FAQ

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FAQ Categories

401k

General

Health and Welfare

Members

Pension

Personal Cash Account

Questions & Answers

401k

Where do I send my Salary Deferral Agreement?

This form must be sent to your employer only

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Where do I send my Request for Distribution or Beneficiary Designation?

Forms may be sent to the following:
Empower Retirement
PO Box 56025
Boston, MA 02205-6025
or your can upload your document to your Empower account.

 

Please contact Empower Retirement directly at (833) 378-5971 for confirmation of receipt. 

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How do I find out my 401(k) balance?

For balance information, please contact log on to your Empower account or contact Empower Retirement at (833) 378-5971.

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How do I make a withdrawal from my 401(k)?

Please refer to the requirements this page. 

If you feel that you meet any of these requirements, please contact Empower Retirement at (833) 378-5971 for further instructions.

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How do I designate or change a beneificary?

Complete a beneficiary designation form and return it to the Fund Office. In the event of your passing, Empower will refer to the most current form on file. This form can be found here.

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How do I change my address with Empower Retirement?

Please call the Fund Office to change your address. Fund Office staff will inform Empower Retirement of the change.

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General

Online Class Registration

Members registering for classes will need to visit the Training Fund link to register for all classes.

If you have not signed up for a class with the Training Center previously on your union fusion dashboard, you will need to contact a staff member directly to help you get registered for the first time.

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Becoming a Signatory Contractor

To become a Signatory Contractor with Local Union 597, a letter must be sent to our Business Manager on company letterhead. Once the letter has been received and reviewed, a Business Representative will reach out and complete the final paperwork.

In your introduction letter please provide as much information about your company as possible. Any further questions please contact our Business Office directly.  

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How do I access the recently retired & recently deceased member lists?

This information is updated on a monthly basis and is located in Recent News.

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Health and Welfare

If I have a new dependent which documents do i need to supply

You would need to supply the Enrollment Form, Coordination of Benefits Form, and Beneficiary Designation Form. Return the forms with the Birth Certificate of all new dependents along with a Marriage Certificate if adding a spouse.

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Where can i find a Blue Cross Blue Shield (BC/BS) provider in my area?

The BC/BS provider funder phone number is 1-800-810-BLUE (1-800-810-2583) or BC/BS (Provider Finder) found on the Welfare Fund Provider Useful Links page

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Why do I have to complete an accident form if I didn't have an accident?

If the diagnosis on the claim appears that it could be accident related or the charges are over a certain dollar amount we will request an accident illness form to verify that there is not a third party involvement such as workers comp, auto accident insurance or home owners insurance.  You must fill out and return the form if requested in order for your claim to process.

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If I die how long will my spouse's coverage continue?

Your spouse would be covered for the longer of a minimum of three months or the length that your hours accumulation account would allow insurance.

If your spouse is under the age of 60 at the time of your death, she/he and any other dependents would be eligible for 36 months of COBRA. 

If your spouse is over the age of 60 at the time of your death, he/she would be eligible for surviving spouse benefits.

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If I am working and become eligible for Medicare do I have to sign up for Part B?

If you are still working and become eligible for Medicare, you do not have to sign up for Part B Coverage. 

Upon retiring, If you and or your spouse for any reason are eligible for Medicare, it is mandatory that you must immediately sign up for both Parts A & B of Medicare by your retirement date. You must pay the applicable premium for that Medicare coverage. This also applies to working spouses 65 years or over and spouses who are eligible for Social Security Benefits or Social Security Disability Benefits.  This rule also applies to any disabled dependent child who qualifies as a legal dependent under the Plan for coverage.

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Do I have to sign up for Medicare Part D prescription plan when i retire and become eligible for Medicare benefits?

If you or your dependent are eligible for retiree medical benefits and you wish to retain coverage under the Humana Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) Plan, DO NOT ENROLL IN MEDICARE PART D.  You will be automatically enrolled in the MAPD Plan.

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What is the Fund Office Dashboard?

You can create a Fund Office Dashboard account on the Pipe Fitters Local 597 website.  On the Fund Office dashboard, you can see your medical claim payments, your deductible and out of pocket accumulations, work history, and other personal information.  All eligible dependents over the age of 19 must create their own account.

