In June of 2007 when the members of Local 150 in Districts 1, 2, and 3 ratified the latest Illinois Heavy, Highway & Underground and Building Agreement, the Retirement Enhancement Fund was created. Since then, several other agreements have been renewed and now include the Retirement Enhancement Fund. As other agreements come up for renewal, they too may include the new Fund. The first hourly contributions into the new Fund were received for work performed in June of 2008. The Trustees have selected Fidelity Investments to manage the new Fund.
First, this Fund is in addition to and to enhance the existing MOE Pension Plan that members of Local 150 already enjoy. Members working under a contract containing the Retirement Enhancement Fund will receive a contribution into this Fund, for each hour worked at the hourly contribution rate specified in the contract. These contributions will be made by your employer, on a pre-tax basis, to an account in your name. The contributions will be sent to the Fund Office and promptly transferred to your Fidelity Investments Account. You will direct Fidelity Investments on how you wish to invest your account. Over time, your account will grow with additional contributions and investment income. When you retire, you may access your account in a variety of ways, including periodic payments or a lump sum payout.
Fidelity Investments is a recognized leader in the administration of defined contribution retirement plans. Fidelity Investments currently manages over $2.6 billion in assets for over 51,000 union members of Taft-Hartley Funds just like our Midwest Operating Engineers Pension Fund. The Trustees will work in conjunction with Fidelity Investments to bring you a favorable line-up of investment choices including Fidelity’s Freedom Funds. The Freedom Funds use an asset allocation (stocks, bonds, real estate) recognizing the basic premise that when you are younger you can assume more investment risk and as you near retirement less risk is tolerable. So with the Freedom Funds, those with a longer time to retirement are invested more in equity than in short-term and fixed income to maximize investment return. As you move towards your retirement, your portfolio is automatically adjusted, periodically, moving your investments into less risky fixed income and short-term investments.
Fidelity Investments also offers a wide variety of services designed to suit each individual’s needs. Soon you will be receiving printed materials in the mail providing important information regarding the investments choices you will need to make on how your contributions will be invested. Once your account with Fidelity has been established you will have access to Fidelity’s automated 24/7 voice response telephone system to access account information and make investment transactions. Fidelity also maintains a state of the art website to access account information, make investment transactions and be sure to provide/update your beneficiary information. The website contains investment education information and retirement planning tools. Finally, you will have access to qualified Retirement Services Specialists over the phone or, face to face at one of their Investor Centers located throughout the area.
Finally, the Fund Office will be hosting Know Your Union seminars for new members and Retirement Planning seminars. Please refer to the Calendar of Events for updated dates/times/locations for each of these events. A Fidelity Representative will be available to answer any questions that you may have regarding this Fund.
Once again, the Trustees of the Midwest Operating Engineers Pension Fund are pleased that they are able to establish the Retirement Enhancement Fund for your benefit.