Participants of the New England, Connecticut and Rhode Island Carpenters
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
this will not affect your benefits.
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.
The New England Carpenters Vacation Savings Fund will administer Vacation
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
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
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
Of course, please feel free to call
your Fund Office with any questions that you may have.
Yours in good health,
Jeffrey W. Werner
New England Carpenters Benefit Funds
Frequently Asked Questions
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