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1. Can I make contributions to the Fund?
Answer 1:  The entire cost of the Plan is paid by the participating Employers who contribute to the Pension Fund. No contributions are required from you and none are permitted.  
2. How do I designate a beneficiary?
Answer 2:  Once you are Vested in the Pension Plan, you should complete a Designation of Beneficiary Form. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP YOUR DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY FORM UP TO DATE. Once you are Vested, the Annual Statement of Pension Credit will remind you of the date that your latest Designation of Beneficiary Form was received by the Pension Fund Office. You may update your Beneficiary Form at any time. Once you are Vested, it is strongly recommended that you update your Designation of Beneficiary Form when you: marry, divorce, become widowed, have a child, or experience another major life event. Please note that your beneficiary designation does not become effective until the date that the Designation of Beneficiary Form is received by the Fund Office. You may obtain a Designation of Beneficiary Form by contacting the Retirement Benefits Department at (312)787-9455/Option 4.
If you are retired and receiving a monthly pension benefit you should also make certain that you have designated a beneficiary for the $2,000.00 Lump Sum Death Benefit.
3. What happens if I die without a Designation of Beneficiary Form on file?
Answer 3:  Benefits (if any) are paid in the following order of preference:
(1)   your surviving spouse, or if none, then to
(2)   your surviving biological or legally adopted children (in equal shares), or if none, then to
(3)   your surviving parents (in equal shares), or if none, then to
(4)   the beneficiary or beneficiaries (in equal shares) that you designated to receive benefits under the Welfare Fund
If there is no surviving spouse, children, parents, or Welfare Fund beneficiary, there will not be a benefit payable.
4. I’m thinking of starting my pension, when should I request a benefit estimate and an application?
Answer 4:  You should request a benefit estimate and application 90 days before you want your pension to begin.
5. When do I need to submit my application?
Answer 5:  We recommend that you submit your completed application and all required supporting documents sixty (60) days in advance of the date you plan to retire.
6. Am I required to personally come into the Fund Office to apply for my pension?
Answer 6:  No, you are not required to appear in person to apply for your pension. Many people handle the entire process by mail. However, if you wish to visit the Fund Office to apply in person, you may do so. If you are married we suggest that your spouse accompany you if you elect to visit the Fund Office to apply for your benefit.
Office hours are from 8:00am to 4:30pm Central Standard Time. If you choose to visit the Pension Fund Office, we suggest that you telephone ahead of time to schedule an appointment with a Retirement Benefits Representative. Although an appointment is not mandatory (and you will, of course, still be assisted even if you have not made one), making an appointment will help to ensure that you will not have to wait long to speak with a Pension Service Representative once you arrive at the Pension Fund Office.

7. What documents are accepted as proof of age?
Answer 7:  A copy of ONE of the following types of proof of age must be submitted to the Retirement Benefits Department along with your pension application.
If the names shown on your documents for yourself and/or for your spouse are not exactly the same as the names shown on your pension application, please contact the Retirement Benefits Department at (312)787-9455, telephone menu option #4 for further instructions.
All foreign documents must be accompanied by a notarized English translation. 
1. County certified birth certificate [Hospital birth announcements are not acceptable]
2. Passport
3. Naturalization Certificate
4. Immigration papers / Permanent Resident Card (“green card”)
5. Military record (ex: DD-214) showing date of birth
6. County certified marriage document showing date of birth or age
    [Religious documents (from a church, synagogue, mosque, etc.) are not acceptable] 
7. A certified foreign church or government record.
In addition to a proof of age document, you must also submit a copy of a government issued photo ID (ex: Driver’s License or Passport) for yourself and (if you are married) for your spouse.
8. What documents are accepted as proof of marriage?
Answer 8:  A copy of a county certificate marriage document is required. Religious documents (from a church, synagogue, mosque, etc.) are not acceptable.
9. When are pension checks mailed?
Answer 9:  Each month, pension checks are mailed on the last working day of the preceding month (example: July 1st checks are mailed out on the last working day of June). Please understand that, once the checks are mailed from the Retirement Benefits Department, we have no control over the length of time the Post Office takes to deliver the check to you.

