Who qualifies for Retirement Plan benefits?


Who qualifies for retirement benefits?
In general, if you work under SAG-AFTRA-negotiated contracts that require contributions to be made on your behalf to the AFTRA Retirement Fund, your earnings are considered “covered earnings.” If you meet a minimum covered earnings level (see chart below) in a “base year” (December 1 - November 30), you will earn a pension credit for that year. Generally, if you accumulate at least five pension credits* throughout your career, you become vested for a Retirement Plan benefit.  This means you do not lose your right to a pension benefit, even if you leave covered employment before reaching the age when you can apply for a Retirement Plan benefit.

Minimum covered earnings required to earn a pension credit

 Time period

Minimum AFTRA-covered earnings

For base years December 1, 1989 - November 30, 1990 through December 1, 2001 - November 30, 2002 …

$5,000 annual minimum
AFTRA-covered earnings

For base years December 1, 2002 - November 30, 2003 through December 1, 2008 - November 30, 2009 …  

$7,500 annual minimum
AFTRA-covered earnings

For base years December 1, 2009 - November 30, 2010 and after …

$15,000 annual minimum
AFTRA-covered earnings

Note: Grandfathering provisions allow certain performers to earn pension credits and/or vesting service for covered earnings less than the amounts listed in the chart above. If you had covered earnings prior to Nov. 30, 2002, refer to the 2013 Retirement Plan Summary Plan Description and modifying Benefits Updates or call Participant Services at (800) 562-4690 to determine how these special provisions may apply to you.

How your pension is calculated
Retirement Plan at-a-glance intro page
Benefits at-a-glance main page

* Special vesting rules may apply based upon the number of Pension Credits you accumulated and when you earned them. Call Participant Services at (800) 562-4690, or refer to the 2013 Retirement Plan Summary Plan Description and relevant Benefits Updates for details and additional information.