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How can I qualify?

How you qualify for pension benefits

You must reach three milestones to qualify for Equity-League Benefit Funds Pension Plan benefits:

1. Become an active Pension Plan participant

2. Become vested

3. Become eligible to begin receiving pension benefits

How do I become a participant?

You become a Pension Plan participant on the first January 1 or July 1 that falls after you complete at least two weeks of covered employment. The two or more weeks of employment must be within the same 12-consecutive month period that began with your first week.

Becoming vested by passing a vesting test.

When you become vested, you earn a permanent, non-forfeitable right to a pension. This is true even if you leave the industry before you retire.

If you pass any one of the four vesting tests* described below, you are vested:

5-year test – You pass this test if you earn five years of vesting service AND one of the following applies:

  • You have at least one hour of covered employment after June 1, 1999, OR
  • You were born before 1937 and had five years of vesting service before Jan. 1, 1992.

10-year test – You pass this test if you earn 10 years of vesting service OR one of the following applies:

  • You earn seven years of vesting service, if you worked at least 20 weeks in three of those years, OR
  • You earn eight years of vesting service, if you worked at least 20 weeks in two of those years, OR
  • You earn nine years of vesting service, if you worked at least 20 weeks in one of those years.

25-year test (service pension) – You pass this test if you earn 15 years of vesting service AND work in legitimate theater for at least 10 years .

Age and participation test – You pass this test if you reach age 65 while you are a participant AND you have reached the fifth anniversary of your becoming a participant (10th anniversary prior to 1989).

*Subject to any applicable break in service rules.

Becoming eligible to begin your pension

After you are vested, you become eligible to begin receiving your monthly pension benefit if any of the following applies:

• You reach age 60 (though your benefit will be reduced if you begin your pension before age 65 )

• You become totally and permanently disabled , or

• You become terminally ill .

A survivor benefit is available to your surviving spouse or beneficiary if you die before taking your pension. A survivor benefit is also available after you begin your pension if one of the following applies:

• You selected a Joint and Survivor option, or • You selected the regular single life annuity, but you have not yet received 60 monthly pension payments.

Visit our pension benefits and survivor benefits pages to learn more.

Questions?
For complete details about how you qualify for Equity-League Benefit Funds pension benefits, refer to the Equity-League Benefit Funds Pension Plan and 401(k) Plan Summary Plan Description. If you have additional questions or need assistance, contact the Equity-League Benefit Funds Retirement Services Department at (212) 869-9380 (New York City) or (800) 344-5220.