10. What do I do if my check is lost in the mail?
Answer 10:  Be aware that the Retirement Benefits Department will NOT consider a check to be “lost in the mail” until the 15th of the month. If you have not received your check by the 15th of the month, contact the Retirement Benefits Department to report the check “lost in the mail.” The Retirement Benefits Department will place a stop payment on the original check and begin the process of issuing a replacement check. Be aware that five to seven business days are required for processing a replacement check. The replacement check will then be mailed to you.
11. Is direct deposit available?
Answer 11:  Yes, direct deposit is available and strongly recommended. In fact, once you sign up for direct deposit, continuation of direct deposit is mandatory. With direct deposit, your pension payment is transferred to your bank account on the first working day of the month (example: July 1st payments are transferred to your account on the first working day of July). If you wish to elect direct deposit, you must complete and return a direct deposit authorization form. You must also submit a voided check or deposit slip. Click here for Millmen Fund direct deposit application. A full thirty (30) days are required to process direct deposit requests.
New Pensioners & Beneficiaries -- Please note that your FIRST check MUST be a paper check and can NOT be directly deposited.

12. How do I make a change in my direct deposit?
Answer 12:  To change banks, you need to complete a new direct deposit application and should also submit a voided check or deposit slip. Click here to download the Bank Form. The change will take a full thirty (30) days to process. 
13. Once I am retired, what do I do if my address changes?
Answer 13:  It is your responsibility to promptly notify the Retirement Benefits Department of any change in your address. Call the Retirement Benefits Department at (312)787-9455/Option 4 or send the Retirement Benefits Department an e-mail at to report an address change. If the Pension Department is unable to contact you at your last address on record, all future mail, including pension checks and/or direct deposits will be held (without interest) until you contact the Pension Fund Office and provide your current address.
14. How do I change my Federal Tax withholding?
Answer 14:  You may change your Federal Tax withholding at any time by completing a new withholding form. The form must be received in the Retirement Benefits Department by the 15th of the month in order to make the change for the following month. Click here for tax form.

I am retired and receiving pension payments. Will I receive a statement for income tax purposes?

Yes, the Pension Department will issue you a form 1099-R. The forms will be mailed out from the Fund Office no later than January 31st each year.
15. What type of Employment will disqualify me from receiving my pension benefit?
Answer 15:  After you retire, you will be disqualified from receiving your monthly pension benefit if you work in “prohibited employment.” Prohibited employment (for non-disability pensioners) differs depending on the age of the Pensioner, as described below: 
Before reaching age 65 prohibited employment means employment, self-employment or other business activity in the trade or craft of carpentry or other business activity covered by a collective bargaining agreement or participation agreement in any geographic location.
At or after reaching age 65, until reaching age 70½ prohibited employment means employment, self-employment or other business activity in the trade or craft of carpentry or other business activity covered by a collective bargaining agreement or participation agreement in any geographic location of 40 hours or more in a month.
After age 70½ No types of employment are prohibited as of the date you reach age 70½.
Disability Pensioners are permitted to engage in and have earnings from employment that would not be considered Prohibited Employment, provided that the earnings for such employment do not exceed the Social Security Administration's "substantial gainful activity" (SGA) earnings limit, as adjusted annually.
The following are examples of prohibited employment:
  • Acting as a building inspector for a contractor;
  • Working as a project manager, supervisor or superintendent for a contractor;
  •  Working as an Employee of the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Pension Fund, the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Welfare Fund, the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Apprentice Training Program, the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters (“Regional Council”), or any local union; and
  •  Serving as a member of the Regional Council’s Executive Board, delegate to the Regional Council or the Chicago Federation of Labor, business agent, or local union trustee, or as an officer of any local union.
The Trustees have determined that it is appropriate to expand the list of activities that do not constitute prohibited employment.
Effective as of July 1, 2008, the Board of Trustees amended the Plan to specifically permit the following activities by a Pensioner at any age:
  •  Building Inspector for a state, county or municipality;
  •  Inspector :
  •                         for home purchase or sale;
  •                         for reviewing plans for code compliance; or
  •                        of building or machinery regarding repairs;
  •  Sales provided no installation by the Pensioner is involved;
  •  Picket duty;
  •  Draftsman/CAD Designer;
  •  Safety Director;
  •  Member of a corporate board of directors;
  •  Passive owner of a business in the construction industry provided  the Pensioner has no active management responsibilities and receives no compensation for services;
  •  Officer of a corporation provided Pensioner does not actively work with tools; or
  •  Consultant regarding viability of a project.
16. How do I know if the work I am considering will be considered prohibited employment?
Answer 16:  Before returning to work, a Pensioner should obtain a determination from the Pension Fund Office as to whether or not the work will be considered prohibited employment.
To obtain the determination, the Pensioner should submit a written description of the work to the Pension Fund Office. The Pension Fund Office will send the Pensioner a written determination letter.

