SHEET METAL TRUST FUNDS
SMART has partnered with signatory employers in the sheet metal labor management trust funds to provide you with the best possible standard of living at home and to keep you employed with the safest possible conditions on the job.
Each local, in many cases, has its own trust funds that are in addition to these described in this guide. Consult with your local union representative to learn about all that is available for you.
SHEET METAL OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH INSTITUTE TRUST
The Sheet Metal Occupational Health Trust (SMOHIT) is a joint labor-management trust designed to provide health and safety solutions that minimize occupational hazards and illnesses in the sheet metal industry.
The trust was originally formed in 1986 to assess the impact of decades of asbestos exposure
to workers employed in the sheet metal industry. To date, SMOHIT has conducted asbestos screenings for tens of thousands of sheet metal workers who have been exposed to the deadly substance in one form or another. [qr code]
While screenings for asbestos and other hazardous substances continue to be a cornerstone of the institute‘ s activities, SMOHIT has also begun providing occupational health and safety services for union members and contractors in the industry.
As SMOHIT’s mission evolved over the years, it found that mental health, substance use disorders and suicide prevention have become the asbestos of today’s workers. Often starting with opioid use for pain in a physically demanding trade, these challenges are some of the main causes of illness, injury, and death in our industry.
Our members assistance program, or SMART MAP, is designed to address these all-too-common issues in construction.
The institute provides training for workers and employers alike, using cutting edge tools such as interactive learning. The goal is not just to diagnose the challenges related to occupational safety and health, but to prevent them before they occur. More information is available at www.smohit.org
NATIONAL ENERGY MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE
The goal of the national Energy Management Institute (NEMI) is to identify emerging markets for union members and their employers. By developing programs that train members and their employers on how to perform in new industries, we are able to stay on the leading technological edge of the industries we represent and break into new ones as they develop. [qr code]
NEMI provides valued education of emerging markets, new technology and advances in manufacturing and construction processes in the sheet metal industry, including supervisor-level training for Testing Adjusting and Balancing (TAB), Fire Smoke Damper (FSD) testing, Smoke Control Systems (SCS) testing, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) testing, Sound and Vibration (SV) testing and Mechanical Acceptance testing.
In mastering new markets, NEMI creates new work opportunities for members that will help define and grow our union for generations to come. Check out NEMI’s programs at: https://nemionline.org
INTERNATIONAL TRAINING INSTITUTE
The International Training Institute (ITI) is a joint labor-management fund that establishes and maintains the sheet metal industry’s training curriculum for new members and journeypersons. Through ITI, labor and management work together to ensure that members are trained for the work opportunities of tomorrow and that we continue to have a well-trained workforce to tackle challenges that arise in the industry. [qr code]
Training is provided by 148 Joint Apprenticeship Training Committees (JATCs) across the United States and Canada that have been established by SMART local unions to develop the skills of apprentices and journeymen. To maximize the impact of our training and better prepare our members, all apprenticeship courses involve classroom and on-the-job training.
We believe apprentices and new members will play a major role in defining what it is to be a union sheet metal worker in the decades to come. The more we all commit to our apprenticeship programs today, the stronger our union will be in the future. As technology changes the workplace — especially construction sites, but not limited to them — we work with our industry partners in shaping training that will enable sheet metal members to adapt to and take advantage of future changes.
The future is as bright as we allow it to be. Through our training programs, we are working hard to apply the skills of today for the workplace of tomorrow. ITI is on the web at www.sheetmetal-iti.org
STABALIZATION AGREEMENT OF THE SHEET METAL INDUSTRY: SASMI
The Stabilization Agreement of the Sheet Metal Industry (SASMI) provides participating sheet metal workers with a safety net to help when they need it most. In addition to its core supplemental unemployment and underemployment benefits, SASMI provides a benefit to continue welfare fund payments when you don’t have enough hours to maintain eligibility, when you’re not working, a benefit if you travel outside of your home local to work, a physical exam benefit, a maternity benefit and a death benefit. [qr code]
But it doesn’t stop there. SASMI’s benefits do more than just look out for you while you’re an active member. When you retire, you may be eligible for a retiree Health Care Reimbursement Account (HCRA), which can be funded based on your years of work or because you did not use many benefits while an active participant. Your HCRA account can be used to cover eligible medical expenses — even health care premiums — during retirement for you and your eligible dependents.
Locals that don’t participate in the full SASMI benefits can participate in HCRA B and have a dedicated employer contribution to the retiree HCRA for covered sheet metal workers.
Any sheet metal worker covered by a collective bargaining agreement or a participation agreement with contributions to SASMI automatically becomes a participant. To be eligible for SASMI benefits, you must work:
- 1,200 hours within 12 consecutive months; or
- 2,000 hours within 24 consecutive months; or
- 2,800 hours within any period of time prior to a loss of eligibility.
For more information, visit SASMI.org.
SHEET METAL WORKERS’ NATIONAL PENSION FUND
The Sheet Metal Workers’ National Pension Fund is a multi-employer, defined benefit pension plan. The plan exists to provide union members with a continuing source of funds during their retirement years. [qr code]
A multi-employer pension plan operates when a group of employers pool their funds together to provide a pension benefit for its participants.
A defined benefit plan is a plan which provides union members with a specific monthly benefit after having met vesting requirements associated with the plan. Funding for the pension plan comes entirely from employer contributions, negotiated under a collective bargaining agreement, and investment earnings on its funds.
The funds are governed by a board of trustees equally divided between union and employer representatives.
A fund administrator who oversees the daily operations of the fund reports to the board of
trustees. Professional investment managers are hired to manage the assets of the fund, in accordance with the rules and guidelines set by the fund’s board of trustees.
Your pension is calculated based upon the contributions made by your employer to the fund and the years of service you accrue as a member of SMART. You do not receive a pension benefit until after you have retired and have achieved vested status – meaning you have earned the non-forfeitable right to a pension at normal retirement age. The board of trustees, staff and professionals manage the plan with the singular goal of providing the maximum possible benefit to members who have devoted their careers to the sheet metal industry. More information on the Sheet Metal Workers’ National Pension Fund is available on the internet at www.smwnpf.org.