This is where header code goes

401(k) FAQs

List of eligible contract types that are currently participating.

You can participate in the 401(k) plan if you work under any contract that permits salary deferrals to the 401(k) Plan and/or requires employer contributions. The actual type of contributions that are or can be made to the plan depends on the contract you work under, as shown in the chart below;

(the amount of employer contributions can be found in the most current collective bargaining agreement (CBA)).
Effective Date
Equity/League Production Contract
June 25, 2001
Equity/Disney Theatrical Ventures, Inc. Production Contract
League of Resident Theatres (LORT)
February 22, 2010
WCLO Contract
May 31, 2010
Effective Date
Off Broadway Contract
October 1, 2002
COST Contract
June 1, 2003
Special Production Contract
June 28, 2004
White Christmas-Special Agreements
August 29, 2004
City Center Encores-Special Agreement
January 31, 2005
Menopause Special Agreements
February 28, 2005
Mid-Size Theatres
April 24, 2005
Chanhassen Dinner Theatres Chanhassen, MN
May 30, 2005
Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre Indianapolis, IN
New Theatre Restaurant Overland Park, KS
Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook, IL
Drury Lane Water Tower Chicago, IL
American Heartland Theatre Kansas City, MO
Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire, IL
Casino Contracts
(RMTA) Resident Musical Theatre Association
June 7, 2005
Chicago Area Theatres CAT Contract
June 27, 2005
Musical Stock and Unit Attractions MSUA Contract
October 31, 2005
Outdoor Drama Contract
December 26, 2005
TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) Contract
Business Theatre and Events Contract
March 1, 2006
Second City Agreement (Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas)
April 10, 2006
Children’s Theatre Company
June 26, 2006
Bay Area Theatre (BAT)
July 24, 2006
Ellis Island Foundations
March 19, 2007
Lawrence Welk Resort Dinner Theatre
May 21, 2007
Westchester Broadway Dinner Theatre
May 28, 2007
Alhambra Dinner Theatre (Jacksonville, FL)
May 28, 2007
City Center Summer Stars-Special Agreement
June 11, 2007
(ANTC) Association of Non-Profit Theatre Companies
August 6, 2007
Walt Disney World – Orlando, FL
October 15, 2007
New Candlelight Dinner Theatre
December 31, 2007
February 25, 2008
Dora the Explorer-Special Agreement
January 2, 2009
University/Resident Theatre (URTA) Agreement
March 1, 2010
Cabaret Agreement
October 17, 2011
(NEAT) New England Area Theatres Contract
September 6, 2014
(SPT) Small Professional Theatre Agreement
August 7, 2017

What are the minimum and maximum salary deferrals that I can make?

The minimum and maximum contributions can change annually.  The most up-to-date information on the limits can be found on page 29 of the Equity-League Benefit Funds Pension Plan and 401(k) Summary Plan Description.

Understanding “catch-up” contributions

If you are age 50 or older by the end a calendar year, you may contribute an additional amount above the weekly and annual deferral maximums for that year. For 2018, the maximum allowed catch-up contribution is $6,000, if you are eligible. This means that if you are at least age 50, you could defer up to $24,500 of your salary to contribute to your 401(k) in 2018. Like the maximum annual deferral described above, the catch-up contribution amount also changes annually. Visit for the most current information.

Can I rollover funds into my Equity-League Benefit Funds 401(k)?

You may rollover funds from any qualified retirement account:

  • Plans qualified under Section 401(a) or 403(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), excluding after-tax employee contributions
  • Annuity contracts described in ERISA section 403(b)
  • Eligible plans under ERISA section 457(b) maintained by a state, a political subdivision of a state1
  • Individual Retirement Accounts under ERISA 408(a) or (b)2.

Distributions you received as a surviving spouse of a participant in another qualified retirement plan may be eligible for a rollover. Distributions you received as an alternate payee under a qualified domestic relations order “QDRO” under another qualified retirement plan may also be eligible.

The Plan does not accept rollovers of any after-tax contributions made to another retirement plan. Additionally, the Trustees of the 401(k) Plan reserve the right to approve or deny rollovers in their sole and absolute discretion.

1  Or by any agency, or instrumentality of a state or political subdivision of a state

2 Roth IRAs are not eligible for rollover into your Equity-League Benefit Funds 401(k) Plan.

You may want to compare the how much your investments could earn under each plan before deciding to proceed with a rollover. Please understand that Equity-League Benefit Funds staff are neither qualified nor legally permitted to provide investment advice, so consider reviewing your options with a financial planner.

To initiate a rollover from another eligible retirement plan, visit our 401(k) Forms page to download a 401(k) Rollover Statement. Complete and submit this form as directed by the form’s instructions.

Click here to learn more

Deferred salary contributions may only be made from taxable income. If you are being paid expenses, you may only make deferrals from taxable overscale per diem.

How your 401(k) benefits are taxed

Your 401(K) benefits will be taxed as income when you receive distributions.  However, distributions made to you prior to age 59½ may be subject to a 10% federal excise tax – a tax penalty – in addition to ordinary income taxes.

Can I voluntarily contribute to the 401(k) Plan after taxes?

No. You must be employed under an eligible contract, and all salary deferrals must be taken out before taxes

Who maintains the monies in my 401(k) accounts?

John Hancock maintains all of the Equity-League Benefit Funds 401(k) Plan accounts, you can always view your account(s) by fund(s) and access financial planning resources at their website:

What are my investment options, and how do I change them?

You may view all currently available investment options within the John Hancock Retirement Service portal at You may also change your investment allocations at the John Hancock portal.  Alternatively you can call John Hancock at (800) 294-3575.

