Monday, October 29, 2012

MPI Pension Statements

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By now, you should have received your annual statement from the Motion Picture Industry Pension Plan for the 2011 calendar year. In this post, I'll go over the parts of the statement to help better understand where your MPI Pension account balances are. I'll use my statement as an example. (I have the privilege of participating in MPI as a non-affiliate member because of my employment with the Guild)

If you have not received your statement, there's a good chance that MPI does not have your current address. Take this opportunity to contact them or just fill out and return a copy of their Change of Address form. Remember, MPI only communicates via US Post and does not actively seek out participants once they've changed addresses. Its important that participants keep MPI updated with their current mailing address.

Defined Benefit

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These statements have three parts which you should review for accuracy and edification. The first part, pictured above, is the Defined Benefit statement. In that portion, the 2010 balance is added to the new 2011 accruals. The figure at the bottom right (Accrued Benefit, Totals) is the monthly total that would be received if you were to retire at the time the statement was printed.

There is a column called Employee Contributions which most likely lists $0.00. Employee contributions to the Defined Benefit plan were restricted to unclaimed vacation and holiday pay in late 1990. Typically, studios will try to pay that to participants directly.

Also of note is the Vesting Statement that shows that I am currently not vested in the Defined Benefit as I've only been credited with two qualified years. This is shown in bold font on grey background at the bottom of the Defined Benefit portion.

Individual Account Plan

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The next portion is the Individual Account Plan statement. The 2010 IAP balance is shown in bold on grey at the top of this portion. It is followed by:
  • Prior year adjustments
  • The 2011 plan income earned through the plan investments
  • The 2011 plan income earned through the hourly contribution portion of the IAP funding
  • The 2011 plan income earned through the '6% of contracted wage minimum by job category' portion of the IAP

There are contributions listed called Redistributed Plan Forfetures in both the Hourly Contribution and % of Salary Contribution sections. This money is the portion allocated to active participants that was forfeited by MPI Pension participants that did not complete a qualified year.

This portion is completed with the 2011 IAP balance in bold type on a grey background.

Reported Hours

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This section will list the reported worked hours for the 2011 year (December 26, 2010 to December 24, 2011). Its important that you review this section for accuracy as best you can. Your pension benefits are calculated based on the number of hours reported by your employers.

If you feel there is a discrepancy in the number of hours reported by your employer, you will need to contact the employer to discuss the matter. They have the ability to report hours for your 2011 year late which will be reflected on your 2012 statement.


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