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What to Do When Retiring

Many of our members may be looking toward retirement. In order to expedite your pension application process, notification should be made to the Local 26 Finance Office for the International pension. Please know that in order to receive your International and/or NEBF pension in a timely manner, your pension paperwork should be requested from the Local 26 Finance Office and the NEBF Office, six months prior to your expected retirement date. Upon contacting the Finance Office, the necessary pension forms will be mailed to you. Please contact Financial Secretary Mike Shoemaker or Linda at 301-459-2900. You should contact the NEBF office directly at 301-556-4300 for paperwork on questions about your NEBF benefits.

Paperwork for the Local 26 pension should be requested from the Local 26 Health and Welfare office at least three months prior to your expected retirement date. To receive these forms, please contact Robin Balint at 301-731-1050.

Additionally, you should receive a Social Security earnings statement from the federal government, regardless of your age or retirement plans. The statement usually arrives about three months prior to your birthday and will provide you with an up-to-date tally of your Social Security earnings. This statement is especially helpful to those nearing retirement, as it will enable you to know exactly how much money you will receive in Social Security benefits.

If you have not received your earnings statement, contact the Social Security office by phone, toll-free, at 800-772-1213, or online via www.ssa.gov to request that a statement be sent to you. Also available online via www.ssa.gov is the ability to calculate what your Social Security benefits will be when you retire. From the homepage click “estimate your retirement benefits” and then click on “retirement estimator” and follow the instructions. The information available on this website may be of significant value to you or someone you know who may be nearing retirement.

A goal of your Financial Secretary is to help our retirees fully understand how to best protect their pension funds once they begin to draw on them in retirement. After all, years of careful investment decisions and financial prudence could all go out the window if you do not know how to make your pension funds last throughout your retirement.

To help our members gain a better understanding of financially planning for their retirement, Local 26 holds a pension seminar. The seminar is open to all members of the Local and their spouse, but is primarily directed at those nearing retirement. Typically scheduled in October, the seminar features detailed discussions on our Local 26 pension, the International pension and the NEBF pension. Usually a representative from the Social Security Administration is on hand to explain Social Security benefits and answer any questions you may have.