The Southwest Carpenters Trusts and the Carpenters Southwest Administrative Corporation (CSAC) are here to welcome you. CSAC is the Administrator for the Southwest Carpenters Trusts, currently serving approximately 80,000 Participants of the Health, Pension, Vacation, Annuity and Training Funds in the jurisdiction of the Southwest Mountain States Regional Council of Carpenters.
You can contact our professional staff Monday-Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (PST) by phone or email as follows:
During this transition, when contacting the Administrative Office please identify yourself as a participant from Washington, Idaho, Montana, or Wyoming so our staff can better assist you with your questions.
Assistance is available in English and Spanish.
Carpenter labor agreements covering the jurisdiction of Eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming that required contributions to the Northwest Carpenters Health & Security Plan (Northwest Plan) in the past are now required to make contributions to the Southwest Carpenters Health & Welfare Trust (Southwest Trust).
As employer contributions are required by the labor agreement, working Participants will earn credit under the rules of the Southwest Trust going forward.
Participants will receive additional information in the mail regarding their new benefits as they become eligible on an ongoing basis.
Southwest Trust will grant credit for any work hours reported to the Northwest Trust for July 2023 in order to capture a full work quarter for eligibility.
Beginning with the August 2023 contributions are directed to the Southwest Carpenters Health & Welfare Trust
Initial eligibility will be granted for November, December and January (Eligibility Quarter) when 300 total work hours for July, August and September (Work Quarter) are recorded.
Participants will be required to utilize their Northwest bank coverage for October coverage. Participants who do not have enough bank hours from the Northwest to provide October coverage should contact CSAC for assistance.
Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho - Transition Complete
Southern Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming - Transition Complete
|Calendar Work Quarter Hours Earned||Eligibility Quarter|
|January, February, March||May, June, July|
|April, May, June||August, September, October|
|July, August, September||November, December, January|
|October, November, December||February, March, April|
Look for a packet in the mail with more information.
Initial eligibility for coverage is granted when:
more than 300 hours have been reported for a calendar work quarter.
Once you have initial eligibility, continued eligibility will be granted when:
If you work more than 360 hours in a calendar quarter, the excess hours will be credited to your reserve bank. The maximum reserve bank accumulation is 720 hours.
If you become disabled and are unable to work, you may be eligible to continue your health coverage with Disability Hours Credit. You must submit your Disability Hours Claim Form within 120 days of the date your disability began and meet the additional criteria to qualify for continuing eligibility.
See https://lifeevents.carpenterssw.org/#disability for information and the claim form.
* When participants have transitioned from the Northwest Trust, eligibility and work hours recorded in that plan may be used to satisfy the criteria for Disability Hours Credit. Contact the Administrative Office for assistance.
Participants who lose eligibility due to a lack of reported work hours or reserve bank hours have the option to self-pay for up to 60 hours to meet the minimum number of reported hours to maintain eligibility for one quarter.
The following conditions apply:
If you qualify for the Hours Buy Back, a letter will be sent to your address on file with information regarding the number of hours required to keep eligibility for the next quarter and the amount due.
* When participants have transitioned from the Northwest Trust, eligibility and work hours recorded in that plan may be used to satisfy the criteria for Hours Buy Back. Contact the Administrative Office for assistance.
Participants should be aware that for those who live or work in the Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming areas, it may be possible to record hours within the jurisdiction of the Northwest Trusts and the Southwest Trusts without traveling too far.
For Participants in the following locals, the "Home Fund" for reciprocity purposes is the Southwest Trust.
The Southwest Trusts will also be the "Home Fund" for Participants working under the NWCCA Agreement in Washington unless the majority of their work hours are reported under other labor agreements that report to the Northwest Trust. Contact the Reciprocity Department or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Participants with an authorization on file for the transfer of Health & Welfare contributions from the Northwest Trust to an outside fund whose Labor Agreement was modified to direct employer contributions to the Southwest Trusts, should contact the CSAC Reciprocity Department at email@example.com for instructions. Reciprocity Forms are available to submit in the MemberXG Document Center if the Southwest Trust is the Home Fund.
