As an 1199SEIU member, you are among the fortunate few U.S. workers who receive a “defined benefit” pension, meaning that once you are “vested” and you retire, you will receive a specific amount of money each month for the rest of your life. Your “defined benefit” pension is becoming increasingly rare–available to fewer than one in five private-sector workers in the U.S. Many must rely instead on a “defined contribution” plan, which they contribute to through paycheck deductions, and which their employer may or may not match to a certain amount. The workers must choose their own investments and have no guaranteed minimum or maximum benefits. With your defined benefit pension, you make no contributions and are guaranteed a set monthly pension check for life.

Your Defined Benefit Pension Plan Defined Contribution Plans
Fixed monthly benefit for life. No fixed monthly benefit for life.
Funded through employer contributions and asset performance. Workers make payments into accounts that are subject to market risks.
You know what your benefit will be. Workers can’t predict what their benefit will be.

Spotlight on Retiree
Mary Stovall-Merrill,
1199SEIU RMD President

Mary Stovall-Merrill, a retiree since 2012, is more active than many people half her age–thanks in large part to her 1199SEIU pension. Mary became an 1199SEIU member in 1975, when she joined the staff of Peninsula Hospital Center in Far Rockaway as a Clinical Laboratory Technologist–a position she enjoyed for the rest of her career. When the hospital closed in 2012, she retired and became active in her local chapter of the 1199SEIU Retired Members Division (RMD) in St. Albans, Queens. In 2016, her fellow chapter members asked her to run for the presidency of the RMD–and she won.

Mary is especially grateful for the defined benefit pension she receives from the 1199SEIU Health Care Employees Pension Fund. Her pension has not only given her added financial security in her retirement, but has also allowed her to travel. She has visited Nashville, New Orleans and California, as well as Canada and Jamaica. She even took her first trip to Europe–a 14-day cruise–which had always been on her bucket list. “I’m so blessed and thankful for my pension and all that it allows me to do,” she said.

Questions about Your Pension? Let Our Virtual Pension Counselor Walk You Through the Process

If you are thinking about retiring, you have a number of decisions to make about your pension benefit, and a great place to start is by watching our online pension video series. Just go to Pension and Retirement. From the dropdown menu, select your Pension Fund to view Your Virtual Pension Counselor videos. These videos include information on how your pension is calculated, how to apply for your pension, your payment options and other helpful topics as you begin this new chapter in your life. If you have questions after watching the videos or want to schedule an appointment with one of our Pension Counselors, please call (646) 473-8666.

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