Who qualifies for benefits

Who qualifies for retirement benefits?

In general, if you work under SAG-AFTRA-negotiated contracts that require contributions to be made on your behalf to the AFTRA Retirement Fund, your earnings are considered “covered earnings.” If you meet a minimum covered earnings level (see chart below) in a “base year” (Dec. 1 - Nov. 30), you will earn a pension credit for that year. Generally, if you accumulate at least five pension credits* throughout your career, you become vested for a Retirement Plan benefit.  This means you do not lose your right to a pension benefit, even if you leave covered employment before reaching the age when you can apply for a Retirement Plan benefit.

Minimum covered earnings required to earn a pension credit

 Time period

Minimum AFTRA-covered earnings

For base years Dec. 1, 1989 - Nov. 30, 1990 through Dec. 1, 2001 - Nov. 30, 2002 …

$5,000 annual minimum
AFTRA-covered earnings

For base years Dec. 1, 2002 - Nov. 30, 2003 through Dec. 1, 2008 - Nov. 30, 2009 …  

$7,500 annual minimum
AFTRA-covered earnings

For base years Dec. 1, 2009 - Nov. 30, 2010 and after …

$15,000 annual minimum
AFTRA-covered earnings

Note: Grandfathering provisions allow certain performers to earn pension credits and/or vesting service for covered earnings less than the amounts listed in the chart above. If you had covered earnings prior to Nov. 30, 2002, refer to the current Retirement Fund Summary Plan Description and any subsequent Benefits Updates or call Participant Services at (800) 562-4690 to determine how these special provisions may apply to you.

How your pension is calculated
Retirement Plan at-a-glance main page
Retirement Fund section intro page

* Special vesting rules may apply based upon the number of Pension Credits you accumulated and when you earned them. For additional information, call Participant Services at (800) 562-4690, refer to the current Retirement Fund Summary Plan Description and any subsequent Benefits Updates

  • 2023 Earnings Statements Issued

    May 15, 2024, 11:58 AM by sh
    Summary: Performers are encouraged to review and verify the accuracy of information on their Earnings Statement upon receiving the statement in the mail. Review your earnings information online via the participant portal.
    Full story
  • The first pension payment of the New Year will arrive by direct deposit on Jan. 2, 2024

    Dec 22, 2023, 12:07 PM by sh
    Summary: The AFTRA Retirement Fund will be distributing the first benefit payment of the 2024 calendar year on Jan. 1, 2024, to ensure that the payment is applied toward your 2024 earnings. However, because of the New Year’s holiday, payments will be posted by the financial institution on Jan. 2, 2024.
    Full story