The New York District Council of Carpenters Benefit Funds
Notice to Members Regarding Changes to the Stamp Plan
December 15, 1998
Effective with the stamp period beginning January 1,1999 changes are being made to the Stamp Plan. The Stamp Plan has been of significant benefit in maintaining the funding of the Benefit Funds, but has become increasingly complex and expensive to administer. The modifications to the Stamp Plan will continue to provide a sound method of collecting contributions from the employers participating in the Benefit Funds while simplifying administration of the Funds.
Purchase of Stamps - Employers will still be required to purchase stamps to pay for contributions to the Benefit Funds for hours worked by each member.
Distribution of Stamps - Every signatory employer is required to provide you with stamps every payday in amounts equal to the hours that you have worked that week. The stamps represent a receipt for contributions paid to the Funds. It is very important that you receive your stamps and keep them in a secure place. You will be given a new stamp record book in which to save your stamps. You may be asked to present the stamp book upon request.
Stamp Shortages - If you do not receive stamps from your employer for hours worked after January 1, 1999 you should notify your shop steward or business representative of the stamp shortage. They will help you resolve issues related to obtaining the correct amount of stamps from your employer. You should also keep copies of your pay stubs in order to show that you worked hours for which you should have received stamps.
Reporting of Hours Worked by Employers - Employers will be required to report all hours worked by members on a regular basis. Most employers will be required to report hours monthly. When an employer becomes delinquent, they may not be allowed to purchase stamps and will be required to pay contributions and report hours worked to the administrative office on a weekly basis. Since you will not receive stamps from these employers, you will be mailed a statement each week of the hours reported on your behalf by these employers.
In all cases, you will receive a quarterly statement of all hours reported on your behalf by employers during the previous quarter. The first statement will be sent to you by May 1,1999 for hours worked after January 1, 1999 and reported from January through March 1999. You should report any differences between the hours for which you were paid and the hours reported by the employers to the Fund Office. Your pay stubs will be your proof of the hours worked for each employer. The Fund Office will investigate reported discrepancies and will audit employers when necessary to resolve problems.
Redemption of Stamps - It will no longer be necessary to redeem your stamps in order to receive benefits.
Benefits - Eligibility and calculations -Your benefits will be based on the hours reported by your employers. The Benefit Funds' administrator will automatically determine your eligibility for Health & Welfare benefits, calculate Pension credits, credit your account with Annuity contributions and send quarterly Vacation checks based on reported hours. It is very important that you verify that your quarterly statement of hours reported by your employers is accurate in order to receive your benefits.
Redemption of Stamps Received for hours worked prior to January 1, 1999
You must redeem stamps received for hours worked prior to January 1,1999 by March 31, 1999 in order to receive benefits under the "old stamp plan. This is very important for you to obtain your Vacation Plan benefits and Annuity Plan contributions under the "old" stamp plan. Don't wait. Submit all your stamps to the Bank of New York as soon as possible in order to receive credit for contributions to these Benefit Funds.
As part of the transition to the modified stamp plan, January 1,1999 eligibility determination for Health & Welfare benefits will be based on hours reported by employers. Determination of your pension benefits will continue to be based on hours reported by your employers.
Your cooperation is necessary for the Stamp Plan to work. The Funds will be able to credit you with fringe benefit coverage only if you do the following:
If you have any questions regarding your stamp program, please contact the Benefit Fund Office at (800) 529-3863.
Board of Trustees
New York District Council of Carpenters Benefit Funds