17. What happens if I engage in prohibited employment?
Answer 17:  If a Pensioner returns to prohibited employment after he has begun to receive his pension, his monthly pension benefit will be withheld, or suspended, for each month that he is so employed in prohibited employment.
A Pensioner must notify the Board of Trustees (“Trustees”) of his return to work within 30 days of the date he returns, regardless of the number of hours he intends to work in a month.
If it is determined that a Pensioner is working in prohibited employment and failed to notify the Trustees, the Trustees will attempt to determine when his employment began and his entitlement to pension benefits ended. It will be assumed that he had been working enough hours to disqualify him from receiving his pension benefit. The suspended Pensioner will be allowed to present evidence refuting any such assumption.
If a Pensioner’s benefits are suspended, the Pension Fund Office will provide him with a notice describing the reason for the suspension plus other information about the suspension of benefits. The suspended Pensioner can request a review of the decision to suspend benefits by making a written request for review. The request for review must be received by the Pension Fund Office within ninety (90) days of the suspended Pensioner’s receipt of the notice of suspension. The request for review will be processed in the same manner as an appeal of a pension denial.
It is important to understand that if a Pensioner works in prohibited employment and receives pension benefits during that time period he is obligated to repay the full amount of the pension benefits received during the months of prohibited employment. The Board of Trustees has the right to recover all pension payments that were improperly received during a period of prohibited employment, including the right to use offsets against future benefit payments to recover any benefits paid while in prohibited employment. The Trustees may withhold the first pension benefit payment due upon return to retirement plus, if necessary, an amount from his future pension payments, equal to up to 25% of each subsequent pension payment, to recover any benefits paid to him while in prohibited employment. If the Pensioner dies before the entire amount owed is recovered, any benefits payable to his surviving spouse or beneficiary will be withheld or reduced.
18. What happens when I stop working in prohibited employment and want to resume my pension?
Answer 18:  When a Pensioner whose benefits have been suspended stops working in prohibited employment and wants to resume his pension benefits, he must request a Reinstatement Application from the Fund Office. The completed Reinstatement Application must be received in the Fund Office at least sixty (60) days before he wants his pension payments to resume. Payments will resume on the first day of the month following the latest of:
1. The date he stopped working in prohibited employment;
2. The date the Reinstatement Application is received by the Pension Fund Office;
3. The end of any added period of suspension imposed by the Trustees, as described above (if the period of prohibited employment began before the Pensioner reached age 65)
Monthly pension amounts after a suspension of benefits will be recalculated in the following circumstances:
1. If the suspended Pensioner returned to covered employment and earned additional pension credit, the monthly pension amount will be adjusted for any additional credit.
2. If the Pensioner’s (except a Disability Pensioner) pre-suspension retirement was before normal retirement age the monthly pension amount will be adjusted for his age when his pension begins again (up to normal retirement age) if his pension had been suspended for at least three months.
A Pensioner’s post-suspension monthly benefit amount will be actuarially adjusted to take into account benefit payments received before his return to prohibited employment.

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