Northern Illinois Retirement Fund
DEFINED CONTRIBUTION PLAN
In addition to the Northern Illinois Benefit Fund and Northern Illinois Pension Fund, you are also participants in the Northern Illinois Retirement Fund (a defined contribution plan). The Northern Illinois Retirement Fund was requested by the membership to provide a retirement benefit that they themselves could control. The Plan has provided an excellent additional retirement program that allows members to select their investment choices based on their investment strategy and risk. The program is not a 401(k) but called a 401(a) / 404(c) plan. The difference is that it is not a salary reduction plan. Instead $4.25 per hour is submitted into the Fund by your employer on a monthly basis. The Fund Office withholds an administrative fee of $2.00 per participant from the monthly contributions. The Fund Office in turn, transfers the contributions to MassMutual Retirement Services of Springfield, Massachusetts. The funds are invested in the mutual funds that you have selected from the family of funds offered in the program. If an initial allocation election is not made by, or on behalf of a participant, amounts contributed will be invested in a Target Date Fund based on your age and projected retirement date.
Clearly, defined contribution plans won’t pay off if you don’t pay into them. But if you participate, take the long view, and invest wisely---by diversifying into the available investment choices---defined contribution plans can provide you with a solid source of retirement income.
If you have any questions, regarding MassMutual or the Northern Illinois Retirement Fund, please feel free to call the Fund Office at (630) 978-4600 or MassMutual at 1-800-743-5274.
For employees, the appeal of defined contribution plans begins with their “hands-on” accessibility. Unlike pension funds, in which employees’ money is pooled together and invested by the investment managers, defined contribution plans are administered on an individual basis, with a separate account for each employee. Consequently, you decide how your retirement savings are invested, giving you much greater control over your money.
It is easy to invest with this program because no paperwork is involved on your part. There are no coupons for you to have to keep track of. Your employer is sent a monthly remittance form that they will complete and send back to the Fund Office.
MassMutual sends to your home a quarterly statement which indicates your investment performance during the quarter and your existing balances in each of the mutual funds you have selected. In this way, you can monitor the performance of your selections and make any changes you wish if you are not satisfied with the returns.
MassMutual also provides a participant website which is www.retiresmart.com and provides access to the accounts. In addition, toll-free customer service is available by calling 1-800-743-5274 so members can ask questions and learn more about the options available through the various mutual funds.
Distributions to Prevent Foreclosure or Eviction
This feature will provide you with a Retirement Fund distribution in the event your primary residence has been placed into foreclosure or you are being evicted by your landlord. There are specific requirements that are necessary before a distribution can be made. For those who may be experiencing a foreclosure or an eviction, this feature is available. You must demonstrate an immediate and financial need to prevent foreclosure of or eviction from your primary residence. The evidence we require is documentation that indicates legal proceedings for foreclosure or eviction have started.
MassMutual is required by the IRS to withhold 20% for Federal tax purposes. If you are under 59½, MassMutual will withhold an additional 10% early withdrawal penalty at the time of the distribution. You will also be responsible to pay any attorney’s fees that the Fund incurs in reviewing your distribution. This amount will be reimbursed to the Fund directly by MassMutual. If you need $10,000 to prevent foreclosure of your mortgage or to prevent eviction, the Fund will determine the amount needed to be withdrawn, taking into consideration the 20% withholding, the 10% penalty withholding and the legal fees. The withdrawal will be $14,286.00. An additional $250.00 would be for legal fees and $20 for overnight delivery by United Parcel Service.
Please note that your distribution request cannot be used to satisfy unpaid real estate taxes or other expenses you may be incurring. The Amendment(s) provide a distribution only to prevent a foreclosure or eviction and can be requested one time only, every three years.
MassMutual and the Fund Office also offer an annual educational program that is mandatory for all apprentices. These sessions, normally held on a Monday and Tuesday evening in October, provide you with an opportunity to learn about the investment options available under MassMutual and understand the concepts of asset allocation, investment selection and asset classes. In addition, a MassMutual representative will take you through The RetireSmart website and explain the various features of that website. If you are a journeyman, the program is also available to you and your spouse but it is not mandatory.
MassMutual has installed a computer and printer in the Education Fund Library on the second floor. It is available to all participants in the Retirement Fund. The computer is preset to the MassMutual website so you can access your personal Retirement Fund account. No appointment is necessary to use the computer, however, it is made available on a first come, first served basis. The computer is available during normal business hours (8:00 am – 4:30 pm) and on school nights (Monday thru Thursday from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm). MassMutual’s RetireSmart website provides you with personalized retirement savings and benefit projections, account access and information about retirement investments.
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Page Last Updated: Oct 10, 2012 (13:49:00)