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Retirement Health Reimbursement Account
A Retirement Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) allows employers to provide their employees with tax-free money to help them pay for qualified medical expenses incurred during retirement. The Retirement HRA is allowed under Section 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, which defines what expenses are considered qualified and can be paid out of the Retirement HRA Account.
Who Is Eligible?
You are eligible to participate in the Retirement HRA if you had a balance in your Additional Security Benefit (ASB) Plan account that converted to a Retirement HRA Account on July 1, 2005. You are also eligible to participate in the Retirement HRA if you are a Communication participant working for a participating employer. Your participation begins on the first day your employer contributes to your Retirement HRA Account.
How the Retirement HRA Works
Your employer will contribute to your Retirement HRA Account on an ongoing basis. The hourly contribution rate is established by the collective bargaining agreement.
Your Retirement HRA will grow through employer contributions and investment earnings. Your Retirement HRA Account will become available to reimburse qualified medical expenses once you attain normal retirement age and have ceased industry employment. Qualified retiree medical expenses include COBRA premiums, copays, deductibles and premiums for health care coverage. Retirees over age 65 can use their Retirement HRA Account to cover premiums for Medicare Parts A, B and D or a Medicare Advantage Plan. Contact the Fund Office for information about other eligible expenses or for a complete list of eligible and ineligible expenses, refer to IRS Publication 502. You can order the publication by calling 1-800-829-3676 or view it online at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf.
Funding the Retirement HRA
Your employer will contribute the established benefit rate for each hour worked. The Retirement HRA contribution rate is established under the collective bargaining agreement. Retirement HRAs do not permit employee contributions, so you will not be able to contribute to the Retirement HRA yourself.
Investment Earnings
The Trustees have chosen the Northern Trust Company to manage the assets of the Retirement HRA. You will receive quarterly statements showing employer contributions, investment earnings and the current balance of your Retirement HRA Account.
When Retirement HRA Funds Become Available
What if I Am Disabled?
Disabled participants who have received a disability award from the Social Security Administration may use their Retirement HRA Account for qualified medical expenses that are not covered under any other health care plan.
When you retire at normal retirement age, the funds in your Retirement HRA Account become available to pay for qualified retiree medical expenses allowable under section 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code and which are not paid by any other health care coverage you may have. To be eligible to retire, you must have ceased industry employment and be age 62 or older.
Retirement HRA distributions will be made on a monthly basis. Distributions will be made directly to the participant upon receipt of a completed claim application and an itemized receipt for qualified medical expenses.
When Coverage Ends
Coverage will end if the Retirement HRA is terminated or is amended so that you or your eligible dependents are no longer eligible to participate, or the funds in your Retirement HRA Account are depleted.
If You Die
If you die while working for a participating employer or after you have retired, your surviving spouse will be able to use the remaining balance in your Retirement HRA Account for his/her (and any of your eligible dependents') qualified medical expenses as allowed under Section 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code.
If you are not married on the date of your death or your surviving spouse dies, any remaining balance in your Retirement HRA Account can be used by your eligible dependent survivors for their qualified medical expenses. In this case, if there is more than one eligible dependent survivor, the remaining balance in your Retirement HRA Account will be divided equally based on the number of eligible dependent survivors.
If you die, or your surviving spouse dies, without any eligible dependent survivors the remaining balance in your Retirement HRA Account will be forfeited.
For More Information
Contact the Fund Office for more information about the Retirement HRA and a more complete summary of plan provisions and limits.