IATSE Revises Pension Plan to Allow Emergency Withdrawals

Hollywood Blvd March 25 2020

The Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plan — the plan used by IATSE crew members including cinematographers, editors, production designers and sound professionals — has been temporarily revised to aid members as they navigate through the coronavirus crisis.

Notably, these changes include a waiver of next quarter’s premiums for active participants and the ability to make a one-time emergency hardship withdrawal from Individual Account Plans.

Motion Picture Editors Guild (Local 700) national executive director Cathy Repola outlined these revisions in a message sent to members on Wednesday. But she also warned: “For those that need immediate relief, it is good to have this as an option. However, you will be withdrawing money that was contributed by your employers to afford you a significant retirement benefit. Please do not make this decision lightly.”

This one-time hardship withdrawal must be made between May 1 and July 31.

Additional details of the changes are outlined in a document available online, including that participants will not incur any out-of-pocket costs including co-payment and/or co-insurance for the COVID-19 diagnostic test and the associated visit to a health care facility.

IATSE estimates that 120,000 of its members are out of work due to projects that have been canceled or postponed since the coronavirus outbreak.