Participants transitioning from the Northwest Carpenters by their employment in a Maser Labor Agreement, will not be required to provide plan enrollment documents or dependent information. The necessary enrollment information will be transferred from the Northwest Trust and Participants will automatically be enrolled into the Southwest Carpenters PPO Medical Plan with the same dependents that were enrolled previously in the Northwest Plan as of the required date.
All participants enrolled in the PPO Medical Plan will be automatically enrolled in the UHC PPO Dental and the UHC Vision Plan.
To change your dental plan option from the PPO to the INO, you will be required to complete a new enrollment form within 30 days of your eligibility date.
The INO plan is not available in Idaho or Montana.
Once enrolled, Participants are permitted to change their dental plan at any time, as long as you have been enrolled on your current plan choice for a minimum of one year, by completing and returning a new enrollment form indicating your plan choice. The change is effective on the first day of the 3rd month following the month of request.
See https://lifeevents.carpenterssw.org/ for information regarding adding dependents.
|Type of Service||Independence Active PPO Co-Pay|
|Annual Deductible||N/A (in network)|
|Office Visit/Specialist||$15/$30 per visit|
|Diagnostic X-Ray or Lab||$30 per visit|
|Chiropractor||$15 per visit
(Limit 24 visits per year)
|Hospital Admission||$500 per admission|
|Outpatient Surgery||$250 per surgery|
|Emergency Room||$250 per visit|
|Urgent Care||$100 per visit|
|MDLive – Telemedicine Visit||$5.00 per visit|
These examples are for in-network providers only. For coverage of out-of-network providers, see your 2023 Health Plan Benefits "At a Glance", the Summary Plan Description (SPD) or the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC).
You will continue to receive your prescription drugs through Express Scripts. If you have a pre-authorization on file prior to your transition date, it will be transferred to your Southwest Carpenters PPO Plan.
|Type of Drug||Retail Network Pharmacy
(Up to a 30-Day Supply)
|Mail Order Home Delivery or CVS Smart 90|
|Generic||$10; $0 for prescription contraceptives||$25; $0 for prescription contraceptives|
|Preferred/Non-Preferred Brand for Which There is a Generic Equivalent Available||You will be charged the brand copayment, plus the difference in cost between the brand and the generic||You will be charged the brand copayment, plus the difference in cost between the brand and the generic|
Routine maintenance medications are covered for a 30-day supply for only 2 fills. After the 2nd fill, you will pay the retail price for the medication unless you use the mail order pharmacy or visit a CVS Pharmacy for the Smart 90 program to purchase a 90-day supply.
Express Scripts can help you arrange an at home delivery or locate a pharmacy.
Participants transitioning from the Northwest Carpenters will default to the Dental PPO, but may submit a new enrollment form to elect the Dental INO Plan (HMO). However, the Dental INO Plan is not available in Idaho or Montana.
|Service||Dental PPO||In-Network Only (INO) Plan
(Dental HMO - Not available in Idaho or Montana)
|Orthodontic – Child*||50%||50%|
|Orthodontic – Adult*||50%||50%|
|Calendar Year Max||$3,000||$5,000|
|Orthodonture covered to a lifetime maximum of $2000.|
|Exam||Once Every 12 Months||$10 Copay|
|Lenses-Per-Pair||Once Every 12 Months, Frames-Once Every 24 Months||$20 Copay for Materials|
|Contact Lenses||Once Every 12 Months||Instead of Frames and Lenses, at the $20 Copay, You May Select Contact Lenses|
The CCAP is a free, confidential program, available 24/7/365 to all eligible participants and family members who may be overwhelmed by life's challenges.
When you call or sign in through the App or Website, use the WEB ID: SWCCAP
All actively eligible participants, are entitled to the following Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance, regardless of medical plan choice or enrollment. COBRA participants are excluded.
|Life Benefit||AD&D Benefit|
|Participant||$20,000||$5,000 - $20,000|
|Dependent (if enrolled)||$3,000||$0|
As of January 1, 2023, Carpenter labor agreements that previously required contributions to the Washington-Idaho-Montana Carpenters-Employers Retirement Trust (WIM Plan), now require that contributions be made to the Southwest Carpenters Pension Trust (Southwest Plan). As employer contributions are made, Participants will earn credit under the rules of the Southwest Plan going forward.
