The WoodmenLife Pension Plan rewards eligible associates who were first employed by WoodmenLife before Oct. 1, 2006, for long and loyal service by providing them with retirement benefits. Participants were also required to reach 21 years of age and complete one year of service to be eligible. Those who were receiving disability benefits under WoodmenLife's group disability income plan and had at least five years of service at the time they became disabled also continued to be eligible for the pension plan.
In October 2006, associates had the option to cease all benefit accruals under the pension plan after Dec. 31, 2006, and begin participating in matching contributions and service-related employer contributions with the WoodmenLife 401(k) Plan. At this time, new enrollments in the pension plan also ceased (this included associates hired or rehired after Sept. 30, 2006).
Pension Plan Participants
For those that continued their participation in the pension plan during the 2006 changes, the following guidelines apply:
Pensions are evaluated by the calendar year, Jan. 1 – Dec. 31. Certain valuations and distributions are made on Dec. 31 each year.
Your starting date for the pension plan was the day when you satisfied eligibility requirements.
Your active participation in the pension ends on the date you terminate employment with WoodmenLife for reasons other than death, disability, or retirement.
WoodmenLife will contribute to your plan annually; the contribution amount may vary from year to year, depending on factors including participant turnover, benefit payments, and investment gains and losses.
Your normal retirement benefit will be based on average annual earnings, your compensation averaged over the five consecutive years of employment that produce the highest average.
If you retire the first day of the month following your 65th birthday, you will be entitled to a monthly benefit, which is called your “Normal Retirement Benefit.” This benefit will be a straight life annuity equal to 1/12 of your Average Annual Earnings multiplied by a percentage. The percentage will equal your total number of years of service with WoodmenLife, not exceeding 20, multiplied by; 2% plus any years of service in excess of 20 multiplied by 1%.
All benefits payable to you under the pension plan are in addition to any benefits to which you may be entitled under Social Security.
To qualify for early retirement under the pension plan, an associate must submit the request in writing, and specify whether he or she would like to begin receiving benefits at the early retirement date or normal retirement date. To qualify, the associate must have 20 years of service. An early retirement date may be the first day of any calendar month following the associate’s 55th birthday. If an early retiree chooses the regular retirement date to begin benefits, he or she will receive the same monthly benefit specified above. If he or she chooses to receive early retirement benefits, the benefit will be decreased by 4% per year for the period between the early retirement date and the associate’s normal retirement date.
An associate is eligible for special early retirement when they reach at least 30 years of service. This may be requested in writing to take effect the first day of any calendar month following his or her 60th birthday, before his or her normal retirement date. This benefit will be a single life annuity equal to 1/12 of your Average Annual Earnings multiplied by a percentage. The percentage will equal your total number of years of service with WoodmenLife, not exceeding 20, multiplied by 2%; plus any years of service in excess of 20 multiplied by 1%; plus any years of service in excess of 30 multiplied by 0.5%.
Your Late Retirement Date takes effect if you retire one month or more after reaching the Normal Retirement Date. Late retirement benefits are based on the formula used to calculate your normal retirement benefit. If your pension benefits do not start by April 1 following the calendar year you reach 70 ½ years, your benefit will be actuarially increased.
If you are married at the time of your death, and your death occurs before your retirement date for your pension benefits, your spouse will be the beneficiary. No death benefits will be provided if you are not married at the time of your death. The pre-retirement survivor annuity to your spouse shall be an annuity providing periodic payments for the life of your spouse.
You may participate and make contributions to the 401(k) plan, but you will not be eligible for the matching and service-related contributions.
Click here for more detailed information on the pension plan, as well as implications for those who switched to the 401(k) in 2006.