SAG-Producers Pension Plan SPD & Benefits

Forms of Pension Payment

The Plan provides several forms of pension benefit payment. When you apply for a pension, you will be advised of the amount of payment under each form of pension available to you. You will then be required to select the form of payment you desire.

IMPORTANT: Once you have started to receive pension benefits, you cannot change from one form of pension payment to another, even if additional earnings are received on your behalf, your marital or domestic partnership status changes, or if your Spouse, Same-Sex Domestic Partner or contingent annuitant dies before you. There are limited exceptions to this rule for a Disability Pensioner who recovers from his disability and returns to work or for an Early Retirement Pensioner who converts his Early Retirement Pension to a Disability Pension.

Automatic Lump Sum Payment

Regardless of the type of pension you qualify for, if the actuarial value of your lifetime pension is $1,000 or less, your pension will automatically be paid in one lump sum instead of monthly payments. If the actuarial value of your lifetime pension is between $1,000 and $5,000, you may elect to receive a lump sum payment instead of monthly payments. You will be advised when you apply for pension if you are subject to these lump sum payment provisions.

Five-Year Certain

This is the normal form of benefit payment under the Plan for unmarried participants and Participants who have a Same-Sex Domestic Partner. This form of payment provides a monthly pension to you for your lifetime with the guarantee that if you die before receiving 60 monthly pension payments, the remainder of the 60 monthly payments will be paid to your designated beneficiary. There is no reduction made to the pension amount for electing this form of payment.

If you are married, the Five-Year Certain form of payment is available only if you and your Spouse have rejected the 50% Joint and Survivor Pension.

50% Joint and Survivor Pension

Note: Prior to July 1, 2011, this form of payment was called the Husband and Wife Pension and was only available to certain married Participants. If you retired prior to July 1, 2011 and elected the Husband and Wife Pension, the rules in effect for that form of payment apply.

This is the normal form of benefit payment under the Plan for married Participants and is available as an option to Participants who have a Same-Sex Domestic Partner. This form of payment provides a monthly pension to you for your lifetime and, after your death, a lifetime pension for your surviving Spouse or Same-Sex Domestic Partner. Your surviving Spouse or Same-Sex Domestic Partner will receive monthly benefits equal to 50% of the amount you were receiving when you died. For example, if you were receiving a monthly 50% Joint and Survivor Pension of $700 per month and died leaving a Spouse, she would receive a monthly benefit of $350 per month for the rest of her life. The 50% Joint and Survivor Pension extends protection over two lifetimes. Benefit levels are adjusted accordingly. During your lifetime, you will receive monthly benefits at a lower level than you would receive with the Five-Year Certain form. If your spouse or partner is much younger than you, benefits will be reduced more than if you were close to the same age or if your spouse or partner is older than you. The reason is that, statistically speaking, the younger spouse or partner is likely to receive benefits over a longer period of time. The monthly amount of pension payable to you and your spouse or partner under the 50% Joint and Survivor Pension is based on the life expectancy of you and your spouse or partner. To obtain an estimate of the amounts, please contact the Plan Office.

If you are married, your pension will be paid on the basis of the 50% Joint and Survivor Pension unless you and your Spouse complete and sign a notarized statement rejecting the 50% Joint and Survivor Pension and electing another form of payment. Any rejection of the 50% Joint and Survivor Pension that is made more than 180 days before the Annuity Starting Date of your pension is not valid and a new rejection form must be completed.

Special Rules for the 50% Joint and Survivor Pension

  1. The 50% Joint and Survivor Pension only applies to your Spouse or Same-Sex Domestic Partner at the time your pension payments start.
  2. Once payments have begun on a 50% Joint and Survivor Pension, they will continue at the same level even if your spouse or partner should die before you or the marriage or partnership should be dissolved. Please refer to the Pop-Up-Option on page 19.
  3. Payments to the surviving spouse or partner continue for life and are not affected by remarriage.
  4. If your spouse or partner dies before you but after pension payments have begun, all pension payments will stop with your death.

75% and 100% Joint and Survivor Options

There are two other Joint and Survivor Options available under the Plan: These Joint and Survivor Options provide a reduced monthly pension to you for your lifetime, with 75% or 100% of the amount of your monthly pension (whichever you elect when you retire) continuing after your death for the lifetime of a contingent annuitant named by you. Your contingent annuitant may be anyone you choose, subject to the limits on age differences explained below. The 75% Joint and Survivor Option is only available if you retire on and after January 1, 2008.

If you are married, these options are available only if you and your Spouse have rejected the 50% Joint and Survivor Pension.

Because the Joint and Survivor Options provide benefits over two lifetimes, the benefit amount is reduced from the amount you would receive under the Five-Year Certain form. The monthly amount of pension payable to you and your contingent annuitant is based on the Joint and Survivor Option you elect and the life expectancy of you and your contingent annuitant. To obtain an estimate of the amounts payable under these Options, please contact the Plan Office.