Beginning with the August 2023 work month, employer contributions to the Southwest Carpenters Pension Trust are required under the Northwest Wall & Ceiling Contractors Association (NWCCA) Master Area Agreement in Washington.
Benefits under the Southwest Plan begin to accrue when 700 hours have been worked in the plan year. However, a modified schedule is applied in the first plan year to new employer groups who transition, subject to approval by the Board of Trustees.
See the modified schedule:
|Hours Worked in Covered Employment During Calendar Year||Benefit Accrual Rates for Agreements Beginning Jul/Aug||Benefit Accrual Rates for Agreements Beginning Sep/Oct||Benefit Accrual Rates for Agreements Beginning Nov/Dec|
|2,200 or more||$244.44||$244.44||$244.44|
Vesting in the Southwest Plan requires 5 Vesting Service Credits. A full Vesting Service Credit is earned in any year that you accumulate 1000 work hours or more. Generally, your vesting credit accumulated in the WIM Plan can be used to establish your vesting in Southwest Plan.
The calculation of Pension Credit value in the Southwest Plan is different than the WIM Plan. Accumulation of Pension Credit is based on hours worked in covered employment and the average hourly contribution rate for the calendar year with a minimum of 700 hours required earn a monthly benefit for that year.
As of 2021, the maximum monthly benefit earned under the Southwest Plan is $244 for 2200 hours in a calendar year at an average contribution rate greater than or equal to $5.00 per hour.
To learn more about how Pension Credits are earned and how their value is calculated, see:
A Service Pension is available through the Southwest Plan with an immediate, unreduced benefit based on years of service, not retirement age, when a Participant earns 30 years of Service Pension Eligibility Credits.
As of 2021, Service Pension Eligibility Credit is earned at the rate of 1/12 of a year for every 100 Hours Worked in Covered Employment to a maximum of 1 and 4/12 at 2200 hours.
Service under the WIM Plan may be counted toward a Service Pension, though the portion of the monthly benefit attributed to the WIM Plan may be reduced for early retirement according to the rules of the WIM Plan.
If you currently have an authorization on file for the transfer of your Pension contributions from the WIM plan to an outside fund, please contact the CSAC Reciprocity department at firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions.
The WIM Plan has now merged with the Southwest Plan as of January 1, 2023. Benefits are now issued by the Southwest Plan. Benefits earned under the WIM Plan will continue to be updated according to the rules of the WIM Plan.
We anticipate that you will have questions about how this merger will affect your benefits. Here are answers to some of those common questions.
If you are a participant in the WIM Plan, the administrative office handling your pension has changed from Zenith Administrators in Spokane, Washington to the Carpenters Southwest Administrative Corporation (CSAC) in Los Angeles, California. This change is effective as of January 1, 2023.
The WIM Plan is not going away. The WIM Plan has become part of the Southwest Plan but many of the provisions of the WIM Plan have remained largely the same. However, as of January 1, 2023, benefits are now issued under the Southwest Carpenters Pension Trust.
No. However, Zenith has stopped supporting the WIM Plan and the Plan’s participants as of December 31, 2022.
You will continue to receive your monthly benefit on or about the same time each month going forward in the same way that you do now, by check or direct deposit.
Annually, you will be required to complete a Pension Life Verification with a notarized signature to continue to receive your benefits.
However, if you were born after 1958, you will be required to respond to an annual questionnaire to verify that you are not engaged in Prohibited Employment while receiving your benefit. We will ask for a copy of your Federal Tax filing. In April 2023, we will send you a letter with complete instructions.
If you are a vested participant, you may apply to receive benefits as soon as you are eligible according to the rules of the WIM Plan. The merger does not affect your status as a vested participant in the WIM Plan or your accrued benefit.
See your Summary Plan Description (SPD) for details regarding your eligibility for retirement or early retirement.
