CONNECTICUT CARPENTERS BENEFIT FUNDS
10 BROADWAY, HAMDEN, CT 06518 | (203) 281-5511 | FAX (203) 288-3235 | (800) 922-6026

 

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December 2017


Dear Participants of the New England, Connecticut and Rhode Island Carpenters Benefit Funds,
Effective January 1, 2018, we are pleased to announce the mergers of the various Benefit Funds for New England, Connecticut and Rhode Island. These mergers will strengthen the Funds financially now and into the future, through elimination of some duplicative administrative expenses and increased purchasing power of a member base of over 20,000. Stronger Funds will create more opportunity for financial security and stability for today’s New England area Carpenters and future generations of Carpenters. It is important to note that although the “TRUSTS” are merging, there have been no changes to your benefits. Once the new Boards of Trustees are seated in January, they will conduct a full assessment of all the benefits.
The following is a brief summary of changes that will be effective January 1, 2018. Also included in this mailing is a list of answers to common questions that participants may have.


Boards of Trustees – All Funds
A new Combined Board of Trustees will be seated, with ten (10) Union trustees and ten (10) Employer trustees for the Pension, Health and Vacation Funds. For each group of trustees, seven (7) trustees will represent Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, two (2) trustees will represent Connecticut, and one (1) trustee will represent Rhode Island.
Also, effective January 1, 2018, for members of the Connecticut and Rhode Island Local Unions, a new Board of Trustees will be seated for the newly named Southern New England Carpenters Annuity Fund, with a total of seven (7) trustees: Four (4) Union Trustees, with two (2) representing Connecticut, one (1) representing Rhode Island, and EST Tom Flynn presiding as the fourth (4th) Labor trustee; and three (3) Employer trustees, with two (2) representing Connecticut and one (1) representing Rhode Island. (Despite the odd number, each side will have equal voting power.)
For the New England Carpenters Guaranteed Annuity Fund, there will be seven (7) Union trustees and seven (7) Employer trustees representing Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
A sub-committee will be appointed for each region, and each sub-committee will consider issues specific to its region, such as appeals and benefits, and make recommendations to the Combined Board of Trustees.


Health Funds
The Connecticut Carpenters Health Fund and the Rhode Island Carpenters Health Fund will merge into the New England Carpenters Health Benefits Fund. There will be no benefit changes or network changes for any of the three (3) health funds on January 1, 2018, and Connecticut and Rhode Island participants will continue to be serviced by the existing Connecticut and Rhode Island Fund offices. Your current ID cards will continue to be valid on January 1, 2018 and there will be no interruption in your coverage.


Pension Funds
The Connecticut Carpenters Pension Fund and the Rhode Island Carpenters Pension Fund will merge
into the New England Carpenters Pension Fund. There will be no benefit or accrual changes for any of
the three (3) pension funds on January 1, 2018, and Connecticut and Rhode Island participants and
retirees will continue to be serviced by the existing Connecticut and Rhode Island Fund offices. So you
are aware, the Pension Funds have sought the required approval from the federal government (the
agency is known as the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation or “PBGC”), and the Funds expect that
the merger will be approved effective as of January 1, 2018. If not, the merger could be delayed, but
this will not affect your benefits.


Annuity Funds
Connecticut and Rhode Island participants will receive a separate notification regarding the plan rules
for the new merged Fund, which will be known as the Southern New England Carpenters Annuity Fund.
Connecticut and Rhode Island participants and retirees will continue to be serviced by the existing
Connecticut and Rhode Island Fund offices.
The New England Carpenters Guaranteed Annuity Fund will remain unchanged.


Vacation Funds
The New England Carpenters Vacation Savings Fund will administer Vacation contributions for
Connecticut and Rhode Island participants for hours worked January 1, 2018 and later. The Connecticut
and Rhode Island Fund offices will close the benefit year for Vacation contributions on December 31,
2017, and will send benefit checks to participants in early 2018. The new Combined Board will
determine when the 2018 benefit checks will be sent to all of the participants.


To sum up: We understand how important our benefits are to members. We will plan and execute
these mergers carefully, and preserve the high levels of service that you expect. We know that there are
many questions from members, and the list will continue to grow. We will work hard at communicating
with you throughout this process. Attached is the start of Frequently Asked Questions that we will
update regularly and publish to you. If you have a question that has not been covered, please submit it
to:
mergerquestions@carpentersfund.org
Of course, please feel free to call your Fund Office with any questions that you may have.


Yours in good health,


Jeffrey W. Werner
Executive Director
New England Carpenters Benefit Funds

 

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