Northwest Carpenters Individual Account Pension Plan

Carpenters Individual Account Pension Plan at a Glance 

This section is an overview of the benefits provided by the Northwest Carpenters Individual Account Pension Plan. These benefits are further described in the summary plan description and the plan document. If any discrepancy exists between these three sections, the terms of the plan document govern. If you have any questions about this plan, please contact Retirement Services at Carpenters Trusts. The address and telephone number are on the back cover of this booklet.


You participate in the Carpenters Individual Account Pension Plan when you work for an employer signatory to a collective bargaining or a written contribution agreement recognized by the Board of Trustees. Signatory employers are required to make an hourly contribution to this plan for each hour of service. The hourly contribution amount can change from year to year as determined by collective bargaining and the Board of Trustees (please see Introduction and Hourly Contributions and Subaccounts). Most collective bargaining agreements also allow 401(k) elective contributions to this plan (please see Elective Contribution Subaccount).


You earn a permanent right to a retirement benefit as soon as you become vested (please see Vesting). 401(k) elective contributions, 401(a) supplemental contributions and rollovers into the plan are fully vested beginning with your initial contribution (please see Elective Contribution Subaccount, Supplemental Subaccount and Rollover Subaccount). There is a three-year vesting requirement for all retirement benefits provided by this plan through your employer's contributions. You earn one year of credited service in this plan for each calendar year in which you work 1,000 or more covered hours (please see Credited Service).


This plan is a "defined contribution plan" which means your benefit is determined by the amount in your account when you retire. The amount in your account is the result of (1) employer contributions made to the Employer Contribution Subaccount on your behalf, (2) employer contributions made to the Regular Subaccount prior to January 1, 2014 on your behalf, (3) 401(k) contributions made to the Elective Contribution Subaccount, (4) employer contributions made to the Supplemental Subaccount prior to January 1, 2014 on your behalf, (5) qualified rollover(s) made to the Rollover Subaccount, and (6) the investment performance of the plan (please see Hourly Contributions and Subaccounts and Investment Strategy). This plan does not allow hardship loans or withdrawals prior to retirement.


The normal retirement age for this plan is 65, but you can retire as early as age 55 (please see Normal Retirement and Early Retirement). This plan also has special provisions for disability retirement (please see Disability Retirement). Benefits are not payable until you retire and apply for benefits (please see Application and Election Process).

Payment Options

This plan provides a variety of income options, including a lump sum payment and monthly payments over a specified period of time (please see Retirement Payment Options).

Disability Retirement

If you become permanently disabled before retirement, you may be eligible for a benefit under disability retirement. To qualify for disability retirement, you must be vested, satisfy the activity test and be permanently disabled, as defined by this plan (please see Disability Retirement).

Death Benefits Before Retirement

If you die before retirement, your surviving spouse or other designated beneficiary may be eligible for a preretirement death benefit based on your vested account balance (please see Death Benefits Before Retirement).

Service-related Issues

If you are new to this plan and not vested...

  • The Carpenters Individual Account Pension Plan is one of two pension plans provided as part of your fringe benefit package. The other plan is the Carpenters Retirement Plan.
  • This plan is a "defined contribution plan" which means your benefit is based on the amount in your account when you retire (age 55 and older).
  • Employer contributions to the regular subaccount (before January 1, 2014) and to the employer contribution subaccount (beginning January 1, 2014) in this plan have a three-year vesting requirement which means you must have three full credits in this plan or in combination with one or more reciprocal plans in order to receive those amounts. You are always fully vested in your supplemental subaccount and elective contribution subaccount.
  • If you cannot work 500 or more hours in a given year, it is important for you to understand the break in service rules. You can permanently forfeit contributions and investment earnings if you are not fully vested in all your subaccounts in the plan.
  • Once you are fully vested, none of your retirement benefit can be forfeited.
  • You can increase your savings in this plan with 401(k) elective contributions, which are always fully vested.
  • Retirement benefits are not available until you are age 55 or older, except for qualified permanent disabilities and preretirement death benefits.

If you are vested in this plan...

  • The more you work for a contributing employer, the greater your individual account balance at retirement. The more 401(k) elective contributions and 401(a) supplemental contributions made, the greater your individual account balance at retirement.
  • Your account balance is also based on the investment performance of the plan during your career.
  • The income provided by the two retirement plans, social security and your personal savings should form the foundation of your retirement income.
  • You are strongly encouraged to maximize 401(k) elective contributions and personal savings to compensate for the uncertainties in retirement associated with, for example, inflation and the cost of retiree medical care.

If you are vested and age 55 or older...

  • Your vested benefits are payable under this plan if you are age 55 or older, and you retire.
  • Your total account balance as of the later of your retirement effective date or the distribution date(s) is the amount available to you. There are a number of income options to choose from depending on your specific needs.

Last Updated: 01/03/2022