UFCW Midwest - Midwest Health and Pension Funds

United Food & Commercial Workers

Unions and Employers

Midwest Health and Pension Funds

Earning Pension Service Credit

Many employers and United Food and Commercial Workers Local Unions have entered into Collective Bargaining Agreements or labor contracts that require the employer to contribute to the Pension Fund on behalf of its eligible employees. Your employer’s contributions pay for the entire cost of your benefits—there is no cost to you.

Covered Employment

Covered Employment is work in a position that requires your employer to contribute into the Pension Fund on your behalf.

Covered Employment may also include work before your employer first made contributions to the Pension Fund if your work was similar to work for which contributions are now required.

For more information on Covered Employment before contributions were made, see the Prior Service page of this website.

Waiting Period

There may be a waiting period after you start working but before your employer is first required to contribute on your behalf. Some of this waiting period may count towards Eligibility Service (defined below), but only under certain circumstances.

Waiting periods should not be confused with Prior Service (defined below) because they are not treated the same way for service credit purposes. Contact the Pension Department at the Fund Office if you want further information on this subject.

Plan Participation

You earn pension credit for each hour that you work in a position that requires your employer to contribute for you into the Pension Fund. You become a member of the Pension Plan on the earliest January 1st or July 1st after you complete 400 hours of Covered Employment.

Eligibility Service

Eligibility Service determines whether or not you are eligible for a pension. You must earn at least 5 years of Eligibility Service, without having a Break-in-Service, to be eligible for a pension at retirement age.

You earn one year of Eligibility Service for every calendar year in which you complete 400 hours or more of Covered Employment.

You may also receive Eligibility Service for periods when you were not working in Covered Employment:

  • Non-Covered Employment with an Employer that Participates in this Pension Fund—Non-Covered Employment is work in a position that does not require the employer to contribute for you into this Pension Fund. If your non-Covered Employment comes immediately before or after a period of Covered Employment, you will receive a year of Eligibility Service for each year that you work at least 1,000 hours. These 1,000 hours may have been worked during a waiting period, when you worked in a position covered by another union but at an employer that participates in this Pension Fund, or when you worked in a non-union or management position for an employer that participates in this Pension Fund. For more information on work specifically in a non-union or management position, see the Transfer from Union to Management/Non-Union page of this website.
  • Qualified Military Service—You may receive a year of Eligibility Service for each year you serve in required military service in the armed forces of the United States. See the Military Service Leave page of this website.
  • Employment with a Reciprocal Plan—You will receive a year of Eligibility Service for each year of service you earn under certain other UFCW plans. See the Reciprocity (Service Under Other UFCW Plans) page of this website.

Credited Service—Prior Service and Future Service

Credited Service determines the amount of your pension.

There are two types of Credited Service, called Prior Service and Future Service. The difference is when you earned them:

  • Prior Service is earned for work before the date an employer began participating in this Pension Fund. See the Prior Service page of this website for more information.
  • Future Service is earned for work after the date an employer began participating in this Pension Fund and made contributions on your behalf.

You earn Future Service each calendar year based on the number of hours of Covered Employment you work.

Hours For Which Your Employer Contributed During a Calendar Year Credited Service Earned Eligibility Service Earned
Less than 400 .00 year 0 year
400 .25 year 1 year
600 .38 year 1 year
800 .50 year 1 year
1,000 .63 year 1 year
1,200 .75 year 1 year
1,400 .88 year 1 year
1,600 1.00 year 1 year

 
For calendar years 1988 through 2005, you can receive more than 1 year of Credited Service in a calendar year if you worked more than 1,600 hours of Covered Employment. This applies to you only if your employer’s contribution rate for you was at least 52¢. To determine how much Credited Service you earned for this period, divide your total hours of Covered Employment for each year by 1,600. For example: If you worked 2,120 hours of Covered Employment in one calendar year, you would earn 1.33 years of Credited Service for that year. Effective January 1, 2006, this provision was eliminated.

  

(Updated 06/21/13)