UA Local 22 Benefit Fund Office

120 Gardenville Pkwy, Suite 3
West Seneca, NY 14224
(716) 668-8800
Useful Links

What's New

Effective Jan. 31, 2022, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York members can obtain FDA emergency use-authorized OTC COVID-19 tests at preferred Express Script network pharmacies and through direct-to-consumer shipping with no upfront out-of-pocket expense.

1) For employer groups that have their medical and prescription drug benefit with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, there are three easy ways to get FREE over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 tests with no out-of-pocket expense to you as a covered member. Government supplied tests via USPS home delivery: Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests. The tests are completely free. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days.

2) Express Scripts Mail order pharmacy – tests delivered directly to your home or secure location of choice (e.g. office). Members can order tests through Express Scripts® Pharmacy without any upfront costs. Members can login to their Express Scripts online account through the member portal at (legacy members) and (migrated members). If a member does not have an Express Scripts online account, they will need to register online using their Highmark BCBSWNY Member ID Card.

3) Pick-up at your local pharmacy: Members can visit the same pharmacy where they get their prescriptions filled – or any in-network pharmacy – and follow these easy steps:

Locate one of these 6 FDA emergency use authorized tests approved for distribution with no out of pocket cost to you:

1. Binaxnow COVID-19 AG Home Test
2. Ellume COVID-19 Home Test
3. Flowflex COVID-19 AG Home Test
4. iHealth COVID-19 AG Home Test
5. P Inteliswab COVID-19 Home Test
6. Quickvue At-Home COVID-19 Test

Take the test to the pharmacy counter and show your Highmark insurance card to have the test processed through your pharmacy benefit. This benefit will cover up to eight (8) tests per member per month for a $0 copay.

Additional information regarding the member-specific process can be found at

All active participants currently covered under BCBS POS298 or Traditional Blue 998 – be advised that if you received your annual physical with your primary care provider between January 1, 20121 and February 28, 2022, your wellness card will be reloaded with $100.00; in addition, an additional $100.00 will be loaded if your spouse also received their annual exam in the same period. Credit will load at the end of March – early April 2022. Go to for a full list of participating retailers. Plan anniversary for coverage is January 1 each year. POS 298 Office Visits are $25 primary and $40 specialist. Please see the Summary of Benefits for all other co-payments and deductibles.

The U.A. Plumbers & Steamfittters Local No. 22 Benefit Funds
are the employee benefit programs providing pension, health and annuity benefits to over 2,500 active and retired members of Local 22, their dependents and beneficiaries. The purpose of this site is to provide plan participants with information regarding these benefits, along with your rights and responsibilities for these benefits.

You should direct any questions you have to the Plan Administrator. The Trustees have established these Plans with the intent that they will be maintained for an indefinite period of time, but with the knowledge that funding the Plans are conditioned on Employer contributions under a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Union. Therefore, the Trustees of the Fund reserve the right to terminate the Plan, in whole or in part, at any time; change, or amend, any and all of the provisions of these plans; or reduce or eliminate any benefit provided hereunder without the consent of the participant.

Remember to notify the fund office of any changes including your address, phone, marital status, births, deaths, changes in beneficiary or dependents or termination of employment through the Union.

We have outlined the general benefits available under each of these funds along with any important plans and notices, forms, and links that may be useful to you. You are covered under these benefits once you meet the Rules of Eligibility required of that Plan. Employers are required to contribute pursuant to the Collective Bargaining Agreement of U.A. Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 22 and the Trust Fund of each for hours you work under a contract requiring contributions to that fund. While the amount of this contribution is negotiated through your contract, none of the monies for contributions are paid by you.

** Any information contained on this website as it relates to Health, Retirement, and Annuity is supplied for informational purposes only and does not amend, replace, or constitute your SPD or Plan Documents for each of those funds. All information is subject to verification.


