COVID-19 Temporary Pension Fund Administrative Changes
April 1, 2020
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation Shelter in Place orders around the country, the Central States Pension Fund has made some temporary changes to pension procedures to reduce the need for retirees and pension benefit applicants to leave their homes in order to submit pension benefit claims and/or any evidence of continuing entitlement to pension benefits requested by the Pension Fund.
- If you are married, are applying for retirement benefits, and wish to waive the Joint and Surviving Spouse Option:
The Pension Fund will temporarily accept a WAIVER OF JOINT AND SURVIVING SPOUSE OPTION ("JSO PENSION") form that is not notarized provided it is signed by both you and your spouse. You will be required to submit a notarized version of the form at a future date. If a notarized version of the WAIVER OF JOINT AND SURVIVING SPOUSE OPTION ("JSO PENSION") form is not submitted when requested by the Pension Fund, the form of payment election will be defaulted retroactively to a Joint and 50% Surviving Spouse Option. The appropriate reductions for the Joint and 50% Surviving Spouse Option will then be applied to future benefit payments in addition to a retroactive deduction for past benefit payments.
- If you are married, are applying for retirement benefits, and received a RETROACTIVE COMMENCEMENT OF PAYMENT OF MONTHLY JSO PENSION BENEFITS form:
The Pension Fund will temporarily accept a RETROACTIVE COMMENCEMENT OF PAYMENT OF MONTHLY JSO PENSION BENEFITS form that is not notarized provided it is signed by both you and your spouse. You will be required to submit a notarized version of the form at a future date.
- If you are applying for retirement benefits, and are not able to have your employer complete the employer section of the RETIREMENT DECLARATION FORM:
Please include the appropriate contact information for your employer including the name, e-mail address, and phone number of the appropriate person who can verify your employment status. The Pension Fund will then attempt to obtain the necessary information directly from your employer. Please understand that pension benefits will not be payable until after you terminate your employment with any contributing employer or any employment that would be considered Restricted Reemployment.
- If you received or were mailed a BENEFIT VERIFICATION FORM from the Pension Fund:
Your pension benefits will not be suspended, and you will not be required to submit the Benefit Verification Form to the Pension Fund until a later date. The Pension Fund will contact you when it is time to submit your Benefit Verification Form.
- If your pension benefits were suspended because you were mailed a BENEFIT VERIFICATION FORM to which you did not respond, or your last three benefit payments were voided because you did not cash your benefit checks or because you closed your bank account:
You may contact the Pension Fund by phone or using Message Center on our website and request that we reactivate your pension benefits. The Pension Fund will request that you submit a completed and notarized Benefit Verification Form at a later date.
- If you received a SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY VERIFICATION FORM from the Pension Fund:
You do not need to complete the form at this time and do not need to visit your Social Security Office. A completed form will be requested by the Pension Fund at a later date.
- Restricted Reemployment: As a Critical and Declining Fund under a Rehabilitation Plan, the Pension Fund is prohibited from revising or relaxing the current reemployment rules. For more information on Restricted Reemployment click here.
The Pension Fund is here to help and open for normal business operations. During this time, we strongly encourage you to utilize MyCentralStatesPension.org to download pension applications and forms; which can then be submitted directly to the Pension Fund through our secure Message Center. You can also find many answers on our website or log in to the Message Center to send us a secure message.
If you choose to call us, we ask for your patience as you may experience longer than usual hold times during this transition. We will continue to work diligently to ensure we minimize any potential gaps in service as we work toward adjusting to changes to our typical procedures.
Finally, we hope that you stay safe during this time. Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected during this crisis.