COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

The following is important information for members of Plumbers Local 1 and your families.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COVID-19

  • You can help prevent the spread of any virus by staying home if you feel sick, covering your sneezing and cough with your sleeve (not your hand) and washing your hands often.
  • If you feel flu-like symptoms, fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and recently traveled to an area affected by coronavirus, or have been in close contact someone who as, call your doctor.
  • If you’re feeling well, no need to wear a face mask – and don’t worry if someone does. People wear masks for many reasons.
  • Check www.nyc.gov/health/coronavirus for updates and other help[ful information.
  • We will continue to monitor and respond to this pandemic as it rapidly evolves, taking every step to protect our members and their dependents. View the latest information and updates regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) in this section of the website.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

NEW 401(k) CORONAVIRUS-RELATED DISTRIBUTIONS

For many of us, we’re adjusting to a “new normal” as our jobs, families, and lives are impacted by COVID-19. If you’re feeling uncertain about what’s next and how to manage your money, know you’re not alone.

The Plumbers Local Union No. 1 Employee 401(k) Savings Plan (Plan) is here to help. Our continuing goal, as always, is to help you save for the long term so that you can have a secure retirement. However, we recognize that you may need to prioritize managing your short-term Financial needs in the current situation. And, if that's the case, we’re here to provide you with important information regarding the new Coronavirus-Related Distribution and Minimum Required Distributions.

The Board of Trustees made changes to the 401(k) Savings Plan to allow members easier access to their individual retirement savings during the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes will be available for processing by Prudential Retirement on Friday, May 1, 2020. Consequently, we ask that members please wait until May 1st to inquire about individual withdrawals related to COVID-19. CLICK HERE for additional information.

Please note that the Fund Office will NOT be able to assist you with your Prudential questions and/or requests for CRD Applications. All questions and/or requests should be directed to Prudential directly at http://ua1.retirepru.com/ or call Prudential Retirement at 877-PRU-2100 (877-778-2100). Representatives are available weekdays, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. An automated voice-response system is available 24/7.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FUND OFFICE OPERATIONS FAQ

An FAQ was prepared for guidance and information for Participants regarding issues that have arisen as we all deal with COVID-19. CLICK HERE for Answers to commonly asked questions that can be found on this FAQ page.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FUND OFFICE REMOTE OPERATIONS UPDATE

The Coronavirus pandemic has effected all of us, both personally and professionally. Since the closure, with your cooperation and patience, the Fund Office was able to quickly go back on line with remote technology. While the physical office remains closed, to ensure that the Funds continue to deliver vital services you depend on, staff was reassigned to work safely from their homes. This transition required a new main phone number (718) 223-4313, an alternative Member Services Call Center, along with laptop computers that are being used remotely by staff through a secure connection to access their Office desktop computers and take and return your telephone calls. Click Here for important information about the Fund Office remote operations.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

NEW DIRECT DEPOSIT BENEFIT PAYMENT OPTION!

With the Fund Office temporarily closed and staff working remotely from home, processing a regular check will be significantly delayed. You will now have an option to select Direct Deposit for your Benefit payments. Click Here for a copy of the form. If you have already submitted a claim for Benefit payments and prefer a Direct Deposit, you will need to compete a Direct Deposit Enrollment Form and send it to the Fund Office as described below.

As a reminder, where possible all applications and related documents should be sent by e-mail or text to info@ualocal1funds.org or by fax to 718-641-8155.

For questions: Please e-mail or text to info@ualocal1funds.org or by fax to 718-641-8155. You can also call the Fund Office Welfare Department at (718) 223-4313 or visit our web site at www.ualocal1funds.org.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

WEEKLY UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY:

  • Forms must be submitted with ORIGINAL Signatures!
  • Statements stating that your unemployment claim is being reviewed/processed are insufficient when applying for this benefit. You must submit proof for each week that you have collected/received State Unemployment Benefits.
  • This benefit is paid by the Fund monthly, we encourage you to combine multiple weeks in a single monthly claim.
  • Form W4 is OPTIONAL and must be submitted along with this application for the Fund to withhold, Federal, State and City Taxes.
  • The requirement to submit the Weekly Unemployment Benefit Form in person has been suspended. Also, Section D or Local 1's Certification is not currently required.

With possible disruptions with the US Postal Services and limited access to the Fund Office. All applications and related documents should bee sent by e-Mail or Text to info@ualocal1funds.org or by fax to 718-641-8155. Any questions regarding this benefit should also be submitted by email or fax. CLICK HERE for a copy of the form and instructions.

 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

YOU CAN NOW REACH THE FUND OFFICE at a new telephone number (718) 223-4313.

Please be mindful that we will be operating under extraordinary conditions and, depending on call volume, wait times may be longer than normal. We urge you to leave a voice message and / or limit your calls to urgent matters only while we adapt to these new circumstances.

As a reminder, correspondence, Claim Forms and documents where possible should be sent via email at info@ualocal1funds.org or by FAX at (718) 641-8155.

This is an extraordinary occurrence and it is crucial that we all work together to help each other and achieve the common good. We are dedicated to serving you and continuing to administer your benefits no matter the conditions we face. However, we are functioning at a reduced capacity and it will be difficult to duplicate our normal service levels. We ask for your patience as we endeavor to work through this situation safely. We wish you and your families all the best as we get through this together.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FUND OFFICE OPERATIONS WILL BE TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED

Due to ongoing concerns regarding the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the United States, and particularly New York City, the Plumbers Local Union No. 1 Fund Office will temporarily suspend normal operations at 50-02 5th Street, Long Island City, NY effective Friday, March 20, 2020. At this time, our intention is to suspend operations for 10 business days (until Friday, April 3, 2020) and re-evaluate the situation. While our physical office is closed, please be assured that we are working to ensure that we can deliver vital services  you depend on while staff can work safely from their homes.