For any participant who never worked in Covered Employment, your initial eligibility date is the first day of any month after you have worked 120 hours. These hours must be consecutive in a maximum 2 month period. You are responsible to notify the Fund office that you have met the required hours prior to the first day of the month that you will be picked up. This can be done through the website by checking the box under the Member Section of the web site – Member Data area, which states: “I have met the required hours for health coverage”, or by calling the office. If notification is received after the 1st day of the month, regardless of when you qualified, you will be picked up on the first day of a month which follows your notification to the fund office. Applications are also available on the Website and must be in with your notification. You may also submit an application prior to your qualification for coverage.

You must submit a Medical Application in order to be picked up for any coverage.

Eligibility in the Fund for a coverage quarter is determined by hours worked in a qualifying quarter. The Fund uses 3 month, 6 month, 9 month and 12 month look back periods to determine whether you qualify for coverage. There is an additional provision if you have had 36 months of qualified active eligibility for coverage that enables the fund to cover you for up to 6 months if you do not meet the required hours but are otherwise ready, willing and available for work with a contributing employer. In the event of a disability, you will be given 40 hours credit for each week up to a maximum of 26 weeks as long as you are ready, willing and available for work with a contributing employer but unavailable because of a disability that qualified you for New York State disability or Workers Compensation.

Qualifying Quarter Coverage 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

You are required to have 240 months in the qualifying quarter for coverage in the coverage quarter. If you do not we will use the current qualifying quarter plus the prior qualifying quarter (6 months) and if you have 480 hours, you will be covered in the current coverage quarter. If you still do not qualify, we will use the current qualifying quarter plus the prior two qualifying quarter (9 months) and if you have 720 hours, you will be covered in the current coverage quarter. If you still do not qualify, we will use the current qualifying quarter plus the prior three qualifying quarters (12 months) and if you have 960 hours, you will be covered in the current coverage quarter. If none of those tests work, you will have the opportunity to use up to 2 free coverage quarters, as long as you were have met the Active Qualifying Quarter requirements for the last 36 months. Once you use your 2 free quarters, you will need to have 3 full years of Active Qualifying coverage. On the Web site, you can check your eligibility for the periods. A denotes Active qualified coverage, F denotes free coverage.

Specific benefits for your classification may be found in the Health Fund’s Summary Plan Description

If you qualify and wish to decline basic medical and prescription drug coverage because you have other coverage available, you may apply to have $2.00 per hour worked allocated on your behalf into a Health Reimbursement Account. You must submit a Medical Insurance Waiver Form along with proof of other coverage. You will retain eligibility in the event of a loss of other such coverage, so long as you continue to meet eligibility rules.

If coverage for you or the coverage of your dependents is terminated, the Plan offers you the opportunity for a temporary extension of continued coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) at group rates in instances where coverage would end. These “qualifying” events include a reduction in your hours of employment, the termination of your employment (other than for gross misconduct), your death, divorce or legal separation, your child losing dependent status under the Plan, or your becoming entitled to Medicare. Under COBRA, you or your family member has the responsibility to inform the Plan of a qualifying event within 60 days.

The following is an outline of the Benefits available through the Health Fund:

Metal Trades Division members classified as Metal Tradesmen:


A) Active Participants - Traditional Blue 998 with Major Medical coverage. Traditional 998 covers medical, hospital and major medical with a $500 per person, $1,000 per family deductible. Drugs are covered under major medical after meeting deductibles. Metal Tradesmen are not eligible for Dental Benefits, Vision Care Benefits, Disability Benefits, Group Life Insurance Benefits or Medical Reimbursement Benefits.

Building Trades and Divisional Trades Division Classifications including Mechanical Equipment Service Journeymen, Mechanical Equipment Service Servicemen, and Mechanical Equipment Service Tradesmen:


A) Active Participants – 1) Traditional Blue POS298 – product covers all participants within 8 counties of Western New York under the age of 65 – with in-network co-payment schedule – PCP visits are $25 and specialist visits are $40, with $0.00 for preventive care, and dependents are covered up to age 26. Coverage carries a $500 hospital inpatient co-payment which is waived for maternity and an out of network benefit with deductible of $1,000/$2,000. 2) Traditional Blue 998 w/ Major Medical – available for participants outside the 8 counties of Western New York. Traditional Blue 998 carries a $500/$1,000 deductible.

