Summary Plan Description

Avoiding Breaks In Service

A break in service can be avoided if:

  • You work in another jurisdiction that has a retirement plan that is reciprocal with this plan.
  • You work in contiguous noncovered service.
  • You have an approved leave of absence.

These three situations are described below.

Reciprocal Plan Service

Reciprocal plan service helps you avoid a break in service when your work is divided between two or more plans. Credited service earned under a reciprocal plan is known as reciprocal service. Reciprocal service can be used to help satisfy ten-year vesting as well as the eligibility requirements for certain retirement and pre-retirement death benefits. Reciprocal service cannot be used to help satisfy five-year vesting.

Key Point

For the purpose of vesting, this plan recognizes reciprocal service based on this plan’s credited service and vesting rules. Please see Credited Future Service for details.

While reciprocal service may help you avoid a break in service or earn credit toward ten-year vesting, no contributions are made to this plan. Reciprocal plans vest and determine benefit amounts according to their own plan rules.

Helpful Hint

This plan provides Quarterly Benefit Statements that list the covered hours reported to this plan on your behalf, your monthly benefit earned for each year of service and your vesting status. Please advise the Retirement Department at the Trust Office of any reciprocal service not listed on your Quarterly Benefit Statement. If you are not vested, this information may help you vest. If you are already vested, this information will speed up the retirement process.

Key Point

Historically, reciprocal service allowed this plan to recognize service in reciprocal plans for the purposes of satisfying the ten-year vesting requirement. Now, if you work outside this jurisdiction on a temporary basis, money follows the carpenter allows you to accumulate credited service and any subsequent retirement benefit under this plan. Money follows the carpenter does not allow you to combine benefits previously earned under another plan with this plan. Please see Money Follows the Carpenter.

Reciprocal Plans In the Western States

This plan has reciprocal agreements with other retirement plans nationwide. The following is a list of the most commonly used reciprocal plans in the western states:

Reciprocal Plans


Southern Carpenters
PO Box 241266
Anchorage, AK 99524
(907) 561-7575
(800) 478-4431

Northern Alaska Carpenters
1301 SW Fifth Avenue
Portland, OR 97201
(503) 226-7900
(800) 547-1037

Arizona State Carpenters Trust Fund
PO Box 16200
Phoenix, AZ 85011
(602) 264-1804

Carpenters Pension Trust of Northern California
PO Box 2280
Oakland, CA 94621
(510) 633-0333

Carpenters Pension Trust of Southern California
533 S. Fremont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 386-8590
(800) 293-1370

Cement Masons
Plasterers, Cement Masons and Lathers
PO Box 34203
Seattle, WA 98124
(206) 441-7574
(800) 732-1121

Centennial State Carpenters Pension Trust Fund
10620 E. Bethany Drive
Aurora, CO 80014
(303) 745-0147
(800) 332-3807

Idaho Branch, Inc.
A.G.C. Carpenters Retirement Trust
PO Box 5434
Spokane, WA 99205
(509) 328-0300

Marine Carpenters Pension Fund
5 Third Street, Suite 525
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 982-3123
(800) 257-1515

Millmen's Trust of Washington
2929 NW 31st Avenue
Portland, OR 97208
(503) 222-3171

Tacoma Millmen's Pension Fund
PO Box 1894
Tacoma, WA 98401
(206) 838-1970

Northern Nevada Carpenters Trust
PO Box 11337
Reno, NV 89510
(775) 826-7200

Construction Industry and Carpenters Joint Pension Fund of Southern Nevada
PO Box 61320
Las Vegas, NV 89160
(702) 851-4510

Oregon-Washington Carpenters Trust Fund
2929 NW 31st Avenue
Portland, OR 97201
(800) 888-0346

Utah Carpenters and Cement Masons Pension Trust
PO Box 30021
Salt Lake City, UT 84130
(801) 954-8010

Carpenters Employers Retirement Trust
PO Box 5434
Spokane, WA 99205
(509) 328-0300
(800) 716-0300

International Union
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
101 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 546-6206

Helpful Hint

If you work outside the geographic area covered by this plan, you may want to take advantage of one of the following two provisions under the International Reciprocity Agreement:

  • Reciprocal service.
  • Money follows the carpenter.

Please contact the Retirement Department at the Trust Office if you have any questions about these provisions.

For additional information about reciprocal service, please see Article 5.

Leave of Absence

You may avoid a break in service if you were unable to work in the building and construction industry for one of the following four reasons and for a period of time not to exceed the maximum allowed:

  • Military service for such period as required by law. You may receive credited service and benefits for qualifying military service.
  • Service as an official of the international union for up to three years. You do not receive credited service or benefits for service with the international union.
  • Disabling condition that prevents gainful employment in any trade for up to two years, subject to further consideration after that time if the disabling condition continues. To qualify, you must submit satisfactory proof of your disability to the Board of Trustees. You do not receive credited service or benefits for a disability leave.
  • Maternity or paternity leave. You may receive up to a maximum of 501 hours of credited service in the year of the leave, if needed to prevent a break, or else in the following year contingent on returning to work after the leave. You do not receive benefits for a maternity or paternity leave.

If you need to apply for a leave of absence, please contact the Retirement Department at the Trust Office. The Retirement Department will forward your request to the Board of Trustees and then notify you of the Board’s determination.

Helpful Hint

You may avoid a break in service if you were unable to work for one of the following four reasons:

Reason For Leave Maximum Period Effect
Military service As required by law Credit and benefits
Official of international union 3 years No credit or benefits
Disability 2 years No credit or benefits
Maternity or paternity 1/2 year Up to 1/2 credit, no benefits
Please contact the Retirement Department at the Trust Office for assistance.

For additional information about a military leave, please see Article 15.7 Qualified Military Service. For additional information about other leaves of absence, please see Article 3.6.

Contiguous Noncovered Service

You may experience changes in your career including work in noncovered service for a contributing employer. An example of noncovered service is working in a management position for a contributing employer. For the purpose of vesting, avoiding a break in service, or maintaining activity in this plan for the purpose of qualifying for certain special benefits, you earn one year of credited future service for each year you work 1,000 or more hours in contiguous noncovered service for an employer who is otherwise required to make contributions to this plan. Noncovered service is contiguous if all of the following three conditions are met:

  • The noncovered service immediately precedes or follows covered service with the same employer.
  • No quit, discharge or retirement occurs between such covered service and noncovered service.
  • You provide proof of contiguous noncovered service as required by the plan.

No hourly contributions are made to this plan on your behalf for contiguous noncovered service.

For additional information about contiguous noncovered service, please see Article 1.8.