D.A. Townley  -  Plan Administrators Iron Workers Union Local 97 International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers 



Pension Plan FAQs

The following are the most commonly asked questions by Members regarding the Pension Plan. If you would like detailed information on any of these topics, please consult the Pension Plan Booklet. If you still have questions after reading this information, please contact the Plan Administrator.

Who is eligible to participate in the Plan?
The contributions will be made to the Trust Fund for all Employees working under Collective Agreements between the Union and an Employer. All of these Employees will be entitled to benefits upon satisfying the eligibility requirements of any of the types of benefits provided under the Plan. In addition, any officer, agent, or representative of the Union may participate if the Union voluntarily makes contributions on their behalf.

What type of benefits does the Plan provide?
There are five types of benefits provided in the Plan:

  • Normal retirement pension benefit;
  • Early retirement with reduced pension benefits;
  • Disability retirement pension benefits;
  • Pre-retirement death benefits; and
  • Benefits on termination of Membership in the Plan prior to retirement.

How are normal retirement benefits determined?
Retirement benefits are calculated in accordance with a formula, which can and has changed over time, based on the recommendations of the actuary and their assessment of the plan's affordability to pay benefits. Please see the Pension Plan Booklet for details on calculating retirement benefits.

When should a retirement application be filed?
In order that time is available to review the optional forms of pension and complete the necessary forms, you must contact the Administrator’s office at least three months in advance of your retirement date to ensure that you receive your pension on your chosen date of retirement. Once you have received your forms, applications for retirement should be filed on a form available from the Administrator’s office at least one month in advance of the first of the month on which retirement benefits are expected to begin. For example, if you will be eligible to retire on December 1st, you should request your forms no later than September 1st and have your completed forms returned to the Administrator's office before November 1st.

Who is my "Spouse" for the purpose of the Plan?
“Spouse” shall mean, in relation to another person:

  1. a person who, at the relevant time, was married to that other person, and who, if living separate and apart from that other person at the relevant time, did not live separate and apart from that other person for longer than the 2 year period immediately preceding the relevant time, or

  2. if paragraph (a) does not apply, a person who was living and cohabiting with that other person in a marriage-like relationship, including a marriage-like relationship between persons of the same gender, and who had been living and cohabiting in that relationship for the period of at least 2 years immediately preceding the relevant time.

How are the Pension Funds invested?
The Funds are invested in securities authorized by law for investment of Registered Pension Trust Funds with the objective of obtaining the best possible returns consistent with sound investment policies. The Trustees regularly review the results achieved by the professional money managers and, from time to time, they make changes in managers.

Will I receive a statement of my benefits from time to time?
Yes. The Trustees will issue statements annually through the office of the Administrator provided that you keep your address up to date with the Plan Administrator.

What should I do if I become divorced or legally separated from my Spouse?
The Family Relations Act sets out the rights of your Spouse to share in your pension benefits, and imposes responsibilities on the Trustees and the Administrator. 

Should you find yourself in this situation, it is strongly recommended that you get legal advice. The Plan will charge you and/or your Spouse for reasonable costs for complying with the separation or divorce agreement, a copy of which must be filed with the Plan if your benefits are affected.

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