life events


The passing of a loved one is perhaps the most painful event in life. It is important to have a personal support group to console and counsel you during this time of loss. Surround yourself with family, friends, coworkers, neighbors and members of your religious community. You might seek the guidance of a professional counselor. Coming to terms with your loss will take some time. You can appreciate the blessings that their presence brought to your life, even if the time they could stay with you seems to have ended too soon.

Make full use of your personal support network. It will be easier to gather the strength to complete the necessary details that must be faced by the survivors. There is much to do. It is advisable that the tasks be divided up, if possible, between loved ones. In this manner, the necessary steps can be completed without any one person bearing the entire burden.


  1. Notify Northwest Carpenters Trusts. Whether it is death of a participant, spouse or dependent, we can help you understand benefits, obtain the necessary forms, and submit the required documentation.
  2. Review life insurance benefits. There is a life insurance benefit payable upon the death of an eligible participant, spouse or dependent. However, life insurance benefits do not apply to COBRA coverage. (Learn more)
  3. Review accidental death and dismemberment benefits. If an eligible participant dies as a result of an accident (on or off the job), the beneficiary receives $30,000. This benefit is in addition to the life insurance benefit. An additional benefit of $10,000 is payable if the participant’s death resulted from an automobile accident and a seat belt was worn. (More information)
  4. Review Northwest Carpenters Retirement Plan benefits. If the participant is retired at the time of death, benefits to the surviving spouse or designated beneficiary will depend upon which of the Retirement Payment Options was selected at retirement. Was a joint and survivor option selected? When a spouse or beneficiary dies before the participant, the participant’s monthly income is increased to the amount that would have been payable with a single life benefit on your retirement effective date. See Pop-Up Benefit. If the participant is not retired at time of death, benefits to the surviving spouse or beneficiary will be according to the rules governing death benefits before retirement.
  5. Review Carpenters Individual Account Pension benefits. If you are vested in the Individual Account Pension Plan and die before you retire, a benefit may be available to your spouse or other designated beneficiary. The benefit amount depends on your account balance at the time of your death. (Learn more)
  6. Review eligibility for medical benefits. Upon the death of an active participant, surviving dependents are covered under the Northwest Carpenters Health and Security Plan until the participant’s dollar bank eligibility is exhausted, provided they continue to meet the eligibility requirements. When dollar bank eligibility is exhausted, COBRA Coverage may be available to your dependents. In certain circumstances, your dependents may qualify for Retiree Coverage. See Loss of Eligibility and Surviving Dependents.
  7. Review beneficiaries. There are beneficiary designations on a participant’s life insurance, retirement accounts, and Qualstar vacation account. If your beneficiary dies, you will need to specify a different beneficiary using the Life Insurance Beneficiary Form.