Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The National Pipeline Agreement has finally been signed and finalized for June 1, 2020, through June 4, 2023. Our contract will immediately go to print, and by the time the Blue Light reaches you, we will be sending out a printed copy to all members. For the time being, you can go to the 798 website for viewing and print a copy now if you like.
IMPORTANT PLAN CHANGES
The Board of Trustees of Pipeline Industry Pension Fund (PIPF) and Pipeline Industry Benefit Fund (PIBF) met on September 4, 2019, and approved plan changes. These important pension plan and health and welfare plan changes will affect active participants, spouses, children, and retirees.
The PIBF office recently sent a document titled Summary of Material Plan Modifications dated September 2019, which outlines all the recent changes. Several highlighted changes include:
- Increase the PIPF accrual rate retroactive for all Journeyman participants’ past years to $220 provided the participant does not have a break in service of two years or more and increase the Helper rate for all Helper participants to $146 provided the participant does not have a break in service of two years or more. This benefit increase is retroactive for anyone retiring January 1, 2019, or later. Future year accrual rates will be $220 for Journeymen and $146 for Helpers.
- PIPF retired participant members or widows who retired prior to January 1, 2019, and are in pay status on December 31, 2018, will receive a 5% increase effective January 1, 2019.
- Effective for the 2020 plan year, PIBF will no longer have an open enrollment period for adult children age 19-26. If your adult child was enrolled for the 2019 plan year during the open enrollment process, their eligibility will be automatically extended to the end of the month in which they turn 26. If you have an adult child that is not currently enrolled, you can add the dependent as of a current date by filling out a new census card and mailing it to our office. Forms can be found on our website at www.pibf.org. Existing eligibility rules apply, and a copy of the dependent’s birth certificate, if not already on file, is needed to establish the parent/child relationship.
- The Trustees have again approved the continuance of the PIBF Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) for 2020. The HRA benefit will continue to be $4,000 per year for active members for single or family coverage. Active members on COBRA will continue to be $4,000 per year for single or family coverage. Separate coverage for spouses and children who are on COBRA is $2,000 per year. The HRA amount for a retired member with covered dependents is $4,000 per year and single retired members, and retired widows is $2,000 per year. The HRA filing deadline for 2019 is April 15, 2020.
Pension benefit increases are approved only when the actuarial consultants have confirmed that the Pipeline Industry Pension Fund is in a sound financial position, and any improvement will not jeopardize the long-term goals of the plan. Participants/retirees/beneficiaries should not assume that the same or similar benefit will be approved in any future years.
Wendi Taylor has been with PIBF 15 years and is the Assistant to the Controller/Pensions. Wendi and her husband, Michael, have been married 24 years and have two daughters, Shelby (22) and Sheridan (18), along with two beautiful grandbabies, Emerson (2) and Waylon (7 months). Wendi enjoys spending time in the pool with friends and family, watching football, and of course, spending time with her grandbabies, which includes traveling to see them while their daddy is working on the pipeline. Wendi would like the membership to know that “I feel very blessed to be a part of such an amazing local union! Local 798 and PIBF is such a great family to be a part of. I take my role in helping our retired members very personally and have developed great working relationships with many of our members. I take great pride in helping our membership! I want to say thank you to all the hard-working members of 798; without them, we wouldn’t be here!”
Denny L. Huggins is the Dependent Records Coordinator, working with Death Benefit, HRA, Census Records, and Dependent Eligibility. Denny joined PIBF 13 years ago in 2006. He and his wife, Keisha, have been married nine years and have two children, Malachi (5) and Maizy (1). Denny enjoys following/rooting for the OKC Thunder, working on his home, and spending time with his family. “Working in the maintenance department and then in the offices for PIBF has given me the chance to get to know many members and their families. I enjoy and take pride in helping the members understand their benefits and make the best decisions for themselves and their families. I would like to thank the membership for becoming members of LU 798 and giving everyone here at PIBF the opportunity to serve such an incredible organization.”
MORE 798 STORIES
Dear Brothers and Sisters, The National Pipeline Agreement has finally been signed and finalized for June 1, 2020, through June 4, 2023. Our contract will immediately go to print, and by the time the Blue Light reaches you, we will be sending out a printed copy to all members. For the time being, you can go to the 798 website for viewing and print a copy now if you like.
Brothers and Sisters, I hope this report finds you well. At the time of this writing, the National Pipeline Agreement is finalized. I won’t go into great detail here, but by the time this report reaches you, the contract will be posted on our website and mailed to every member.
First, I would like to mention how the new NPLA will affect calculating hours in regard to waiting time. If benefits are not paid on those hours, they will not be counted toward your 300 hours. Please be aware, you could arrive at 299.5 hours and retain your spot on the Out-of-Work List. Remember, you are guaranteed 300 hours of National Agreement work per Out-of-Work Date.
MDLIVE - Virtual Medical Visit Option The MDLIVE program launched May 1, 2020. Hopefully, you have all registered and set up a profile for you and your dependents to use should you need the service. It is a great idea to do this in advance of your first virtual visit.