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Retirement Planning Services
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Ph: 800.807.0700
Fx: 630.378.2507

20 Most Frequently Asked Questions About The Retirement Plan
1. What is the Christian Brothers Employee Retirement Plan (CBERP) and what type of groups can participate?
2. Who is eligible to participate?
3. How is my Retirement Benefit calculated?
4. What does vesting mean and when do I become vested?
5. When can I retire?
6. What is the Golden Rule of 90?
7. What will happen if I become permanently disabled?
8. Can I provide for my spouse after my death in retirement?
9. Are my benefits affected by my Social Security retirement benefit?
10. Can I continue working after I start receiving my retirement benefit?
11. What if I terminate employment before I retire?
12. What if I terminate employment and then get rehired at a later date?
13. What will my beneficiary receive if I die in active service?
14. How is the Plan financed?
15. What happens to my employer's contributions?
16. What happens to the assets of the Plan?
17. How is the Plan Administered?
18. Will I be provided with a statement showing the value of my benefit?
19. How do I apply for benefits?
20. Can I borrow against my benefits?

1. The CBERP is a defined benefit church plan. Only employers who are listed, have applied for listing or are owned by an entity listed in The Official Catholic Directory can participate.

2. A non-academic employee who works at least 20 hours per week or an academic employee who teaches at least half of a normal schedule of classes. All eligible employees must participate in the Plan.

3. The benefits are calculated according to set formulas. If your employer provided a benefit for your years of service before your employer entered the Plan, the benefit is based on a formula of past service compensation multiplied by years of past service credit. The formula for all service after your employer entered the Plan is based on future service compensation. There are a number of examples in the booklet.

4. Vesting means you have the right to a benefit. If you had made any contributions to the Plan, you are always 100% vested in those contributions. In order to be vested for a retirement benefit, you must work with a participating employer for 4 years and 9 months.

5. If you are vested, normal retirement is at age 65; however, you can retire with a reduced benefit as early as age 55.

6. The Golden Rule of 90 is a Plan subsidized early retirement benefit. If you qualify, you will be able to retire before your normal retirement date without a benefit reduction for early retirement commencement.

7. If you meet the disability requirements under Social Security, you will continue to accrue future service benefits until age 65, as long as you continue to meet these requirements, without any contributions from your employer.

8. Yes, with a Joint & Survivor Annuity option.

9. No, this Plan does not integrate with Social Security; therefore, your benefit is not reduced by Social Security.

10. Yes, provided that you do not work 20 or more hours per week for a participating employer. If you work 20 hours or more per week for a participating employer, you will be an active participant, and therefore your benefits would be suspended. Benefits are not affected if you work for a non-participating employer.

11. Your options vary depending upon whether or not you are vested and the value of your benefit.

12. If you were previously vested and re-employed by a participating employer, and did not receive a distribution, or you received a benefit that you repaid with interest within one year of rehire, all prior service credits will be restored. If not, you will be considered a new employee.

13. It depends on your marital status. If you are married, your spouse will receive your contributions, if any, plus interest. Also, if certain eligibility requirements are met, your spouse will be eligible for a survivor benefit for his or her life. If you are not married, your beneficiary will receive your contributions (if any) with interest. Also, if certain eligibility requirements are met, your beneficiary may be eligible for a lump sum death benefit.

14. By employer contributions and by the investment return on the Plan’s assets.

15. Your employer's contributions are used to fund the overall benefits of the Plan. Unlike a defined contribution plan, employer contributions are not added to the individual accounts of employees. Benefits are calculated based on formulas instead of the accumulation of a contribution account.

16. Funds are held in a Trust for the sole benefit of the participants. Investments are made by professional money managers.

17. The Plan is administered by a seven member Pension Board. This Board is comprised of participants and Religious who are affiliated with participating employers. The Board hires professionals to assist in recordkeeping, actuarial and investment services.

18. Yes, all participants receive an annual benefit statement showing the benefits accrued under the Plan, vesting status, and projected benefits at retirement.

19. The Retirement Plan needs official Notice from your employer before any action can be taken.

20. No. The Plan is designed as a retirement plan, and therefore benefits may not be assigned, sold, transferred, anticipated, garnished or encumbered in any way.