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From: John Zimmer
Local: 126
City: Cincinnati
Date: 13 May 2001
Time: 19:11:34

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

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Horacio Grana is a retired member of the Carpenters Local Union 1506 in Los Angeles. If you wish to write to him, please address all letters to:
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Union Plain Facts
PO Box 1780
Thousand Oaks, CA 91358
or E-Mail him at:
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