you collect long-term disability benefits under the San Francisco Electrical Workers Health & Welfare Plan, that plan will contribute $31.25 per month (or the appropriate prorated amount for disability periods of less than one month) on your behalf. For each dollar contributed, you will receive four hours of Pension Credit (or an appropriate prorated amount). This is equivalent to 125 hours for each full month, and 1,500 hours for each full year, of long-term disability contributions.
One full "Year of Pension Credit" is awarded for each 1,500 hours of Covered Employment, and 1/12th of a year awarded for each remaining 125 hours of Covered Employment. The total number of Years of Pension Credit is determined at the time of retirement by adding up all of the hours of service in Covered Employment and dividing by 1,500. Therefore, a Participant who earns more than 1,500 hours of Covered Employment in a year may earn greater than one year of Pension Credit in that year.