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.
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.
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" 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.
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.
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 2020 which will be $40 to be deducted quarterly for other administrative expenses, such as a share of Plan Office expenses, legal fees, auditing fees, and investment advisory fees.
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.
"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.
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.
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:
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. Similarly, if a check is issued to you (or your beneficiary) and the Plan, after making a reasonable effort, is unable to locate the person to whom the check was issued (or if the person is located but fails or refuses to cash the check), the uncashed check will be forfeited as of the end of the Plan Year that includes the twelfth month after the date the check was issued. A record of the forfeited amount (or uncashed check amount) will be maintained and if you (or your beneficiary) later make a proper claim for the amount, the amount of each account or check, will be restored and will be distributed to you (or your beneficiary) in accordance with the terms of the Plan, but without any interest or earnings.
You would need to complete a Change of Address Form, which can be found under Forms & Documents, Medical Forms. We cannot take address changes over the phone; the form must be submitted in writing, signed and dated by the member.
You may call 800-810-2583 or visit their website at www.BCBS.com.
In order to have your Pre-Employment drug test covered by the plan, you are required to have worked in Covered Employment for at least 60 days in the six-month period immediately preceding your drug test; and such Covered Employment must be with Employers that participate in the Federal Drug Testing Program.
New Entrants in the Plan, or employees who have not previously participated in the plan, will become eligible after completing 30 days of Covered Employment within any period of six consecutive calendar months.