MORE PENSION QUESTIONS
From: John Zimmer
Date: 13 May 2001
Currently about 1,000 participants in the Southwest Ohio District Council of Carpenters
Pension Fund are classified as vested terminee's. This represented 1/4 of all participants
in the plan prior to a merger with the Dayton, Ohio plan. Many of these members are still
working as carpenter's and paying dues but are not employed by contributing employers.
When the Trustees of the Pension Plan vote annual increases in accrued monthly benefits,
they are denied to these participants despite the fact that they pay dues, work under
contracts negotiated by the carpenter's union, and are vested in the plan. Trustees say
that we have to work at least one hour per year for a contributing employer in order to be
an "active" participant and receive these increases. Our Pension Plan started in
1962 and all participants used to get these increases until 1989. The original trust
documents say that the Pension Fund was created for the benefit of Participants and their
beneficiaries. Not for the benefit of "active" participant's.
I am curious if this is something that is occurring just in Southwest Ohio or is this
something that is being done on a National level. In my area, all crafts have adopted this
method of denying increases except the plumbers. I have done extensive research in this
area of ERISA and consulted with a prestigious law firm in Cinti. We have organized 40
members who are interested in getting this changed. Needless to say, it is expensive. If
you are having the same problem let me know. If you have any suggestions on how we can get
help to finance what could be a costly legal battle, let me know. I am wondering if their
are any Federal agencies that can take on this battle for us.
My e-mail address is JZman1949@aol.com