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What is the information for Delta Dental?

Mailing Address:
PO Box 5402
Lisle, IL 60532
 
Phone#: (800) 323-1743 
 
Group # 20440

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Members

What are the Quarterly Dues Breakout?

1st Qtr. (January-March)

2nd Qtr. (April-June)

3rd Qtr. (July-September)

4th Qtr. (October-December)

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Union Fusion Dashboard Issues

Any individual having issues logging into union fusion can contact our Business Office at 312-829-4191 for help.

Only initiated members of Local 597 have access to the dashboard

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Out-of-Work-List

Dues Hold
Members who are on the OWL and have not paid their quarterly dues will be dropped on the 15th day of the month following the beginning of a quarter.

11 Day Rule
All members must re-register within 11 days of hire to remain Active on the Out-Of-Work-List. No member will automatically be re-registered. Please contact the business office or use the union fusion dashboard to re-register within the required time frame. 

Dropped from Out-Of-Work-List
The most common reason an individual is dropped from the list is that their dues are not current, or have not re-registered properly after a termination.

The most common reason a member's number on the list may change is that other members that have been working less than 11 days, cease working and re-register; or a member that is on hold removes the hold status from their profile. 

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Pension

How do I begin receiving my pension benefits?

Contact the Pension Department 45 days before your desired effective date to verify your retirement eligibility.

Fund Office staff will either mail or email your application directly to you or schedule an appointment for you complete your application at the Fund Office, the Mokena Training Center, the Palatine Training Center or the Crown Point Training Center. 

An appointment is required to complete your application in office.

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How to I find out my current Pension Credits and/or Pension Years?

Pension credit statements are mailed to all vested and active members annually. 

You can also contact the Pension Department during normal business hours to obtain this information or request an updated statement.

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Can I request to have taxes taken out of my pension?

You may elect to have Federal taxes deducted from your pension by completing a W-4P tax form.

We are unable to deduct any state taxes.

Fund Office staff cannot advise you on any tax withholding matters. If you are having difficulty completing your W-4P tax form, please contact a tax professional.

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Will I be required to pay quarterly dues after I retire?

No, once you retire you will no longer be required to pay dues.

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What happens when a pensioner passes away?

Upon notification of a member's passing, their benefits will cease the first of the month following their date of death. 

The Fund Office will mail paperwork to the member's surviving spouse or beneficiary within 10 business days, if any benefits are due.

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How do I obtain my 1099R?

1099R tax forms are mailed yearly at the end of January. If you need to obtain a copy of a 1099R from a previous year, please contact the Pension Department.

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Can I work after retirement?

Before Age 65 – “Disqualifying Employment” means any employment or self–employment as a pipe fitter.    

After Age 65 – “Disqualifying Employment” means employment or self-employment of more than 40 hours in a month as a Pipe Fitter, in the Pipe Fitting Industry, and in the geographical jurisdiction of Local 597 (including work for any Fund signatory to a reciprocal agreement with this Fund).

April 1st Following the Calendar Year You Turn Age 72 - You can work as many hours as you want to and receive your pension benefit.

If you wish to return to work and suspend your pension payments, you must submit a letter to the Fund Office stating the date you will be returning work.

In order to resume your pension payments, your employer must submit a letter to the Fund Office stating your last date work.

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What happens to my pension if I get divorced?

If your former spouse is awarded a portion of your pension in your divorce, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) will need to be completed and filed in the court. 

Please contact the Pension Department for a copy of a sample QDRO and the Plan procedures.

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Personal Cash Account

When was the Personal Cash Account started?

The personal cash account was started on June 1, 2024. This is not a voluntary deduction. All deductions are mandatory per the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

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How much will be deposited to my account on a monthly basis?

The rate for 2024 is $1 per hour after tax. Funds will be sent within 10 Business Days after the 15th of every month. Funds will be remitted to UMB Bank which is affiliated with Empower. There are no fees or penalties for withdrawals.

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How do I access my account?

All members must register their account for the first time to link their Empower account to the new Savings account. This will not be done automatically just because you have a current Empower account.

Further instructions can be found here.

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