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Pension Plan – Participation & Service

Participating In the Plan

In order to be eligible to participate in the Plan, you must work for an individual Employer in a position that requires Employer Contributions to be made to the Automotive Industries Pension Trust Fund on your behalf under terms of a Pension Agreement (usually a collective bargaining agreement).  You first become a Plan Participant as of the first day of the month in which an Employer Contribution is required to be made on your behalf to the Pension Trust Fund.

You cease being a Plan Participant at the end of any Plan Year (January 1 – December 31) in which you incur a One-Year Break in Service, unless you are Vested or receiving a pension from the Plan.  You again become a Participant by returning to work for an Individual Employer and having an Employer Contribution made on your behalf to the Pension Trust Fund.

How Working Time Counts

Your time worked in Covered Service is measured by the amount of your earned Credited Service. Credited Service is used to determine whether you are Vested, are eligible for certain benefits, such as Normal, Unreduced, Rule of 85, Early or Disability Retirement Benefits, as well as being used to calculate certain portions of your Accrued Benefit.

Credited Past Service

Credited Past Service is based on work performed in classifications and the geographic area later covered by Pension Agreements providing for contributions to the Fund.  However, it is performed during a time prior to when contributions were first required to be made on your behalf.  You earn a quarter of a Year of Credited Past Service for each calendar quarter in which any such employment was performed with four quarters equaling a Year of Credited Past Service.

For complete information regarding Credited Past Service, refer to the Pension Summary Plan Description.

Credited Future Service

The basis for earning Credited Future Service depends on whether it is based on work performed before or after January 1, 1976.

Work Performed Prior to January 1, 1976

You earn Credited Future Service based on the total number of monthly payments made to the Fund by all of your Individual Employers between September 1, 1955 and January 1, 1976 (excluding payments in excess of one in a calendar month or twelve monthly payments in a calendar year) divided by 12. The Plan will recognize fractional years, but will not grant less than 1/12 of a year.

Work Performed On or After January 1, 1976

You earn a Month of Covered Service for any calendar month in which you complete at least one hour of Covered Service. You earned a Year of Credited Future Service if you have at least 5 Months of Covered Service, but receive no fractional Year of Credited Future Service for less than 5 Months of Covered Service.

Other Types of Credited Service


Related Non-Covered Service

Related Non-Covered Service is employment for an Individual Employer that is not considered Covered Service (i.e., it is work as a non-bargained employee) that immediately follows or precedes Covered Service (there is no quit, discharge or retirement) with that same Employer.  While Related Non-Covered Service does not add to the amount of your pension benefit, it is counted when determining whether you are Vested.

Related Credited Service

Related Credited Service is Credited Service granted for work performed under the jurisdiction of a Related Plan.  It is intended for Participants who might not otherwise qualify for a pension or whose pension might not be the full amount because of employment divided between a number of Related Plans.  The Automotive Industries Pension Trust Fund will look at your combined Related Credited Service from all Related Plans to determine your eligibility for its pension benefits. However, the amount of your Automotive Industries Pension Plan benefit is based solely on your service with the Automotive Industries Pension Plan.

The Automotive Industries Pension Trust Fund recognizes the following pension plans as Related Plans:

You are eligible for the use of Related Pension Credit if:

  1. You would be eligible for a Normal, Unreduced Early Retirement or Disability Benefit under this Plan if your Combined Service Credit from all Related Plans were treated as Credited Service under the Automotive Industries Pension Plan; and
  2. You have at least two Years of Credited Future Service under the Automotive Industries Pension Plan.

Related Credited Service under a particular Related Plan is only recognized if you retire under the Automotive Industries Pension Plan and the Related Plan after the Board of Trustees have adopted a resolution recognizing the other plan as a Related Plan.

Related Credited Service is also taken into account in determining whether you have incurred a Permanent Break in Service.

Helpful Suggestion

The Fund Office is not automatically provided with information concerning your work under a Related Plan. Therefore, you should keep records connected to your work under a Related Plan and should contact the Fund Office if you believe that you are eligible for Related Credited Service

Unrelated Credited Service 

The Board of Trustees may by resolution apply Related Credited Service rules to your work of the type covered collective bargaining agreements requiring contributions to the Automotive Industries Pension Trust Fund, but performed under a collective bargaining agreement connected to another labor-management jointly negotiated pension plan provided that your work was performed in the geographic area of the following thirteen Western States:

Thirteen Western States

Alaska Hawaii New Mexico Wyoming
Arizona Idaho Oregon
California Montana Utah
Colorado Nevada Washington