We anticipate that we will be able to continue to service you through remote operations and functions. Please keep these  important facts in mind:

  • Our website will continue to operate and post important updates at www.ualocal1funds.org. With the uncertainty of the ability to have notices printed and mailed, the website will be your best resource during this period.
  • We will implement an alternative Member Services Call Center. However, be mindful that we will be operating under extraordinary conditions and, depending on call volume, wait times may be longer than normal. Please check the website for additional information. We urge you to limit your calls to urgent matters only while we adapt to these new circumstances.
  • Correspondence, Claim Forms and documents where possible should be sent via email at info@ualocal1funds.org or by FAX at (718) 641-8155.
  • In light of potential delay or interruptions in mail delivery, we are exploring alternatives to accepting your premium payments.
  • The Trustees have temporarily suspended the requirement for in-person applications for Weekly Unemployment Benefits and Monthly Unemployment Continuation of Coverage. Additional information regarding this change will be posted on our website.
  • We will continue processing and updating your Welfare coverage/eligibility while the Fund Office is closed.
  • We will continue issuing benefit payments (HRA/Welfare ASB/Weekly Unemployment) as soon as the remote operations and functions are in place.
  • The MyBenefits Portal will be available for access during this time period.
  • We will also have an email address available to monitor inquiries. Questions and/or comments can be submitted to t info@ualocal1funds.org. Once again, be mindful that we will be operating under extraordinary conditions with limited staff. We will do our best to reply to you in a timely manner. We urge you again to limit your inquiries to urgent and time-sensitive matters.

This is an extraordinary occurrence and it is crucial that we all work together to help each other and achieve the common good. We are dedicated to serving you and continuing to administer your benefits no matter the conditions we face. However, we are functioning at a reduced capacity and it will be difficult to duplicate our normal service levels. We ask for your patience as we endeavor to work through this situation safely together. We wish you and your families all the best as we get through this together.

For more information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to keep yourself and your family safe from infection, you can get the latest from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

We will be sure to contact you as soon as we know when the Fund Office will reopen and we can resume normal business operations.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FUND OFFICE TELEHEATH OPTION: As COVID-19 continues to spread, please consider using Telehealth.

  • You can Visit the doctor 24/7. You can see a doctor any time day or night, right from the comfort of your home. With no appointment, doctors can assess your condition, provide a treatment plan and send prescriptions to the pharmacy you select if needed. Rather than waiting to sign up when you’re not feeling well, register today so you’re ready for a visit when you need one. To sign up, visit livehealthonline.com or download the free LiveHealth Online app to your mobile device. Click Here for additional information.
  • We may be impacted in different ways, there are several support resources available to you. Optum is offering a free emotional support help line for all individuals impacted. Additionally, there are several coping and disaster tools and resources available to you on liveandworkwell.com. Log on to liveandworkwell.com Use access code plumbers to enter the site. Type the keywords "coping" or "disaster" into the search bar to get support. Click Here for additional information.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FUND OFFICE 401(k) & FINANCIAL MARKETS: As COVID-19 continues to create unease in the financial markets, you might be wondering how this market volatility will continue to impact your retirement account.

  • What's going on in the financial markets and why is it affecting my retirement savings? It can be hard to comprehend why a disease should affect your retirement savings. Put simply—as is often the case with major world crises or events—this virus has created a ripple effect. As communities and governments work to prevent COVID-19 from spreading, businesses and industries are being impacted by things such as cancelled events and fewer people traveling, eating out, or shopping. As people around the world get sick and take time off work to recover, distribution and supply chains are disrupted, too. Combine all this with current geopolitical events like the oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia and you can expect some panic in the financial markets, which will impact your retirement account investments. When the value of those investments fluctuates, so does your account balance.
  • Are my retirement savings at risk? Every time you invest and put your money in the financial markets, you take on risk. You do this because over the long term, investing in the financial markets has been shown to outpace inflation—even when you account for past market downturns, such as the 2008 crash. But, while everyone who invests takes on some level of risk, diversification helps us manage the amount of risk.
  • What should I do? Remember that pulling your money out of the market can actually lock in losses that you may not recoup unless your money is invested when the market starts to rebound. If you find yourself itching to take action, we recommend that you take advantage of the investment education tools provided by Prudential Retirement and investment advice services provided by Morningstar® Retirement Manager. Log in to http://ua1.retirepru.com/ for additional information.
  • What’s going to happen next? Market volatility is expected to continue in the coming weeks and, possibly, months. It’s not always pleasant but remember that volatility is a to-be-expected part of investing and the financial market cycle.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FUND OFFICE CALL BEFORE YOU GO: Many Offices and Service Provider locations may be temporarily closed. You may want to call the office or provider before your visit.

As always, the Fund Office is here to assist you in the best way possible. In order to provide you the quickest access to service and assistance, we would ask that all questions or concerns be addressed by calling the Fund Office at 718-835-2700.

In cases where the Fund Office may be closed or you have a need to get us off-hours, we ask that you contact us us by e-mail at info@ualocal1funds.org and someone will be assigned your question and will reach out to you as soon as we are able. Documents can also be faxed to the Fund Office at (718) 641-8155.