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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I obtain information regarding the New York City District Council of Carpenters Welfare Fund’s compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010?
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To view the 2015 Minimum Value & Affordability memo, please click here: Minimum Value and Affordability Memorandum to Participating Employers 2015
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Where do I obtain a copy of the Participant Vouchers?
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It is a requirement of the Collective Bargaining Agreement that employers send Participant Vouchers to all participants once a remittance report is funded. If you report via URBAN you can print the vouchers by choosing the option to view and/or print Participant Vouchers for each participant from a funded remittance report. Once the money has been cleared with the bank, the vouchers will be available for print.
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Who is responsible for the Working Dues/PAC for the members?
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The employer is responsible for deducting the authorized Dues/PAC via their payroll system and ensuring that the payroll deduction agrees with the URBAN remittance or manual check. For more information on Working Dues and calculations, please contact the Assessments Department of the District Council at (212) 366-7375.
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Where can I obtain information regarding complying with the disclosure requirements of the Financial Accounting Standards Board?
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To view the 2017 FASB notice for the NYCDCC Pension, please click here: FASB Notice- 2017
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Are my Vacation Benefits subject to garnishment?
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Yes. The Fund is required to honor any court order, garnishment or other final judgment of a court of law or the Internal Revenue Service, but only up to the amount that has accrued and has not been paid out at the time the garnishment is received.
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What happens to my Vacation Benefits if I die without a Beneficiary?
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Since you are 100% vested (unless fraud is committed), any money in your Vacation Account will be paid to your beneficiary.  If you do not have a Beneficiary, payments will be made in the following order:
  • your surviving spouse, or, if none,
  • your children in equal shares, or, if none,
  • your parents in equal shares, or, if none,
  • your brothers and sisters in equal shares, or, if none,
  • your estate.
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Do I have to pay income taxes on my Vacation Benefits?
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Yes. Your Vacation Benefits are taxable as ordinary income. Vacation Benefits are subject to income tax withholding, which are processed by your employer and are included on the W-2 Form that is sent to you each year in January from your employers.
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Can I lose the right to my Vacation Benefits?
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Yes. You are always 100% vested in the contributions that are made to your Vacation Account, unless fraud is committed. If you die before all of your Vacation Benefits have been paid, any remaining money in your Vacation Account will be paid to your Beneficiary. However, your Vacation Benefits may be suspended or forfeited if you commit fraud.
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When are Vacation Benefits paid?
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Vacation Benefits are paid out four times per year, generally in March, June, September, and December.
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How much money do I receive in Vacation Benefits?
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You will receive all contributions made to your Vacation Account by your employer. Your Vacation Account does not pay interest.
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Do I have to make contributions to the Welfare Fund for Vacation Benefits?
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No. Your employer makes all contributions for Vacation Benefits. Such contributions are deposited to a Vacation Account set up in your name.
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Who is eligible to receive Vacation Benefits?
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You are eligible if you are working in Covered Employment for an employer who makes contributions to the Welfare Fund for Vacation Benefits on your behalf.
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How many Scholarships are awarded per year and what is the annual amount?
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Currently, the Welfare Fund awards twenty-five (25) Charles Johnson Jr. Memorial Scholarships per year, although this number is subject to change at the discretion of the Board of Trustees. The amount awarded is $3,500 per year and is renewable for up to four years.
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What requirements do I have to satisfy in order for my child to be eligible for the Charles Johnson Jr. Memorial Scholarship?
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There are minimum hours and other requirements which are set forth in the Summary Plan Description and which you can also find online when applying for the Scholarship.
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What are the criteria used in the selection of the Scholarship recipients?
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Numerous factors are considered including SAT scores, rank-in-class, leadership qualities, high school academic records, extracurricular activities, test scores, writing samples and letters of recommendation.
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How do I obtain a Scholarship Application?
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You can apply online by going to www.nyccbf.org and following the links for the Charles Johnson Jr. Memorial Scholarship.
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My child is currently in high school. When is the application due for the Charles Johnson Jr. Memorial Scholarship?
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Your child should apply at the beginning of his/her senior year of high school and no later than December 15th of his/her senior year.
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I moved. How can I change my address?
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According to the guidelines of the New York City District Council of Carpenters Benefit Funds, all address changes must be done in person at the Fund Office with a valid photo ID, or by returning an original notarized change of address form by mail. Faxed Change of Address forms will not be accepted. You can find the Change of Address form here: Change of Address Form
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What happens to my Life Insurance money if I die without a Beneficiary?
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If you are eligible for Welfare Benefits at the time of your death and do not have a Beneficiary on file, payments will be made in the following order:

