About earnings, pension credits and vesting
Performers whose work under SAG-AFTRA-negotiated contracts meets minimum annual earnings requirements will earn pension credits. Performers who accumulate enough pension credits throughout their careers will become vested in their AFTRA Retirement Plan benefit. That means that they’re eligible to receive AFTRA Retirement Plan benefits when they retire. Refer to the information below for details.
Minimum annual earnings to earn pension credits
The AFTRA Retirement Plan operates on “base years” that run every December 1 through the following November 30. In any given base year, a performer’s earnings from AFTRA-covered work must meet the required minimum annual requirements (see below) for the performer to earn a pension credit for that year:
- For base years Dec. 1, 2009-Nov. 30, 2010 and after, a performer must have at least $15,000 in AFTRA-covered earnings in order to earn a pension credit for that base year.
- For base years Dec. 1, 2002-Nov. 30, 2003 through Dec. 1, 2008-Nov. 30, 2009, a performer needs to have at least $7,500 in AFTRA-covered earnings in order to earn a pension credit for that base year.
- For base years prior to Dec. 1, 2002-Nov. 30, 2003, you needed to have at least $5,000 in AFTRA-covered earnings to earn a pension credit for that base year. A special rule applies, however, if you accumulated at least one pension credit prior to Nov. 30, 1989. In that case, for base years after 1954 and before Dec. 1, 1997, a minimum of $2,000 in annual AFTRA-covered earnings is required to earn a pension credit.
How do I become vested?
Generally, you receive credit for one year of vesting service for each base year in which you earn a pension credit.* In general, you become 100% vested once you complete five years of vesting service, if at least one of those years began on or after Dec. 1, 1989.* You are also 100% vested if you accumulated 10 years of vesting service prior to Dec. 1, 1989.*
* In some cases, special vesting rules may apply based upon the number of pension credits you accumulated and when you earned them. Call Participant Services at (800) 562-4690, or refer to the 2013 Retirement Plan Summary Plan Description and relevant Benefits Updates for details and additional information.
Contributions, earnings and the amount of your pension
For vested performers, pension amounts are based upon a percentage of career earnings (prior to May 1, 2009) and contributions (on or after May 1, 2009) for AFTRA-covered work and the payment option chosen.
For an estimate of your Retirement Plan benefits, call Participant Services at (800) 562-4690 to request a pension analysis or refer to the 2013 Retirement Plan Summary Plan Description and modifying Benefit Updates.
For additional details and complete information about Retirement Plan earnings and contribution requirements and eligibility, refer to the 2013 Retirement Plan Summary Plan Description and modifying Benefits Updates. The information provided above is summarized and is not a complete description of the actual terms and provisions of the Plan documents. If any conflict arises between this information and the Plan documents, or if any point is not discussed above or is only partially discussed, the Plan documents will govern in all cases.
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