Serving the Union Members of the Bakery and Confectionery Industry
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is the connection between the B&C Trust Funds and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union(BCTGM)?
A: The BCTGM, along with employers in the bakery and confectionery industry, established the B&C Trust Funds to provide health benefits and pension benefits to the Union members in the bakery and confectionery industry. The funds are separate entities from the BCTGM. However, the President of the BCTGM presides as chairman of the Funds.
Q: What is the web site for The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union?
A: You can access the BCTGM International Union web site by clicking on www.bctgm.orgor by typing that address into your web browser.
Q: How are the Funds Administered?
A: The Funds are administered by a Board of Trustees, consisting of eight members from the Union(the Union Trustees) and eight representatives from the employers(the Employer Trustees).
Q: How often does the Board of Trustees meet?
A: The Board of Trustees meets at least twice a year, and more frequently if necessary.
Q: Who manages the Funds' assets?
A: The Board of Trustees has selected a number of investment professionals to manage the assets of the Funds. The Board's Investment Committee reviews the performance of the investment professionals throughout the year.
Q: How often are the Funds audited?
A: The Funds are audited twice a year by independent certified accountants.
Health Benefits Questions
Q: What is the Retirees’ Health Benefits Plan?
A: The Retirees' Health Benefits Plan offers a number of coverages based on the retirees’ age and whether or not the retirees’ former employer still makes contributions to the Plan. You may contact the Fund Office to inquire if your former employer is still making contributions to the Plan.
For those retirees under age 65 and not yet eligible for Medicare, the Plan pays major medical benefits after an annual deductible. The lifetime benefit is $10,000, but the retiree may increase the lifetime benefit maximum to $100,000 by paying an additional premium. The Plan also provides prescription drug coverage.
For those retirees age 65 and over and for those younger who are eligible for Medicare, coverage is provided under a Medicare Advantage Plan. The Medicare Advantage Plan designs have annual deductibles, co-pays, an annual “out-of-pocket” maximum, and no annual or lifetime benefit maximums. These participants will also have prescription drug coverage.
Q: How do I become eligible for the Retirees' Health Benefits Plan?
A: You and your dependents will be covered under the Retirees’ Health Benefits Plan if you: (1) meet the eligibility requirements, (2) enroll at the proper time, and (3) pay the applicable premiums. You may contact the Fund Office for more information on the Plan’s eligibility requirements.
Q: What is a Medicare Advantage Plan?
A: It is a type of Medicare health plan that provides Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). The Medicare Advantage Plan offered by the Fund is administered by UnitedHealthcare. Eligible retirees have the choice between two options, the “low” option or the “high” option.
Q: What is the low or high option?
A: The “low” option plan is offered at lower monthly premiums with higher costs at the time and place of service. The “high” option plan is offered at higher monthly premiums with lower costs at the time and place of service. You may contact the Fund Office for more information on the options available to you.
Q: What are the premiums for the Retirees’ Health Benefits Plan coverage?
A: See chart below:
Pension Benefits Questions
Q: I am planning my retirement, how can I find out what my benefit will be?
A: To find out what you may be eligible to receive from the Fund, you must file a pension evaluation request. Upon receipt of the evaluation request the Fund will verify your employment history and send you a print out which shows your pension credit and the monthly pension amount based on the options offered by the Fund, you may be eligible to receive at different ages.
A pension evaluation request can be obtained by contacting the Fund Office or your Local Union Office. You may also download a printable version of the evaluation request from the Documents section of the web site.
Q: I am considering applying for my pension benefit, how soon should I notify the Fund?
A: We recommend that you file an application at least three months prior to when you want your pension benefit to begin. An application can be filed up to one year in advance of your effective date. An application (other than for a Disability Pension) that is filed more than one year prior to your effective date is null and void and a new application must be submitted to apply for benefits.
Q: When can I begin receiving my Pension?
A: You can begin receiving your pension benefit when you meet the requirements for the type of pension you are applying to receive.
Q: How do I apply for my pension benefits?
A: In order to apply for your pension benefit you must submit a pension application. The earliest date your pension benefit can begin is the month following receipt of your pension application. An application can be obtained by contacting the Fund Office or your Local Union Office. You may also download a printable version of the application from the Documents section of the web site.
Q: When I apply for my pension what do I need to send to the Fund?
A: You should send the following items to the Fund:
1. Pension Application
2. Your proof of age
3. Marriage Certificate (if applying for a Husband and Wife Pension)
4. Spouses proof of age
5. Divorce Decrees and Marital Settlement Agreements (if you have been divorced).
Q: At age 65 can I continue to work and begin to receive pension benefits?
A: Individuals age 65 and over can earn an unlimited amount without a reduction in Social Security Benefits, therefore, if you are 65 or over you can continue to work in the Bakery and Confectionery Industry while receiving your pension.
You may work outside the Bakery and Confectionery Industry at any age without affecting your pension.
All benefits (if you are eligible) must begin no later than the April 1 following the year in which you reach your Mandatory Distribution Age regardless of where you are working or the amount you are earning. Mandatory Distribution Age is 70 ½ for participants that were 70 ½ prior to December 31, 2019 and 72 for all other participants.
Q: If I keep working after age 65, will I continue to earn credit?
A: Yes. If you continue working in covered employment after age 65 you will continue to accrue pension credit and your benefits will be adjusted annually to take into account any additional pension amounts that you have earned in the prior year.
Q: If I am age 65 and not working in the Industry, but I postpone applying for my benefits, how will the amount of my pension be affected?
A: If you apply for benefits after age 65, your pension will begin the month following receipt of your application and your monthly benefit will be equal to the benefit to which you were entitled at age 65. However, this amount will be actuarially increased to account for each month after age 65 that your pension is postponed.
Q: What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order?
A: A Qualified Domestic Relations Order is a judgment, decree or order (including approval of a property settlement agreement) that relates to the provision of child support, alimony payments, or marital property rights to a spouse, former spouse, child or other dependent of a participant, which is made pursuant to state domestic relations law (including community property law) and meets specific criteria under federal pension law.
For further information regarding the Fund's policies, procedures and sample language for Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, please write to the address shown below:
Bakery and Confectionery Union and Industry International Pension Fund