B) Retired Participants – If receiving a 22 Pension, were covered under the health fund at retirement, and had coverage for 5 of the last 7 years immediately preceding your retirement, the fund will pay 50%, up to a maximum of $225 for a Single contract, up to a maximum of $450 for a participant and spouse or participant and child(ren) and up to $600 for a Family contract toward the premiums for coverage for: 1) BCBS Platinum Standard, Gold Standard or Silver Standard, products cover all participants within the 8 counties of Western New York who are retired and not yet Medicare eligible. Each product has prices dependent on coverage. 2) UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage (PPO)– any participant on Medicare (spouse if under age 65 would be covered under one of the options in 1) above.

2) PRESCRIPTION DRUG COVERAGE: All Prescription drug coverage is covered under your basic Health Care provider contract.

A) Active Participants – participants under POS298 are covered under a 3-tier 10/20 formulary 40 non-formulary drug program. For actively contributing employees who are under the Traditional 998 BlueCross BlueShield, Rx is under the Major Medical rider after reaching deductible – 80% of covered drugs will be reimbursed.

B) Retired Participants – Retired participants under BCBS are covered under the Plan chosen, UHC participants are covered under a 4-tier 10/30/50/50 formulary drug program – all covered under the basic Health Care provider.

3) DENTAL COVERAGE: This benefit is for Active qualified members and their dependents only. An application must be submitted in order for you to be picked up on coverage for dental.

A) Active Participants – Coverage is through The Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America; Guardian Dental Guard Preferred. Your dentist should submit claims on their own office standard claim form to Guardian DentalGuard Preferred, PO Box 2459, Spokane, WA 99210-2459, using your Social Security Number with the Group Number of 353851. The benefit will be $1,000 per year per dependent with a $50 deductible. Claims are paid based on usual and customary charges at 100% (preventive care), 100% in network and 85% out of network (basic services), 60% in network, 50% out of network (major services) and 50% (orthodontic). Remember your dentist may not charge usual There is a $1,000 lifetime maximum for orthodontic services per dependent under this plan.

B) Retired Participants – Once a Participant retires, he loses eligibility for dental coverage, unless he elects COBRA coverage and pays 102% of his premium for all coverage. If COBRA is elected, the participant will be eligible to self pay for a maximum of 36 months (18 for vision and dental). If a participant is eligible for retired medical coverage, and instead chooses to self-pay under COBRA, that member will have not again be eligible for the retired medical coverage as COBRA coverage will not be considered in determining your coverage in the plan.

4) VISION COVERAGE: – This is a reimbursement benefit for Active members and their dependents only.

A) Active Participants – Eye exams are covered under medical with co-pay – This benefit is Self-funded and covers $200 every 2 years for reimbursement of lenses and frames (members only) and $150 every 2 years lenses and frames (dependents). *The plan further provides for the member only to have $100 for a lens replacement every “12” months – there must be 12 months between reimbursements for lenses and/or lenses and frames. A Vision Form must be signed by the participant and submitted with itemized receipts. Make certain you check the eligibility dates BEFORE you use your benefit. Your claim will be denied if you purchase frames/lenses before you or your covered dependent are eligible. You can check the website or call the Fund office to verify your last service and eligibility dates.

B) Retired Participants – * Once a Participant retires, he loses eligibility for dental coverage, unless he elects COBRA coverage and pays 102% of his premium for all coverage. If COBRA is elected, the participant will be eligible to self pay for a maximum of 18 months. If a participant is eligible for retired medical coverage, and instead chooses to self-pay under COBRA, that member will have not again be eligible for the retired medical coverage as COBRA coverage will not be considered in determining your coverage in the plan.

