The ILPF provides retirement security that Teamsters can count on. It offers all the advantages of a defined benefit pension: retirement benefits calculated on a set formula that gives you the ability to know from the start exactly how much you’ll receive each month of your retirement. The ILPF provides a lifetime benefit that ensures you will not outlive your pension, whether you live to be 66, 86 or 106.
This sets the ILPF apart from defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s and IRAs, in which there are no guarantees that your retirement savings will last — or that poor investments or a plunge in the market won’t wipe out years of savings. The fact that the ILPF takes no employer contributions and has no employer control or other type of involvement enables Teamsters to contribute with the peace of mind that their pension will be there for them when retirement comes and will not become victim to the types of corporate maneuvering that have destroyed the retirement security of millions of Americans. As a member-funded pension, the ILPF is not subject to the Federal Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, and benefits can only be reduced by a vote of a majority of the Fund's retirees and active participants.
It’s worth repeating that the ILPF is NOT an employer fund. No employer contributes to it. No employer participates in its administration. Contribution levels and benefits are not negotiated with any employer. The ILPF is funded directly and exclusively by participating Teamster members and is administered by a Board of Trustees comprised of elected presidents of participating IBT Locals and District Councils.
There are many reasons that Teamsters choose to participate in the ILPF. Some use the Fund as a way to supplement retirement income from an employer-funded pension and/or Social Security. For the 400,000 Teamsters who have no employer-funded pension, the ILPF offers access to a level of retirement security that only a defined benefit plan can provide. Regardless of the reason, Teamsters gain in retirement as well as in the short-term from ILPF participation since contributions are tax-deductible and reduce tax liability.
Finally, all ILPF contributions and investment earnings are dedicated exclusively to pay pensions to participants and related administrative expenses. While directed by a Teamster-controlled Board, the ILPF is managed by investment professionals and adheres to all applicable regulatory and legal requirements.
The Inter-Local Pension Fund is truly run by and for the benefit of participants.
The ILPF was founded on Labor Day in 1950 by five locals of the Graphic Communications International Union (GCIU) as a defined benefit pension plan funded exclusively through contributions from union members — with no contributions or involvement from employers. It grew in participation and assets over the years but has always maintained its exclusion on any form of employer involvement. In 2005, the GCIU became part of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, creating the Graphic Communication Conference (GCC) of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and the ILPF became available as a retirement option for all Teamster Local Unions and Joint Councils.
When the Fund has prospered, the Trustees, with approval of the Fund’s actuaries, have been able to improve retirement benefit payments as well as offer new benefits such as a disability pension and early retirement options. On two occasions, both following severe economic downturns, Fund participants voted overwhelmingly to rescind some improvements in order to protect the longer-term prospects of their Fund. Because of the democratic structure of the ILPF's governance, it is the participants themselves, and not the Trustees or anyone else, who make decisions that impact their retirement benefits — a unique and important distinction.