International Pension Fund
Direct Deposit Now Required for Federal Benefit Payments
ith the federal government now requiring direct deposit of nearly all federal benefits including Social Security and Veterans’ Administration (VA) payments, International Pension Fund (IPF) retirees are ahead of the curve when it comes to direct deposit of their pension checks. Of the current 24,816 IPF pensioners, 22,717 or 91.5% receive their IPF benefits electronically. Says IPF Executive Director David Stupar, “Most
IPF pensioners have embraced the benefits of direct deposit. Electronic payments offer a safer, more convenient and cost-effective way to transmit benefits. Pensioners don’t have to go to a bank or other financial institution to cash or deposit their IPF benefit checks.” Stupar adds, “And while the Fund strongly urges all pensioners and beneficiaries to utilize direct deposit of benefits, we continue to make paper checks available at this time.”
Like it or not, retirees who began to receive Social Security and/ or other federal benefits on or after March 1, 2013 are required to receive payments electronically. Those receiving federal benefits prior to March 1, 2013 have either already been instructed by Social Security – or soon will be – to sign up for direct deposit. Only those individuals born before May 1, 1921 or those eligible for geographic or mental impairment waivers will be able to continue to receive paper checks. Under the government’s “Go Direct” program, Social Security, VA or other federal benefit recipients can choose between having a direct deposit made to a bank or credit union account or having the benefit transferred to a Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card. To learn more about the Go Direct program, including waivers, visit www.godirect.org, ask your bank or credit union representative, or call the U.S. Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Center at 800-333-1795, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.
IPF Canada Grow-in Benefits/Opt-out Notice
he following notice is being provided to IPF Canada participants in the Province of Ontario as required under the Ontario Pension Benefits Act. If you have any questions please contact David F. Stupar at the Fund Office: Grow-in benefits are enhanced pension benefits that may be payable under Ontario’s Pension Benefits Act (the “PBA”) to qualifying pension plan members in certain circumstances. Before July 2012, Ontario’s PBA required that grow-in benefits be paid to Ontario members of a pension plan
who were affected by a wind-up of that plan, in whole or in part, and whose age plus years of service on the wind-up date equaled at least 55. As such, grow-in benefits were not available to a member of an ongoing multi-employer pension plan such as IPF Canada. Ontario and Nova Scotia are the only provinces that provide for the payment of grow-in benefits, but Nova Scotia does not provide for grow-in benefits in the case of a multi-employer pension plan. Effective July 1, 2012, Ontario’s PBA was amended to expand the circumstances in which grow-in benefits may
| b ric kl aye rs and a lli ed cra f t work e r s
be payable and to permit the administrator of a multi-employer pension plan, such as the IPF, to elect to exclude the plan from the grow-in benefit provisions of Ontario’s PBA. As permitted under Ontario’s PBA, the Board of Trustees of the IPF, in consultation with Fund counsel and actuary, elected to exclude the Plan from the grow-in benefit provisions of Ontario’s PBA. This election is effective February 1, 2013. Notice of this election has been filed with the Ontario Superintendent of Financial Services and the Alberta Superintendent of Pensions.
bricklayers union and allied craftworkers