Special Rules for the Joint and Survivor Options

  1. Election of a Joint and Survivor Option must be made in writing on a form prescribed by the Plan Trustees and filed with the Plan Office prior to the date the first pension payment is made.
  2. The 75% Joint and Survivor Option will be reduced below the full amount if the contingent annuitant is not the Participant's Spouse or Same-Sex Domestic Partner and is more than 19 years younger than the Participant. The 100% Joint and Survivor Option will be reduced below the full amount if the contingent annuitant is not the Participant's Spouse or Same-Sex Domestic Partner and is more than 10 years younger than the Participant.
  3. A Joint and Survivor Option will take effect only if you and your contingent annuitant are both alive on the date when it is otherwise to take effect.
  4. Once payments have begun on a Joint and Survivor Option, the reduced payments will continue at the same level. This is true even if your contingent annuitant should die before you or, if your contingent annuitant is your Spouse and you subsequently divorce, or if your co-annuitant is your Same-Sex Domestic Partner, and your partnership is dissolved. Please refer to the Pop-Up Option on this page.
  5. Once elected, the Joint and Survivor Option may only be revoked in writing on a form prescribed by the Plan Trustees and filed with the Plan office prior to the date the first pension payment is made. Exception: The Option will be automatically revoked if the contingent annuitant dies (or if the contingent annuitant is your Spouse, you are divorced or if the contingent annuitant is your Same-Sex Domestic Partner, your partnership is terminated) before a pension in the optional form becomes payable. In such event, you may continue the Option if within 90 days of such an event you make a choice of another contingent annuitant and communicate it to the Plan Office in writing.
  6. You may not change your contingent annuitant once payments have commenced.This is because the amount of payment is based on your age and the age of the contingent annuitant you select at retirement.
  7. The Joint and Survivor Option is not payable if it would result in a monthly benefit of less than $30 to the Participant or the beneficiary.

Pop-Up Option

You may elect the 50%, 75% or 100% Joint and Survivor Options with a "Pop-Up Option."

The Pop-Up Option reduces the monthly amount that would otherwise be payable under the 50% Joint and Survivor Pension or the 75% or 100% Joint and Survivor Options. However, it guarantees that if your spouse, partner or contingent annuitant dies before you, your monthly benefit will be increased (or popped up) to the amount that would have been payable to you had your benefit been paid as a Five-Year Certain at retirement. By contrast, without the Pop-Up Option, your monthly payments are not increased if your spouse, partner or contingent annuitant dies first.

If you are married, your Spouse must consent to the Pop-Up Option. Because the Pop-Up Option provides an additional guarantee, the monthly pension amount is reduced more than it would be under either the 50% Joint and Survivor Pension or Joint and Survivor Options without the Pop-Up Option. To obtain an estimate of the monthly amounts, please contact the Plan Office.

If you elect a Pop-Up Option and your spouse, partner or contingent annuitant dies, you should send a certified copy of the death certificate to the Plan Office as soon as possible. The increased (popped-up) monthly benefit amount will become effective on the first of the month following the date of death. The increased monthly benefit will be payable for your lifetime and all payments will stop upon your death. However, if you die before receiving a total of 60 monthly payments (including all payments before and after the pop-up), the remainder of the 60 monthly payments will be paid to your designated beneficiary.

Ten-Year Certain Option

If you are eligible for any type of pension other than a Disability or Occupational Disability Pension, you may elect to receive a Ten-Year Certain Option. This Option provides a reduced monthly pension to you for your lifetime with the guarantee that if you die before receiving 120 pension payments, the remainder of the 120 monthly payments will be paid to your designated beneficiary. Payments to your beneficiary will continue until a total of 120 payments have been made to you and your beneficiary combined.

If you are married, this option is available only if you and your Spouse have rejected the 50% Joint and Survivor Pension.

The amount of the reduction for the Ten-Year Certain Option is determined based on your age on the Annuity Starting Date of your pension, according to the table to the right

Example: You are age 57 and eligible for an Early Retirement Pension in the amount of $600 per month. If you elect the Ten-Year Certain Option, your benefit will be reduced to $586.80 ($600 x 97.80%).

Special Rules for the Ten-Year Certain Option

  1. Election of the Ten Year-Certain Option must be made in writing on a form prescribed by the Plan Trustees and filed with the Plan Office prior to the date the first pension payment is made.
  2. Revocation of the Ten-Year-Certain Option must be made in writing on a form prescribed by the Plan Trustees and filed with the Plan Office prior to the effective date of the pension.
  3. The Ten Year-Certain Option is not available if it would result in a monthly pension of less than $30 to you or your beneficiary, nor is it available if your life expectancy or the joint life expectancy of you and your beneficiary is less than 10 years.

Special Rules for the Ten-Year Certain Option

55 98.20
56 98.01
57 97.80
58 97.56
59 97.29
60 96.98
61 96.64
62 96.25
63 95.81
64 95.33
65 94.79
66 94.20
67 93.55
68 92.86
69 92.12
70 91.32
71 90.46
72 89.54
73 88.55
74 87.50
75 86.37
76 85.19
77 83.96
78 82.69
79 81.41
80 80.10
81 78.80
82 77.49
83 76.21
84 74.95
85 73.72
86 72.54
87 71.39
88 70.29
89 69.23
90 68.20

Partial Lump Sum Option

The Partial Lump Sum Option allows you to receive part of your pension in a lump sum. If you elect this option you will receive, at retirement, a lump sum payment equal to twelve times the monthly payment you would have received under the Five-Year Certain form of payment. Starting with the month after the lump sum payment is made, the rest of your pension will be paid in monthly payments for the rest of your life based on the form of payment you elect.

You may elect to receive the monthly payments under any form of payment provided by the Plan but the amount of the monthly payments will be reduced to take into account the lump sum payment. The amount of reduction is based on actuarial factors in effect at the time the pension first becomes payable.

For example, if you retire at age 65 with a monthly benefit of $1,200 under the Five Year Certain form of payment, you would receive $14,400 in a lump sum (12 x $1,200) and monthly payments of $1,083.50 thereafter for the rest of your life. If you elect the 50% Joint and Survivor Pension or any optional form of payment, the monthly payments would be further reduced in accordance with the rules for the form of payment selected.

If you have additional earnings credit after the lump sum is paid, your monthly payments will be increased to reflect the additional benefits but no additional lump sum payment will be made.

If you are married, your Spouse must consent to the election of the Partial Lump Sum Option.