FAQs: Benefits

1.  What is the monthly benefit amount paid by the ILPF?

The benefit payment for those joining the ILPF after July 2014, who have met the minimum vesting requirements, and retire at age 65 or later are paid a monthly pension benefit equal to 2% of the total amount contributed while in the active workforce.  Participants meeting these criteria recoup their total contributions in 50 months and continue to receive the monthly benefit for the rest of their lives. More.

Participants who vest for early retirement or disability pension are paid a reduced monthly benefit that varies with the age gap between when they file and the normal retirement age of 65. Early retirement and disability pensions are more fully explained in the ILPF's Summary Plan Description and Trust Indenture.


2.  How can I calculate what my ILPF monthly retirement benefit will be?

The ILPF website includes a “Benefit Calculator” for those interested in calculating the monthly benefit at regular retirement age of 65.  Those interested in calculating early retirement at reduced pension amounts should consult the ILPF’s Summary Plan Description or contact the ILPF office directly.


3.  Once I decide to retire, how can I begin collecting my monthly benefit?

When you know your expected retirement date, download the applicable forms from the ILPF website and contact your local union so its staff can assemble the documentation you will need to get the process started.  In most cases, a participant who files all required paperwork prior to the 15th of the month can begin receiving a monthly benefit payment two weeks later on the 1st of the following month. Read More.


4.  How long does someone have to contribute the ILPF before they can become eligible for benefits?

To become vested in the ILPF (i.e. to become eligible to collect a benefit upon retirement or death) a participant must contribute a minimum of $260.  Participants who contribute at the minimum contribution level of $5/week vest after 1 year.  Those who contribute at a higher level, vest sooner.


5.  Who decides how much I would have to contribute?

The contribution level is decided by a majority vote of the membership of your local union (or bargaining unit if that is the participating group at your local) and applies to all members of the group.  For example, if your bargaining unit votes for a 5% of gross pay contribution level, then all members of the bargaining unit contribute at that level.  


6.  What would happen to my ILPF pension if my employer were to close down or go bankrupt?

If you have met the vesting requirements (i.e. your total contributions are at least $260), your ILPF pension will be there for you when you’re ready to retire. Because the ILPF takes no employer contributions and has no form of employer involvement or control, it is shielded from corporate actions such as bankruptcy.  In addition, so long as you continue to work in the same industry and remain a Teamster, you can continue to contribute on your own and build your retirement benefit.


7.  If I participate in the ILPF and want to retire before age 65, can I collect a pension?

Yes!  ILPF participants who have met vesting requirements can retire as early as age 55, but the monthly pension benefit would be reduced to account for the longer payout period.  The ILPF’s Summary Plan Description explains in detail how the reduced pension benefit is calculated.


8.  If I participate in the ILPF and die before my spouse, will my spouse continue to get a monthly check?

The death benefit paid to your spouse depends on the elections you make for your beneficiary while you are still alive and the timing of your death relative to your retirement.

If you were to die prior to reaching retirement, your spouse would be eligible for either a lump sum death benefit equal to all contributions you had made to the ILPF, or alternatively, if your spouse is your sole beneficiary, s/he may elect to collect a Surviving Spouse Annuity through which the ILPF pays a lifetime monthly pension in lieu of a lump sum death benefit.

If you were to die after starting to collect your pension, and you had elected the ILPF’s Joint and Survivor Benefit, your spouse would continue to receive a monthly benefit equal to two-thirds of the amount you had received for the rest of his/her life.  


9.  Will the ILPF pay a benefit if I become disabled and am forced to stop working?

Yes.  Participants who become totally and permanently disabled and have made at least $1,300 in contributions to the ILPF are eligible for an ILPF disability pension.  The monthly benefit payment is reduced, with the reduction amount determined by your age at the time of your disability.


10. If I don't start contributing until I'm 60, will I still be eligible for a monthly benefit when I retire at age 65?

Yes, so long as you meet the minimum vesting requirement of $260 in contributions.


11.  Do benefit levels ever change?

Benefit levels can be improved through a vote of the ILPF’s Board of Trustees, comprised of leaders from the Fund's largest participating locals.  In the ILPF’s 65 year history, benefit levels have been increased six times.  Benefit levels can only be reduced, however, through a majority vote of ILPF retirees and active participants.  There have been two occasions when active and retiree participants had the opportunity to vote on whether to reduce the benefit level in order to protect the ILPF's long-term financial solvency: 1) in 2006 following the impact on the markets following 9/11; and 2) in 2014, following the fallout from the worldwide economic crisis of 2007-2008. 


12.  If I change jobs, can I remain an ILPF participant?

In cases where a member changes jobs and meets eligibility requirements to continue ILPF participation, the member may continue to participate by directly remitting his/her contributions on a monthly basis.


13.  If I were to retire at 65 and die three years later, what would happen to my ILPF benefit?

The ILPF provides a few options in cases such as these.  The death benefit paid depends on the elections you make for your beneficiary while you are still alive.  Your beneficiary may claim the ILPF Death Benefit, which would be a lump sum payment of all your contributions less any benefits paid. If you had elected the ILPF’s Joint and Survivor Benefit, your spouse would continue to receive a monthly benefit equal at a level explained in the ILPF's Summary Plan Description.


14.  If I retire at age 65 and live for another 40 years, will my ILPF benefits run out?

No!  Your monthly pension benefit will remain the same for the duration of your retirement.


15.  How do I know that my benefit will be there for me when I retire?

The Trustees of the ILPF have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that the Fund’s assets are managed in such a manner that the Fund will be able to fulfill all obligations to participants.  The Trustees hire actuaries, accountants, investment professionals and legal advisors to ensure that the Fund complies with all applicable laws and regulations and that all obligations to participants will be met.

Teamsters Local 299

New Boston, MI

“We felt like we needed to take control of our retirement. That’s why we voted to join the ILPF. The Fund is run exclusively by and for Teamsters. It was set up decades ago and has provided generations of union members with secure retirements.

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Harold Moore

Local 285M
Washington, DC

“I plan on working until I’m eligible for full retirement benefits. I think the ILPF provides really excellent benefits. My contribution is taken directly out of my paycheck. I don’t have to think about it, so it’s easy to save for retirement. Belonging to the ILPF gives me a great sense of security. 

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Christopher Yatchak

Local 577M
Germantown, WI

“Today’s workers fear that they might run out of retirement savings before they die. It’s important to compare how defined benefit and defined contribution pension funds work and know what you should expect. How do you make your savings last the rest of your life?

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Norma Balentine

Local 577M
Milwaukee, WI

“None of my previous jobs offered a defined benefit pension plan.  We’ve seen how the benefits provided by plans based on stocks, such as 401(k)s, can erode as the stock market plummets.   The ILPF is a gift that very few workers have – a lifelong benefit.

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James Klug

Local 577 M
Cedarburg, WI

“It’s a rare fund and my retirement would be poor without it. I can’t think of any other fund that you get every penny you put in. When I retired, I had paid in a total of $88,000 over 39 years. If I live 25 years past my retirement age, the fund will provide a little under a million dollars in pension payments. I got what I paid in a couple of years and the rest is pure profit.

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John Greco

Local 14M
Philadelphia, PA

"The ILPF is a good investment. I’ve been working at my present job for 39 years, but the employer plan will provide me with less than $800 a month when I retire. Contrast that with the payment I’ll receive from the Fund. Even by age 63, before I plan to retire, I’ll have already earned more than twice as much a month.

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