The earnings you receive from employment as an Actor for a Producer that is signatory to a collective bargaining agreement with SAG-AFTRA under which contributions are made in accordance with the Pension Plan Trust Agreement are called "Earnings Credit". Earnings Credit is used to determine your Pension Credit which is needed to qualify for a pension. Earnings Credit also determines the amount of your pension. There are limits on the amount of Earnings Credit which is recognized by the Pension Plan.
There are three types of Earnings Credit:
- Prior Service Earnings Credit – for your employment prior to January 1, 1961.
- Current Service Earnings Credit – for your employment after January 1, 1961.
- Military Service Earnings Credit – for periods you served in the armed forces.
Prior Service Earnings Credit
Employment prior to January 1, 1961
You are entitled to Prior Service Earnings Credit for all earnings, up to a maximum of $200,000 in any one calendar year prior to 1961, from employment as an Actor in the motion picture industry, provided such employment was with a Producer who was signatory to a SAG collective bargaining agreement.
Earnings are credited to the calendar year in which payments were made. Prior Service Earnings include residuals and deferred payments except that residuals and deferred payments received after January 1, 1961, but earned prior to January 1, 1961, on which contributions are not due, will not be credited for any purpose.
In order to receive credit for Prior Service Earnings, you must furnish the Plan office with information concerning the earnings you received from Producers prior to 1961 under SAG collective bargaining agreements. The Plan office will then obtain verification of your earnings record from the Producers concerned or through other available means before determining the actual amount of earnings to be credited under the Plan. Even if you are not yet ready to retire, you can call or write the Plan office to verify that you have been credited with all of the Prior Service Earnings Credit to which you are entitled.
Current Service Earnings Credit
Employment On and After January 1, 1961
You are entitled to Current Service Earnings Credit for all earnings in calendar years after 1960, including residuals and/or deferred payments, resulting from employment as an Actor in the motion picture industry or resulting from employment as a Plan Office Participant or a Guild Office Participant for which contributions are required to be made to the Plan.
Earnings are credited to the calendar year in which payments were made or should have been made, except that after January 1, 1976, earnings resulting solely from deferred payments to an Actor who has not yet retired shall be credited to the calendar year during which the employment producing such deferred payments was performed.
Maximum Current Service Earnings Credit
For calendar years starting on and after January 1, 1989, federal regulations impose a maximum on the amount of Current Service Earnings that can be recognized from any one employer in a calendar year. This amount is adjusted from time to time by the federal government. For details on the limits in effect during any particular year, you should contact the Pension department at the Plan office.
Military Service Earnings Credit
After December 12, 1994
You are entitled to Military Service Earnings Credit during periods of military service which start on or after December 12, 1994 provided you meet all of the following requirements:
- You have some sessional work in the 12-month period immediately before your military service.
- Your military service is with the Armed Services as defined in the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 on a voluntary or involuntary basis.
- Your discharge is honorable.
- You return to work (have sessional earnings) for a signatory producer within one year of your discharge.
You will be credited with Military Service Earnings Credit based on the amount of your Earnings Credit as an Actor during the 12-month period immediately preceding military service. The amount of such Military Service Earnings will be reduced by the amount of any non-Military Earnings Credit you have during the period of your military service. Such Military Service Earnings will be added to any non-Military Earnings credited to you prior to or following the period of military service. The Military Service Earnings are treated as if they were Current Service Earnings in determining both your eligibility for pension and the amount of pension.
Military Service Earnings Credit is limited to five years of military service not counting periods of military service for training, involuntary active duty extensions or where required to complete an initial period of obligated military service.
Example: If you served in the military during the period from January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011 and your average rate of pay during calendar year 2010 was $1,000 per month, you will be credited with $6,000 of military service earnings — $1,000 for each month of your military service. This is added to any other Current Service Earnings reported on your behalf after June 30, 2011 and, if the total earnings equal $18,000 or more, you will earn a Pension Credit for 2011 and these earnings will be used to calculate your pension amount.
For Military Service Credit prior to December 12, 1994, please see page 5.