Overview

Overview

The MEBA Money Purchase Benefit Plan (the "MPB Plan") provides you financial security in your retirement years. The information in this section of our website provides a high-level summary of the Plan. For more detailed information, please refer to your Summary Plan Description, Summaries of Material Modifications and the Plan's Rules and Regulations. Nothing in this overview should be construed to replace or override anything that is in the MPB Plan Rules and Regulations.

Participation

You begin participation in the Plan as soon as a participating Employer employs you in a position covered by a collective bargaining agreement with District No. 1-PCD, MEBA (the "Union") that provides for participation in the Plan. Eligible positions include licensed officers, port engineers, port electricians or hull inspectors, and any other positions for which Employers are obligated to make contributions to the Plan. A participating "Employer" is any Employer who is required under a collective bargaining agreement to make contributions to the Plan.

Contributions

Your Employer pays contributions to the MPB Plan as required by its collective bargaining agreement with the Union. The Plan does not accept rollover contributions. Contributions are credited to an account under the MPB Plan in your name.

Vesting

"Vesting" means you have a non-forfeitable interest in your account. In other words, your account balance belongs to you and it cannot be taken away. In general, you will be vested when you earn three Years of Vesting Credit. (You will also be vested when you reach your Normal Retirement Age, if that occurs before you earn three Years of Vesting Credit and are in Covered Employment.)

"Normal Retirement Age" means age 65, or, if later, the fifth anniversary of the date you began participating in the Plan (without a permanent Break in Service; see your Summary Plan Description or the MPB Plan Rules and Regulations for more information about Breaks in Service).

How Vesting Credit is Calculated

You earn one Year of Vesting Credit for each calendar year in which you complete 125 Days of Service. Generally, a Day of Service means a day worked in Covered Employment.

Investments

You may direct the investment of your Plan account among the investment options offered under the Plan. The Trustees select the investment options that are available to you, with the help of a professional investment consultant. You may obtain information on the current investment options by logging onto www.netbenefits.com/meba or by calling 1-(866)-84-UNION (1-866-848-6466).  Your Plan number is 94054.

If you do not make an affirmative investment election, your Plan account will be invested in one of the default investment options selected by the Trustees. Currently, the general default investment option is Vanguard Institutional Target Retirement Fund-Institutional Shares with the target retirement date based on the year in which you attain age 65.   

More information on the current investment options is available by logging onto www.netbenefits.com/meba or by calling 1-(866)-84-UNION (1-866-848-6466).

The Board of Trustees and any other fiduciary of the MPB Plan is relieved of liability for any losses that are the result of your exercise of control over the investment of assets in your account.

You will receive online statements of your account, showing contributions and investment returns or losses. This statement is available online at www.netbenefits.com/meba.  If you want to receive a paper statement, you may request one.

Please notify the Plan Office immediately if you believe there is an error on your statement.

 

Recordkeeping fees will be deducted from your account if you have a balance of $500 or more. As of December 1, 2017, the annual recordkeeping fee is $43.50 and will be deducted quarterly. In addition, your account will be charged the estimated annual fee for 2018 which will be $140 to be deducted quarterly for other administrative expenses, such as a share of Plan Office expenses, legal fees, auditing fees, and investment advisory fees. 

When Your Benefit Can Be Paid

If you are age 62 or older and vested in your account, then you may apply for benefits before you have retired. Benefits available for payment will be based on your account balance at the time of your application. Distribution of future amounts will require an additional application.

When you retire, you can receive a distribution of the vested portion of your Plan account balance. For information about the payment of your benefit, please refer to your Summary Plan Description.

If you die while a participant in the Plan and before payment of your account has begun, then your vested account balance will be paid to your beneficiary(ies). If you are married, then your beneficiary will automatically be your spouse unless he or she has provided written, notarized consent to your naming a different beneficiary. The benefit will be distributed as soon as administratively feasible following the payment request by your beneficiary(ies). Please refer to the Naming a Beneficiary section later on this page for details regarding the naming of a beneficiary.

Unless you request an earlier distribution, the MPB Plan is legally required to start making minimum distributions by April 1 following the later of the calendar year in which you reach age 70 ½ or when you retire. If, for any reason, you cannot be located by the time a required minimum distribution is payable to you, then the IRS may require you to pay an excise tax on those distributions. This is one reason it is important to keep your contact information up to date.

What Does It Mean to be Retired?

"Retired" means you have stopped working in Covered Employment, you have taken all your accrued vacation, and you provide documented proof that you have withdrawn from Union membership. To be retired, you also must withdraw completely from work aboard any vessel and, in the case of a port engineer, port electrician or hull inspector, any service in the maritime industry that involves a licensed officer's knowledge or expertise, including, but not limited to, knowledge or expertise in construction, repair, operational or maintenance activities.

How Your Account Balance Can Be Paid

Your MPB Plan account balance may be paid to you in a single lump sum, a life, a joint and survivor annuity (depending on your marital status), ten annual installment payments, or a direct rollover to an individual retirement account (IRA) or another tax-qualified retirement plan.  All rollover checks issued will be mailed to the participant’s home of record on file.

How your account balance is paid generally depends on your marital status at the time of distribution. If your account balance is $1,000 or less, you can only receive a single lump sum payment. The value of your account will be determined as of the Valuation Date. The Valuation Date is generally the day on which your payment is processed. 

Refer to your Summary Plan Description or the MPB Plan Rules and Regulations for detailed descriptions of and information about your distribution options.

Naming a Beneficiary

You may name or change a beneficiary by contacting the Plan Office in writing.

If you are unmarried, then you may designate any person or entity (other than your creditors) as a beneficiary.

If you are married, then you may only designate a beneficiary other than your spouse if your spouse consents in writing to another beneficiary. Your spouse’s consent must be provided on a form provided by the Plan and the consent must be witnessed by a notary public. Your spouse may not revoke the consent once it is given.

You may revoke the designation at any time before payments begin and name a new beneficiary with spousal consent.

If you do not name a beneficiary or if all named beneficiaries die before you, then your account balance will be paid according to the following order:

  • To your spouse, if living.
  • To the named beneficiary for your life benefit under the MEBA Medical and Benefits Plan.
  • To your estate.

Lost Participant or Beneficiary

You (or your beneficiary) should keep the Plan Office informed of your current address. If a benefit becomes distributable and the Plan Office is unable to locate you (or your beneficiary), then your account may be forfeited. A record of the forfeited amount will be maintained and if you (or your beneficiary) later make a claim, then your account will be restored and distributed in accordance with the terms of the MPB Plan, but without any interest or earnings for the period between the forfeiture and the date distribution is made.

Frequently Asked Questions

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MEBA Benefit Plans
1007 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21202-4345
(410) 547-9111 or (800) 811-MEBA