• your surviving spouse or, if none

• your children in equal shares, or, if none,

• your parents in equal shares or, if none,

• your brothers and sisters in equal shares, or, if none,

• your estate.

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What are the guidelines to retire with medical benefits?
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To be eligible for Welfare coverage as a Retiree, you must satisfy one of the three requirements below:

• You have reached the age of 55 and earned a minimum of 30 Vesting Credits with the New York City District Council of Carpenters Pension Fund (“Pension Fund”).

• You have reached the age of 55, earned at least 20 Vesting Credits under the Pension Fund and, during the 60-month period immediately preceding the effective date of your pension, you are eligible as an Active Employee for at least 24 months; or

• You have reached the age of 55, have 25 years with at least 250 hours worked in Covered Employment, have earned at least 15 Vesting Credits under the Pension Fund and during the 60-month period immediately preceding the effective date of your pension, you are eligible as an Active Employee for at least 24 months.

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How can I add my spouse and/or children to my coverage?
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You can add your dependents by filling out a Health Plan Enrollment Form and submitting the required documents.  
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What should I do about unpaid medical bills?
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If you are a non-Medicare eligible member, contact Empire BlueCross BlueShield. You can log onto www.empireblue.com and register to view your claims that have been processed. If a claim was denied by Empire BlueCross BlueShield, contact Empire for appeal instructions. If you are Medicare eligible, contact UnitedHealthcare at 1 (888) 736-7441 or www.UHCRetiree.com.
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How do I obtain my Empire BlueCross BlueShield card?
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If you are a non-Medicare eligible member, you can request a card by calling Empire directly (800) 553-9603 or via internet at www.empireblue.com. If you are Medicare-eligible, you can contact UnitedHealthcare at 1 (888) 736-7441 or www.UHCRetiree.com.
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Do I have to pay taxes on my pension?
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Yes. While you pay no taxes on the contributions that Contributing Employers make to the Plan while you are working, the monthly pension payments you receive from the Plan are taxable. You will receive more information on tax withholding when you become entitled to a Plan distribution.
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How soon after I stop working will I receive my first pension payment?
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If you are eligible for benefits, it takes two to three months to process an application, depending on when it is filed.
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Can I receive my pension in a lump sum?
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Generally, no. However, if the lump sum “actuarial” value of your benefit is $1,000 or less, your pension will automatically be paid in one lump sum.
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When are pension payments made?
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Your monthly pension payments will be sent/deposited at the beginning (first business day) of each month.
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How do I notify you of a change of address?
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Call the Fund Office at 800-529-FUND (800-529-3863) and access option 6 on the IVR. All address changes must be done in person at the Fund Office with a valid photo ID, or by returning an original notarized Change of Address form by mail. Faxed Change of Address forms will not be accepted.
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I retired a few years ago. My pension was being paid under the 50% Participant and Spouse form until my wife died a couple of months ago. Can I have my widowed sister replace her as my beneficiary?
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No. You cannot do that under this Plan. If your spouse dies before you, your benefit will pop up to the unreduced amount that would have been payable if you were not married when you retired, but you may not name a new beneficiary.
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Once my pension begins, can I change the optional form or type of pension?
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No. You cannot change the optional form of pension–such as changing from a 50% Participant and Spouse option to a 75% Participant and Spouse option, or a Single Life Pension, or removing the Social Security Level Income option.  Nor can you change the type of pension that you are receiving unless you cease to be eligible for that pension and subsequently qualify for a different type of pension.
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Can anyone other than my spouse receive a benefit from the Plan if I die before retirement?
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Only your surviving spouse can collect the “Pre-Retirement Surviving Spouse Pension” if you die before retirement. However, if you are not married, are active, and had at least four Vesting Credits, a lump sum benefit ranging from $3,000 to $10,000 (depending on the amount of your Vesting Credit) will be paid to your beneficiary. There is more information about this benefit in the section of the Summary Plan Description entitled “In the Event of Your Death Before Retirement.”
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I have been receiving pension payments for a few years and got divorced a couple of months ago. Next month I am going to get married again. I am receiving my payments under the 50% Participant and Spouse Pension and want to change my beneficiary so that my new spouse, not my ex-spouse, will get the benefit due when I die. Is this permissible?
