When and how to apply for your pension
When can I begin receiving my pension benefits?
If you’re vested, you can begin receiving your pension benefits as early as age 55, or even sooner if you are disabled. However, if you choose to receive your pension before the normal retirement age of 65, your monthly annuity payment will be reduced. The Retirement Plan states that you can’t begin receiving your pension earlier than age 65 unless you are retired, meaning that you can’t be under contract or receiving a salary for AFTRA-covered work. All vested Retirement Plan participants must begin receiving their pension payments no later than April 1 of the year following the year they attain age 70½.
Why do I have to take my pension no later than the April 1 following the year I turned age 70½?
This is a federal regulation requirement. The AFTRA Retirement Fund will send you a notification at the proper time. Please make sure your mailing address is up to date with AFTRA H&R. Failure to receive these benefits at that time may expose you to adverse tax consequences. Please consult with your financial advisor on this matter if you choose not to apply.
How is my pension affected if I retire earlier than 65?
If you begin receiving your pension before turning 65, your monthly annuity payment will be reduced by 6% for every year that you are younger than age 65 (½ percent for each month). While taking your pension earlier is an option, you will maximize your benefits by waiting until age 65 to begin receiving your pension.
If I take early retirement, once I reach 65, will my monthly payment increase to the amount I would have received if I had waited?
No. If you begin receiving your pension before turning 65, your monthly annuity payment will remain at the reduced amount.
How do I apply for my pension?
Call a Participant Services counselor at 1-800-562-4690 to request a pension analysis at least three months before you plan to begin receiving your pension. A detailed benefit projection of all available options and a Pension Application will then be mailed to you. It is important to review all the documents and discuss your options with a financial advisor. Once you have chosen an option, submit the completed application to begin receiving pension benefits. You also may be required to file information necessary to determine benefit rights.