In February 2010 the AHTA and ABWU established a Retirement Fund at ABI bank for employees working in properties covered by the AHTA’s Collective Agreement with the ABWU. In March 2016 this fund was transferred to the Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank (ECAB).The basic guidelines of the Fund are outlined below.
Who is Eligible?
In order to join the fund, the employee must meet all the following requirements:
– must be employed at a hotel covered by the Collective Agreement between the A.H.T.A. and the A.B.W.U.
– must have completed his/her probationary period. The probationary period is a four week period measured from the date of employment.
When Can you Join The Fund?
You can join the Fund following the date you first attain eligibility requirements.
How Much Can You Contribute?
The employee will automatically contribute 2,5% of his/her basic salary to the fund. Your hotel will match this 2 ,5% contribution to make a total value contribution of 5%. So for every one dollar that is deducted from your salary for your retirement fund the hotel will add one dollar.
Additional Voluntary Contributions
An employee may choose to make additional voluntary contributions to the Retirement Fund. However the hotel will not match these Additional Voluntary Contributions. Should you would like to make Additional Contributions please advise the Hotel HR Manager.
When Are Benefits Paid?
The fund will begin paying benefits to you (or your beneficiary) upon the earliest of the following:
Your retirement on or after your 60th birthday
The date you become totally disabled.
The date of your death (proceeds paid to your named beneficiary)
The date you terminate employment due to an involuntary layoff :-
a. Where employment is terminated be cause of ill health
b. Where the employee is made redundant by the Hotel
c. Where the Hotel ceases to operate or exist
How Much Do you receive at retirement?
The amount of your retirement benefit is based upon your account balance at retirement. Your account balance will be equal to the sum of (a) your contributions, plus (b) your Hotel’s Contribution and (c) interest on all contributions.
What about my years of Service ?
Under the current Collective Agreement an amount equal to 75% of the severance entitlement was to be paid upon retirement at the age of 60. The Retirement Fund will replace this entitlement, however all your years of service will be calculated up until 31st January 2010, and the severance entitlement due up to this date will be paid to you upon retirement as well as the Retirement Fund.
What If I Leave the Hotel Before Retirement?
If your employment terminates prior to age 60 for any reason, including death or disability, your contributions and interest on those contributions will be distributed to you or your beneficiary.
You will also be legally entitled to a distribution of your vested Hotel’s contributions and the interest on those amounts.
If your employment terminates because of involuntary layoff, your vested Hotel contributions will be paid to you as soon as possible.
If you voluntarily resign your contributions and any vested employer’s contributions will be paid to you.
If you decide to leave and work in another hotel you may remain in the fund. You will retain your personal contributions and all vested contributions from your previous employer and start contributing again with your new employer.
WHAT IS VESTING?
To be “vested” means you have ownership rights to the value of your account.
You are always fully vested in your contributions as well as the interest earned on your contributions. You will become vested in the contributions made by the hotel in your name after 5 years of continuous service.
How Is Your Account Paid ?
The value of your account balance can be paid to you or your beneficiary in a lump sum or in monthly payments under an annuity option.
Can You withdraw amounts from my account while you are employed ?
Under no circumstances will an employee be permitted to make withdrawals from the fund before retirement.
However 50% of your personal contributions may be used as collateral for a loan granted by ECAB. Under the following conditions:
- A) that you have been a contributing member for at least three years,
- B) The loan is for the purchase or construction of your primary residence,
- C) The loan is for educational purposes
- D) The loan is for the payment of medical bills in respect of a major illness or emergency treatment.
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