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No. Your former spouse’s right to a survivor benefit vested at the time of your retirement, and your subsequent divorce does not affect his or her right to a survivor benefit. Therefore, your former spouse will be entitled to the survivor benefit when you die. Your new spouse will not be entitled to a survivor benefit.
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A friend told me the value of his 401(k) plan account dropped because of the stock market. Could this happen to my Pension Plan benefit?
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No. A 401(k) plan is a “defined contribution” individual account plan under which your benefit at retirement depends on the value of assets in your account when you collect your benefit. Our Plan is a “defined benefit” pension plan under which the benefit is calculated under a stated formula. The benefit calculated under this formula is not directly affected if Plan investments decline in value.
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How do I get an estimate of the current value of my pension?
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Log into the Member section of our website at www.nyccbf.org and select "View Pension Estimate" from the menu.
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What is a Pro-Rata Pension?
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Pro-Rata pensions were developed for members who, because their years of employment are divided among different pension plans, would not otherwise have enough Vesting Credits to receive a pension.
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How do I find out if the Outside Jurisdiction is signed to the International Reciprocal Agreement?
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Please call your Benefit Funds Office to inquire.
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What do I need to do to have contributions made on my behalf to an Outside Fund transferred to my Home Fund?
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Notify the NYCDCC Benefit Funds Office and request a Reciprocal Authorization form for applicable Outside Funds.
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What Benefits are reciprocated?
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Welfare, Pension and Annuity Benefits are reciprocated if the Outside Jurisdiction has a signed International Reciprocal Agreement for each Fund.
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What does it mean for benefits to be reciprocated?
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Over the course of your career, you may work in the jurisdictions of different District Councils and have contributions made on your behalf to other Carpenters Funds. If those other Carpenters Funds have signed the International’s Reciprocal Agreement, you may be able to have those contributions transferred to the NYCDCC Welfare, Pension and Annuity Funds, as explained above.
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How can I update my contact information?
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Contact Member Services at (212) 366-7485.
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Do I receive benefit credit for unpaid hours?
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Once a benefit shortage is filed and determined to be valid, you will be credited with hours for Welfare and Pension. Credit for Annuity and Vacation is not given for unpaid benefit hours.
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My Company hasn’t paid wages on my behalf. How do I get paid?
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Wages don’t fall under the purview of the Benefit Funds. Please contact the District Council to file a grievance.
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I don’t have a copy of my pay stub. Can I use a shop steward report?
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No. You must submit a copy of your pay stub to file a shortage.
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My Company hasn’t contributed benefits for hours I’ve worked. How do I file a shortage?
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Please complete this form with a copy of your pay stubs and mail them to the NYCDCC Benefit Funds, 395 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014, Attn: Internal Delinquencies Department.
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How do I pay contributions through I-Remit?
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How do I obtain a job number so I can report benefits?
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Call the District Council’s Job Tracking Hotline at (212) 366-7509.
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How can my company update its contact information?
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Contact the Employer Assistance Department of the Benefit Funds office at (212) 366-7386.
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What are the current wage and benefit rates for NYCDCC Carpenters?
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For information on current wage and benefit rates, please contact the Agreements Department of the District Council at (212) 366-7448.
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How do I obtain a copy of the Funds’ Collection Policy?
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My Company overpaid contributions. How do I get a refund?
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All refund requests must meet the Funds’ requirements for a refund and must be approved by the Board of Trustees. Please contact the Employer Assistance Department of the Benefit Funds office at (212) 366-7386 to make your request.
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Do the Funds charge employers for audit costs?
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The Collection Policy adopted by the Board of Trustees sets forth the circumstances in which employers are required to pay audit fees.  Audit fees are only required if the employer‘s delinquency exceeds a certain threshold or if legal action is required.