How can I register with the John Hancock portal?

  • When you log on to the website or call John Hancock for the first time, they will ask you to provide your Social Security number in order for them to create your unique Personal Identification Number (PIN)/Password. You’ll use your PIN/Password to access your account in the future.

    • To establish your PIN/Password online, go to and click “Register now. Get started with your Plan.” Be sure to create your User Profile and, if you’d like, provide an email address. • To establish your PIN/Password by phone, call John Hancock at 800.294.3575 and follow the prompts (you can always press “0” to reach a customer service representative).

    Call John Hancock if you prefer

    You can call John Hancock at 800.294.3575 and follow the prompts for any other questions that you may have (you can always press “0” to reach a customer service representative).

    You’re on the go, and so are we.

    Keep up with your Equity-League 401(k) plan account with the MyLifeNowSM mobile app for iOS or Android. With your account at your fingertips, you can feel more confident in the progress you’re making toward your long-term financial goals. Get MyLifeNow mobile—it’s free, and easy to download and use – by visiting your device’s app store. You will be able to use the same user name and PIN/password you set up for online access when you access your account on this app.

    Call a customer service rep if you have questions or want to conduct a transaction over the phone.

    A John Hancock representative will be available through their toll free number, (800)294-3575, to any answer your questions. You may also contact the Retirement Services Department within the Fund Office at (212) 869-9380 (New York City) or toll free outside of NYC (800) 344-5220.

How do I reset my PIN?

Call John Hancock at (800) 294-3575. After John Hancock verifies your identity, you will be issued a new PIN.

When am I vested?

You are 100% vested immediately after becoming a participant.

When can I withdraw my account balance?

You are eligible to withdraw or roll over your account balance in several different situations, as described on our Withdrawing money from your 401(k) page.

How do I take my 401(k) account balance when I retire?

You have many options for how you may take your 401(k) funds. To learn more, visit our Forms of benefit payment page.

What happens to my 401(k) account if I die before collecting any funds?

If you die, funds in your account will be paid as a survivor benefit to your designated beneficiary, per the rules of the Plan as described on page 38 of the Funds’ Summary Plan Description.

Can I take a loan from my 401(k) account?

Currently, the 401(k) Plan does not permit participant loans.

If I am incorporated (employed as a corporation), can I still participate in the 401(k) Plan?

Actors employed through corporations are eligible for employer contributions. However, they are not to make employee contributions via salary deferrals.

What are the Plan's expenses?

The Plan has to pay administrative expenses, such as salaries, rent, and postage. The Plan also has to pay a fee to its service provider, John Hancock. The Trustees make every effort to keep the costs of the Plan as low as possible to make employee contributions via salary deferrals.

Will I receive statements from John Hancock?

Yes, you will receive quarterly statements from John Hancock. All of your contributions, whether from your employer or from you as an employee via salary deferral, will be consolidated into a single account statement.

Summary Annual Report



This is a summary of the annual report for EQUITY LEAGUE 401K PLAN, EIN 13-4155733, Plan No. 001, for period January 01, 2016 through December 31, 2016. The annual report has been filed with the Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, as required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

Basic Financial Statement

Benefits under the plan are provided by insurance and a trust fund. Plan expenses were $8,022,741. These expenses included $885,873 in administrative expenses, and $7,136,868 in benefits paid to participants and beneficiaries. A total of 21,101 persons were participants in or beneficiaries of the plan at the end of the plan year, although not all of these persons had yet earned the right to receive benefits.

The value of plan assets, after subtracting liabilities of the plan, was $249,744,585 as of December 31, 2016, compared to $221,652,051 as of January 01, 2016. During the plan year, the plan experienced an increase in its net assets of $28,092,534. This increase includes unrealized appreciation and depreciation in the value of plan assets; that is, the difference between the value of the plan’s assets at the end of the year and the value of the assets at the beginning of the year or the cost of assets acquired during the year. The plan had total income of $36,115,275, including employer contributions of $6,801,836, employee contributions of $10,400,391, other contributions (including rollovers) of $846,607, earnings from investments of $17,608,798, and other income of $457,643.

Your Rights To Additional Information

You have the right to receive a copy of the full annual report, or any part thereof, on request. The items listed below are included in that report:

  • an accountant’s report;
  • financial information;

  • information on payments to service providers;

  • assets held for investment;

  • fiduciary information, including non-exempt transactions between the plan and parties-in-interest (that is, persons who have certain relationships with the plan);

  • To obtain a copy of the full annual report, or any part thereof, write or call the office of BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE EQUITY LEAGUE 401K PLAN at 165 WEST 46TH STREET 14TH FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10036-2501, or by telephone at (212) 869-9380. The charge to cover copying costs will be $0.00 for the full annual report, or $0.00 per page for any part thereof.

    You also have the right to receive from the plan administrator, on request and at no charge, a statement of the assets and liabilities of the plan and accompanying notes, or a statement of income and expenses of the plan and accompanying notes, or both. If you request a copy of the full annual report from the plan administrator, these two statements and accompanying notes will be included as part of that report. The charge to cover copying costs given above does not include a charge for the copying of these portions of the report because these portions are furnished without charge.

    You also have the legally protected right to examine the annual report at the main office of the plan (BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE EQUITY LEAGUE 401K PLAN, 165 WEST 46TH STREET 14TH FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY 10036-2501) and at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C., or to obtain a copy from the U.S. Department of Labor upon payment of copying costs. Requests to the Department should be addressed to: Public Disclosure Room, Room N1513, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210.