A word about Your Employee Benefits through the IATSE NBF
from Nils Cunningham
If you have accepted a Local 107 offer of work, the IATSE National Benefits Fund ( NBF ) has received benefit money on your behalf. This includes contributions for Health and Welfare (health insurance) and annuity ( retirement ). The annuity contributions are being added to more contracts every year.
Of course, Health and Welfare contributions are collected for every job. These benefits are a result of the skillfully negotiated collective bargaining agreement from years ago and, most importantly, are available equally to Local 107 members, members from other locals and nonmembers alike. There is no ‘member in good standing‘ test for these benefits.
Regarding the annuity, do not confuse the NBF Annuity plan with the Local 16 ( San Francisco ) pension plan. The Local 16/107 Pension plan also collects contributions in your name. These contributions are collected for every job you work. As of this writing, some of our employers are contributing up to 6 percent of gross wages to your annuity. This is what is referred to as a defined contribution plan. In addition, this plan has a matching provision, meaning that employees may make additional pre tax contributions in amounts up to what the employer is contributing.
In the case of ASM / Oakland Coliseum and Arena, you can match 6%. At the Paramount Theater, you can match 3%. I encourage all employees to take advantage of this method of saving for retirement as soon as possible. Not only are matching contributions not subject to tax withholding, (thus lowering your tax liability), the funds in your annuity account are allowed to grow tax deferred. This feature is valuable for everyone, but even more valuable for younger workers whose time horizon is greater. Do your "future self" a favor and set up matching contributions today. You’ll be glad you did.
If you have a balance of at least $1,000.00, don’t neglect to allocate your funds. Asset allocation is important, as a ‘set and forget’ approach rarely works out well.
Also, it is important to choose a fund option that suits your risk tolerance and time horizon. It is easy to do and more important now given the higher inflation rate we’re experiencing.
For employees aged 59 1/2 or older, annuity withdrawals are penalty free. Those wishing to defer income tax may choose to transfer, or rollover all, or a portion of account balances into a personal IRA account.
Above, I made mention of the Local 16 pension plan. This plan is not affiliated with the IATSE NBF and is managed by a third party administrator. This plan is different from the annuity as it is considered a defined benefit plan.
If you have accepted work from Local 107 (as a member or not), you should receive an annual pension statement that includes an estimated monthly benefit. This amount may seem low now, but keep in mind it will increase every month you work. Unlike the annuity, once you retire, you can expect to receive a monthly payment for the rest of your life. Combined with social security, these two plans and your personal savings have the potential to provide you with a comfortable retirement.
The other important benefit is Health and Welfare. Any employee who has worked under a Local 107 CBA, member or nonmember, plan participant or not, has had health and welfare benefits paid by the employer on their behalf. I highly recommend that anyone with a work history visit the IATSE NBF website and establish an account. This is where you can find everything you need to know regarding plans and pricing, as well as contributions received on your behalf.
Now, a word about my favorite NBF health plan - C4 (unfortunately, it is sometimes referred to as a ‘catastrophic’ plan). For those in reasonably good health, this plan has a lot to offer. First of all, it is truly affordable at just over one thousand dollars per quarter. Secondly, Plan C4 meets the IRS criteria as a high deductible health plan (HDHP). This is significant. Because of this designation, employees have a tax free method of saving for health insurance deductibles by making an annual tax deductible contribution to what is referred to as a health savings account. Funds in such an account have the triple tax advantage of :
1. Reducing your tax liability in the year that you make the contribution
2. Growing tax free
3. The ability to withdraw funds for medical related expenses without ever having to pay income tax on this money.
But wait, there’s more.
At the age of 65 and older, funds can be withdrawn for any expense without penalty, subject only to income tax. And participants with an account balance with the NBF plan have the option of submitting a claim for reimbursement of qualified medical expenses through the MRP program. For more information click on the link to the Health Savings Administrators site found under Technicians Resources.
Page Last Updated: Oct 12, 2022 (12:38:48)