FAQs: About

1.  Is the ILPF only open to Teamster Locals that are part of the IBT’s Graphic Communications Conference?

No.  The ILPF has been a retirement option for all US Teamster locals since 2005, when the Graphics Communications International Union merged with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.  

 

2.  How long has the ILPF been around?

The ILPF has been in existence since 1950, when it was founded by 5 local unions as a defined benefit pension plan.  Since then, it has grown in participation to 70 local unions.

 

3.  How is the ILPF different from the defined benefit pension I already have through my Teamster contract?

The main differences are that the ILPF is funded exclusively through member contributions and is not subject to collective bargaining. Employers make no contributions and have no say in the ILPF's oversight or control.  If your employer is already making contributions to a defined benefit pension fund on your behalf as part of your collective bargaining agreement, that doesn’t prevent you from supplementing your retirement income through participation in the ILPF.

4.  How is the ILPF different from the 401(k) I already have at work?

The ILPF is a defined benefit plan, while your 401(k) is a defined contribution plan. A defined benefit plan is one that pays a pre-determinable, fixed monthly benefit upon retirement in accordance with the plan's governing documents.  This amount is not subject to market fluctuations and is paid for as long as the retiree lives. 

A defined contribution plan is one that a participant knows exactly how much s/he puts into the plan but cannot know in advance how much they will receive in retirement, since the value of the account will rise and fall depending on how it is invested.  In addition, the retiree can only collect what’s in the account.  Once the money is gone, it’s gone, regardless of how many more years the retiree may live. Read more

5.  What’s the difference between a defined benefit and a defined contribution plan?

A defined benefit plan is one that pays a pre-determinable, fixed monthly benefit upon retirement in accordance with the plan's governing documents.  This amount is not subject to market fluctuations and is paid for as long as the retiree lives.  

A defined contribution plan is one that a participant knows exactly how much s/he puts into the plan but cannot know in advance how much they will receive in retirement, since the value of the account will rise and fall depending on how it is invested.  In addition, the retiree can only collect what’s in the account.  Once the money is gone, it’s gone, regardless of how many more years the retiree may live. Read More

6.  Who decides what investments are made?

The Board of Trustees of the ILPF, which is comprised of presidents of Teamster Locals whose members are ILPF participants, hires investment professionals to manage the Fund and ensure that assets will be sufficient to pay promised benefits.  The Board meets regularly to review investment performance.

7.  Who decides how much I would contribute to the ILPF?

The contribution level is decided by a majority vote of the membership of either your local union, or your bargaining unit within the local, depending on how you participate in the ILPF, and applies to all members of the group.  For example, if your bargaining unit participates in the ILPF and votes for a 5% of gross pay contribution level, then all members of the bargaining unit participate at that level.  

8.  Do all ILPF active participants contribute the same amount from each paycheck?

No.  Contribution levels currently range from a low of $5/week to a high of 10% of gross payroll/week.  Each participating group (whether a bargaining unit or a locall) determines its own level by a vote of its membership.  While all members within a particular group (i.e. bargaining, unit, local) must contribute at the same level, there is wide variance between the contribution levels of the ILPF’s 70 participating locals.   

9.  Why aren’t more Teamsters participating in the ILPF?

The ILPF has only been a retirement option for Teamster members since 2005, when the Graphics Communications International Union merged with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.  As more Teamster locals become aware of the ILPF, and as the corporate assault of workers’ retirement continues, more locals are voting to participate.  

10.  Are ILPF contributions tax-deductible?

Yes. Under current IRS rules, ILPF participants can deduct up to $7,000 of contributions per year (or 25% of their income, whichever is less) on their taxes, subject to certain limitations, thus lowering their adjusted gross income, and, in turn, taxes payable.

In addition, those who participate in other payroll deferral plans such as a 401(k) may be eligible for a higher combined maximum limit on deductibility, depending upon their age. Under current IRS rules, participants who also contribute to a 401(k) can deduct up to $18,000 (combined) on their income taxes. Read More

John Greco

Local 14M
Philadelphia, PA

"The ILPF is a good investment. I’ve been working at my present job for 39 years, but the employer plan will provide me with less than $800 a month when I retire. Contrast that with the payment I’ll receive from the Fund. Even by age 63, before I plan to retire, I’ll have already earned more than twice as much a month.

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Teamsters Local 299



New Boston, MI

“We felt like we needed to take control of our retirement. That’s why we voted to join the ILPF. The Fund is run exclusively by and for Teamsters. It was set up decades ago and has provided generations of union members with secure retirements.

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Harold Moore

Local 285M
Washington, DC

“I plan on working until I’m eligible for full retirement benefits. I think the ILPF provides really excellent benefits. My contribution is taken directly out of my paycheck. I don’t have to think about it, so it’s easy to save for retirement. Belonging to the ILPF gives me a great sense of security. 

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Norma Balentine

Local 577M
Milwaukee, WI

“None of my previous jobs offered a defined benefit pension plan.  We’ve seen how the benefits provided by plans based on stocks, such as 401(k)s, can erode as the stock market plummets.   The ILPF is a gift that very few workers have – a lifelong benefit.

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Christopher Yatchak

Local 577M
Germantown, WI

“Today’s workers fear that they might run out of retirement savings before they die. It’s important to compare how defined benefit and defined contribution pension funds work and know what you should expect. How do you make your savings last the rest of your life?

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James Klug

Local 577 M
Cedarburg, WI

“It’s a rare fund and my retirement would be poor without it. I can’t think of any other fund that you get every penny you put in. When I retired, I had paid in a total of $88,000 over 39 years. If I live 25 years past my retirement age, the fund will provide a little under a million dollars in pension payments. I got what I paid in a couple of years and the rest is pure profit.

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