Key questions and answers about our pension plan.
What happens if I become disabled before I am 65 years old?
If you are forced to leave covered employment because you are totally and permanently disabled you may be eligible for an immediate pension. To be eligible you must have 2 years of future service credit and your condition must be reviewed by the Fund’s medical consultant to determine whether your disability falls within the scope of the Fund rules.[what are the fund rules.
What is service credit?
Work in a covered job classification before September of 1976 is called past service credit. Work in a covered job classification after September of 1976 is called future service credit (while you contribute to the plan).
How much service credit do I need?
You need 2 years of service credit if you work in a covered job in a unionized hotel until age 65.
How is past service credit figured?
You receive one year of past service credit for each year of full-time employment in a covered job classification before September of 1976. You receive past service credit only if you were working in a covered job classification in a unionized hotel in September 1976. You cannot receive more than 10 years of proven past service credit.
Do I obtain past service credit automatically?
No, it must be claimed and proved.
What if I leave covered employment before I am 65 years old?
If you have 2 years of future service credit when you leave covered employment you will be eligible for a pension with payment starting when you are age 65. You may elect a reduced benefit at age 55.
What happens if I leave covered employment before I am 65 years old and do not have 2 years of future service credits?
You may be eligible to receive a refund of your contributions plus interest credited at the rate of 4% per annum after you have been out of covered employment for 6 consecutive months. You must fill out a Contribution Refund Form and send it to the Fund Office. Refunds are payable at the end of the month in which you are eligible.
Can I obtain full service credit if I return to covered employment after I have received a refund of my own contributions?
When you receive the refund, all of your services are cancelled. If you return to covered employment, you may repurchase your prior service credits. To repurchase these credits you must repay the amount of the refund plus interest within one year after you return to covered employment. Call the fund office for details of the amount you must repay.
What happens if I die before I start to receive pension?
Your named beneficiary will be paid your contributions plus interest. If no beneficiary survives you, your contributions will be paid to Your spouse, or if none, Your children, or if none, Your parents, or if none, Your estate.
Can I change my beneficiary?
Yes. If you want to change your beneficiary complete a “Change of Beneficiary” form. Contact us to get this.
Is there any interest credit on my contributions?
Yes. Currently, 3.5% interest is credited at the end of each year on the balance at the beginning of the year. No interest was credited before the end of 1978.
If I leave Bermuda when I retire, can I continue to receive pension payments?
Your pension will be by electronic wire transfer to where you are living. It will be converted from Bermuda dollars to the currency of your choice to the extent legally possible, less bank charges.
Are pensions guaranteed by the Government?
No. Pensions are paid solely from contributions to the plan and investment income on plan assets. The amount of contributions is determined by the collective bargaining agreement between the Bermuda Industrial Union and the Hotel Employers of Bermuda.
Can I transfer my previous pension to the Hotel Pension Fund when I join?
Yes. The Hotel Pension Fund will accept a locked-in transfer of the amount of benefits earned by you with a previous employer.
Can I transfer my pension benefits from the Hotel Pension Fund to my new employer?
Yes. Under the new Pension Legislation, all benefits are required to be portable. Should you leave the hotel industry you may apply for the transfer of your benefits to the pension plan of your new employer as a locked-in contribution in accordance with the requirements of current legislation.
Pension payments start as soon as you have met all of the requirements such as age and service and file a completed Pension Application form. Payments are made on the first day of the month.