Applications for retirement effective through December 1, 2022 should be sent to Zenith Administrators. For retirements effective on or after January 1, 2023 should be sent to CSAC. CSAC will begin issuing payments to new retirees in March of 2023 that will include payments for January, February, and March.
The Southwest Carpenters Annuity Fund is a Defined Contribution Retirement Plan that may help you build a secure retirement.
You become a Participant in the Southwest Carpenters Annuity Plan when your employer makes the first contribution on your behalf. The following areas have bargaining agreements that require employer contributions to the Plan.
NWCCA Agreement: Beginning with the August 2023 work month
Eastern Washington/Northern Idaho MEA: Beginning with the January 2023 work month
Southern Idaho: Beginning with the January 2023 work month
Montana: Beginning with the January 2023 work month
Wyoming: Beginning with the January 2023 work month
Signatory employers make contributions required by a collective bargaining agreement on behalf of employees who perform covered work. The Plan does not accept Employee contributions or deferrals.
Contributions are always 100% vested. All of the money contributed by an employer, as well as any investment income generated, belongs entirely to you, the Participant.
To register with Empower and access your account and direct investments, visit swcarpentersannuity.org.
MemberXG will display your employer contributions on the Work History screen, but Empower is your source for up-to-date information on your balance, including investment income or losses.
The plan offers a range of investment options. Target Date Investment funds, which are balanced based on the age you turn 62, are automatically selected for Participants who do not make other investment choices. However, if you are a "hands-on" investor, you can choose from various options to tailor your portfolio. Visit https://www.swcarpentersannuity.org/investment-options.aspx for information on the available options.
Contributions and investment income are tax-deferred and only taxed when you make withdrawals.
While your Annuity balance belongs to you from the first contribution, it's important to understand that these funds are intended for retirement. Withdrawals are available under specific circumstances, including:
At Normal Retirement Age (65),
When you retire from another Carpenter Plan
Termination as a Participant: If no contributions have been made for 12 consecutive months and you're no longer working in the construction industry in the jurisdiction of the Southwest Mountain States Regional Council.
Carpenter labor agreements that required contributions for Vacation in the past will instead require that contributions are made to the Southwest Carpenters Vacation Trust for the Southwest Carpenters Vacation, Sick Leave and Paid Time Off Plan (VSLPTO Plan) as follows:
Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho – Beginning with the October 2022 work month.
Southern Idaho, Montana and Wyoming – Beginning with the January 2023 work month.
Northwest Wall & Ceiling Contractors Association (NWCCA) Master Area Agreement in Washington – Beginning with the August 2023 work month.
Benefits earned in a prior vacation plan remain payable from that plan and any balances located with the Qualstar Credit Union are not affected by the transition.
For more information, visit: https://vacation.carpenterssw.org/
The Regular Payment of VSLPTO benefits to eligible and enrolled Participants for the Plan Year is automatically made on December 1st of each year by check or direct deposit (when verifiable banking information has been submitted). No Request form is required in order to receive the annual December payment. Other options for withdrawal during the year are outlined below.
This distribution will cover contributions for the work months beginning with September of the prior year through August of the current year.
*Participants transitioning under the NWCCA agreement in August 2023 will be eligible to receive contributions for that work month on the December 1st Payment.
Scheduled July 1st Early Withdrawals
Up to 2 On Demand Withdrawals Per Calendar Year
*The waiting period for new participants to request an On Demand Withdrawal has been waived for Participants who have transitioned from the Northwest Trust.
Plan Participants are able to access their personal benefit information and work history through the MemberXG Portal.
To create your account, go to the MemberXG page (https://memberxg.gobasys.com/CSAC/main/) and choose Create Account or the + symbol in the upper right corner. Then follow the instructions.
You will be required to enter the following information to create an account:
Last 4 Digits of SSN*
Date of Birth*
* Must match the information in the CSAC system to continue.
If you are not able to create an account, contact the Administrative Office for assistance.
Once you have created an account, a security code will be sent to your email address and you will need to enter that code into MemberXG. Be sure you can access both your internet browser and your email.