5) DISABILITY INCOME: This is a Supplemental Disability Benefit only available to the Member/Participant who contributions are being made on behalf of to the Health Fund. This benefit is not offered under COBRA. A Disability Form must be filled in by both the Participant and by the certifying physician and submitted with proof of NYS Disability or Workers Compensation.

A) Active Participants – This benefit is payable only to Active members. This is a self-funded program providing a supplement of $95 per week to a member who is either on NYS Disability (payable on 8th day of disability) or Workman’s Compensation (payable from 1st day) for a period of 26 weeks. Proof of disability required, and the member must be collecting either NYS Disability or Workers Compensation in order to be eligible. In order to continue receiving this benefit, you will be required to submit a Disability Continuation Form every four weeks.

6) LIFE INSURANCE: This Benefit is only available to the Member/Participant who contributions are being made on behalf of to the Health Fund. This benefit is not offered under COBRA. Remember to keep the fund office advised of beneficiary changes.

A) Active Participants – Active members are covered with $50,000 life Insurance with Accidental Death and Dismemberment through The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. This is a group term policy and has no cash value.

B) Retired Participants – If a member is covered under the Active Life coverage and retires, he will be covered with retired life coverage. Eligible Retirees are covered through The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America with $25,000 life insurance until the age of 65 when the coverage reduces to $2,000.


For detailed information refer to the Summary Plan Description

Metal Trades Division: Metal Tradesmen are not covered under the Local 22 Pension Fund.

Divisional Trades Division: Members classified as Mechanical Equipment Service Servicemen and Mechanical Equipment Service Tradesmen are not covered under the Local 22 Pension Plan. Contractors remit pension contributions directly to the Plumbers & Pipefitters National Pension Fund through Mechanical Equipment Service Agreements. There is a link on our Website to the National Pension Fund under Pension Links or Links.

Building Trades Division and Divisional Trades Division members with a Mechanical Equipment Service Journeyman classification participate in the U.A. Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 22 Pension Fund.

The U.A. Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 22 Pension Fund is a defined benefit plan. A defined benefit plan is a plan that is not an individual account but rather designed primarily for retirement where there is a definite formula by which benefits will be measured. To become a Participant in the Plan you must be employed in covered employment, which is employment with a Contributing Employer, where contributions are required to be made to the Plan by a Collective Bargaining Agreement. Once you satisfy this requirementand complete 250 hours of service, you are automatically included in the Plan and will be eligible for benefits upon reaching eligible retirement date after your interest in the Plan is fully vested.

Vesting: To become fully vested in the Plan, you must be credited with 5 plan years of at least 800 hours. Once your interest in the Plan is fully vested, you cannot lose your rights to a future pension.

Break in Service: You will have a Break in Service if you do not complete at least 250 hours of service in each of three consecutive Plan years. Each year causing a break together with each year after such break shall constitute a Break Year. If you are not yet vested, you will lose credit for your prior years of vesting service and credited service if the length of your break in service is equal to or longer than the number of years of vesting service you had to the time of your break, or five, whichever is longer. If you break service after you are vested, your benefit will be calculated based upon the last rate and the plan of benefits in effect at the time last period before your break in service began.

Benefit Rate: $100.00 per year effective 5/1/00. There is No cap on credited service.

Retirement Age: Age 65 is normal retirement. The earliest a member can retire is the 1st day of a month after reaching age 55.

Credited Service: Schedules vary for prior service. Currently 1,600 hours equals 1 year with up to a maximum of 1.0 credit per year. Refer to SPD as distributed for specifics.

Early Retirement: Rule of 85 – Any combination of age plus actual years of service that equals 85 would be entitled to early retirement with no penalty beginning at age 55. Each plan year of 1,600 after 5/1/2009 is one year. To reach the “85” rule, you cannot be credited with more than one year of service regardless of the amount of hours your work. This does not affect the credited service for figuring the amount of your benefit. If you do not meet the rule of 85, there is a one half of one percent (.5%) per month for each month that your early retirement date precedes your 59th birthday, and further reduced by five twenty-fourths of one percent 5/24% per month for each month after your 59th birthday that your early retirement date precedes your attainment of age 62. I.E.: for those who do not meet the rule of 85 – Based on a life annuity, your benefit would be age 65 through 62 – 100%, age 61 – 97.5%, age 60 – 95%, age 59 – 92.5%, age 58 – 86.5%, age 57 – 80.5%, age 56 – 74.5%, age 55 – 68.5%.

Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity: For Married Participants - If you are vested in your pension benefit and have been married for at least one year at the time of your death, your spouse will be entitled to a Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity payable in a monthly benefit equal to the reduced amount which would have been paid to you for your lifetime if you had terminated employment, survived to your earliest retirement date and then began receiving a 100% Joint and Survivor Annuity form of benefit.

You must submit a Pension Application for retirement at least 15 days prior to your retirement date.


The Annuity Plan is a Participant Directed Profit-sharing Plan. Each account is an Individual Account. You become a Participant once you have accumulated $100 in your individual account during 12 consecutive months. You become Vested in your account immediately upon your effective date of participation. If you terminate employment and receive a distribution and you fail to work 500 hours during a Plan Year, you will cease to be a Participant and will need to accumulate $100 in a 12-month period again to participate. Prudential is the current record keeper for the fund. You can access your account by going to or by calling Prudential at 1-877-778-2100. Your benefits can be distributed upon the occurrence of retirement on or after age 55, death, termination of employment, or termination of the Plan. Benefits can also be distributed for qualified Hardships as follows:

Hardship Distributions:

The U.A. Plumbers and Steamfitters Local No. 22 Annuity Plan adopted the “safe harbor” rules for defining a hardship for which a distribution from the plan is allowed. This means that there are six circumstances that warrant a distribution on account of hardship. These are as follows:

1. Payment of medical care expenses.
2. Costs directly related to the purchase of a principal residence.
3. Funeral expenses for a family member.
4. Payment of tuition.
5. Payments necessary to prevent eviction or foreclosure.
6. Expenses for the repair of Code 165 Casualty damage to the participant’s principal residence.

In addition to the above restrictions, the Plan and the IRS impose several other rules on the distribution of hardship withdrawals. A few things should be noted:

1. Once a hardship withdrawal is taken from your account, you cannot pay it back. It does not work like a loan. You should keep this in mind before taking a large amount from your account balance.

2. In addition to not being able to pay your hardship withdrawal back into your account, the tax code prevents you from rolling the money over into another plan or an IRA.

3. Before taking a hardship withdrawal, you will have to provide evidence that there is an immediate need for the withdrawal. Specifically, you will be required to show that withdrawing the money from your account is the only means by which you can alleviate your financial need.

4. The 20% mandatory withholding requirement no longer applies to hardship distributions. However, if you take a hardship distribution before attaining the age of 59 ½, the amount that you take out will be subject to a 10% excise, or “penalty” tax. The IRS imposes this rule to discourage people from taking money out of their retirement accounts early and thus evading the purpose of the account- namely, for retirement.

5. There is a $50 fee to the Local 22 Annuity for processing a hardship application, and an additional $25.00 charged by Prudential. Hardships are limited to 2 per year.

6. You must be requesting a minimum of $500.00 in order to apply for a hardship distribution. This requirement is in place to prevent unnecessary administrative costs associated with the processing of hardship applications for small amounts.

7. The amount of your distribution may be increased to cover amounts necessary to pay for any federal, state, or local income taxes or penalties reasonably anticipated to result from the distribution. To get this extra monetary amount, you must affirmatively elect to have your distribution “grossed up” to cover these taxes and/or penalties.

8. It is important to note that when you take money of your account in the form of a hardship distribution, it becomes taxable income and thus you lose the tax benefits of having it in your account. You must report the amount of your distribution on your federal and state income taxes.

The specifics of the remainder of the distributions are outlined in the Annuity Fund Summary Plan Description. Be certain to keep beneficiary cards current.

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