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How often will my company be audited?
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The Trustees are authorized to audit companies at any time.  Most companies are audited  every two years.  However, depending on the circumstances, the timing may be different.
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How do the Funds calculate interest on delinquencies?
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Interest is calculated at Citibank Prime Rate plus two percent per annum.
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Why is my company being charged interest?
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It’s mandated by ERISA.
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What is late payment interest and how is it calculated?
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Late payment interest is interest that accrues on late-paid contributions. It is assessed once contributions are more than seven days late.
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What happens if I cannot make the loan payments?
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If you do not make any payment before the end of the calendar quarter following the quarter in which the payment was due, your loan will default. If this happens, the full loan amount will be due and payable immediately. If you are in danger of defaulting on a loan, please contact Prudential immediately.  
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What if I terminate employment while I have an outstanding loan?
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If you terminate employment with an outstanding loan balance, you may repay the loan in full or continue to make repayments by check.
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May I make prepayments?
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You may prepay your loan balance, at any time, without penalty. When you repay the loan, both the principal and the interest will be reinvested in your account.
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Do I pay interest on the loan?
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Yes. The interest you pay goes back into your account. In other words, you pay yourself the interest.
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How long may I take to repay the loan?
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You may take up to five years to repay a general purpose loan, in equal quarterly installments. If you are using the loan to purchase your primary residence, you may borrow for up to a 10-year period.
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How much can I borrow from my account?
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The minimum amount you can borrow is $500. The maximum amount you can borrow is the lesser of (1) 50% of your vested account balance or (2) $50,000 minus the highest outstanding balance of your total Plan loans during the last 12 months.
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How do I initiate a loan?
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Access your loan account online at www.prudential.com/online/retirement or call Prudential Retirement @ 877-PRU-2100.
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My spouse and I would like to help our child with the down payment on a house. Can we get a loan from the Plan for that?
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No. This Plan does not allow you to borrow or withdraw money.
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How do I make payments on the loan?
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If you are working under a collective bargaining agreement, you will receive a loan bill before the due date of each quarterly payment. You must repay the loan using a personal check or money order. If you are an Employee of the Benefit Funds or the District Council, you must repay the loan through payroll deduction.
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Who is eligible to take a loan?
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To apply for a loan, you must be a participant in the Plan and you may not already have three outstanding loans.  In addition, you must not have defaulted on a loan within the last five (5) years of applying for a new loan.  If you previously defaulted on a loan, you must repay the loan or be eligible for an offset.
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When are contributions due?
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Contributions are due on the date specified in your CBA.  If your CBA is silent on the due date, contributions are due seven days after the end of the payroll week.
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Where can I obtain a copy of my Collective Bargaining Agreement?
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If you need a copy of an Agreement or signature pages, contact the Agreements Department of the District Council at (212) 366-7448.
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What are the prescription drug copayments?
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Express Scripts is your pharmacy benefit manager. Retail co-payments are $15 for generic, $25 for preferred, and $40 for non-preferred prescriptions. Additionally, mail order co-payments are $25 for generic, $45 for preferred, and $75 for non-preferred prescriptions. *Note that mail-order co-payments represent a three month supply.
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*Disclaimer: The Funds have prepared these informal answers to frequently asked questions for the convenience of our participants and contributing employers.  The Funds have made every effort to provide accurate answers, but they are not legally binding and do not address every possible situation.  The Collection Policy, Trust Agreements, and Collective Bargaining Agreements are official legal documents and supersede any inconsistent statements herein.