Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Employers

1.  How often will I receive a bill from the Health & Welfare and Pension Funds?
2.  What do I do if I do not receive a contribution report?
3.  Do I have to use the Fund’s contribution reports or can I use my own worksheets when remitting contributions?
4.  Can we send the Fund our contribution reports by e-mail?
5.  Can I remit one check for both the Health & Welfare and Pension contributions?
6.  What if I see that someone’s social security number or name is wrong on the preprinted contribution report?
7.  What if I cannot pay my contributions on time?
8.  Why am I charged liquidated damages?
9.  Why is the charge so huge for being one day late?
10.  Why isn’t there a grace period for remitting contributions so that we won’t be assessed liquidated damages?
11.  What happens if I become delinquent in my contributions to the Funds?
12.  If I contribute to both the Health & Welfare and Pension Funds, do I have to send the remittances in separate envelopes?
13.  Do I have to mail my contributions or can they be hand delivered?
14.  Why can’t the Fund tell whether the contribution units that I am reporting are correct or not?
15.  Our agreement with the Union stated that contributions were to be made for vacation hours. Recently, our CEO told me that he had a discussion with the Union in which they agreed that contributions are no longer due for vacation hours. Do I still have to remit contributions for vacation hours?
16.  I included contributions for someone that I should not have. Can I just take the credit when I make my next payment to the Fund?
17.  If I am unsure of how to complete my contribution report, what should I do?
18.  I forgot to include an employee on my recent contribution remittance, what procedure should I follow for sending out a supplemental payment?
19.  If I am only submitting one additional day’s contributions, why do I have to send in the time cards for the entire month?
20.  I continue to receive contribution reports even though our company no longer remits contributions? Do I have to continue to remit contribution reports to the Funds even though no one is working?
21.  I recently received a letter from the Fund billing me for contributions for an employee who worked for us. I paid the contributions directly to that employee, shouldn’t the Fund pursue its claim against that employee for these contributions?
22.  Why should I remit contributions for someone who will never be eligible for benefits from your Plan?
23.  One of our employees has been out of work for awhile. Can we continue to pay health and welfare contributions for him to keep his medical coverage?
24.  One of our employees who is a few months short of being vested is no longer able to work. Can we continue to contribute to the Pension Fund for him so that he will be able to receive a Pension.
25.  Can we contribute for our office employees to the Health & Welfare Fund?
26.  Can we contribute for our non-bargaining unit employees to the Pension Fund?
27.  I don’t have to make contributions for an employee until they become a member in good standing with the Union, correct?
28.  In our company, employees have part of their health and welfare contributions deducted directly from their pay check. How can we collect this money from them once they leave employment?
29.  Why is it that it sometimes occurs that we are not notified of a contribution rate increase in a timely manner?
30.  I understand that my employees only need a minimum of 15 days to be eligible for Health and Welfare benefits. If this is the case, why do I have to remit contributions in excess of 15 days?
31.  I recently received a letter notifying me that our company is going to be audited. Why is that?
32.  What records are reviewed in the course of a payroll audit?
33.  Our employees use drivers logs.  We are only required to keep these records for six months. How do you audit those hours if the logs are not available?
34.  What can I expect to happen during a payroll audit?
35.  Why should an Employer have to make their tax returns made available. These records contain information of employees other then those covered by our collective bargaining agreement?
36.  Does the audit have to take place at the Company’s office or do we have the option of mailing the records in?
37.  What if the Auditor determines that I am overpaying?
38.  What should I do if I disagree with the audit results?
39. We have an employee on Family Medical Leave.  How many days of contribution should we remit for this employee?

1.  How often will I receive a bill from the Health & Welfare and Pension Funds?
You will not receive a “bill” from the Funds. You will receive contribution reports. During the first or second business day of each calendar month, the Funds send out the contribution reports. It is up to the employer to make certain that the contribution report includes all of the employees for whom contributions are due for that particular month as well as being sure that the names and social security numbers appear correctly. Back to Top

2.  What do I do if I do not receive a contribution report?
If you have not received a contribution report by the 7th or 8th business day of the month, please contact the Fund office to make certain that all contribution reports have been mailed. Speak with the Accounts Receivable Department and they will advise you of the procedure to use. If you have had a change in address then you should notify the Fund in writing immediately. Back to Top

3.  Do I have to use the Fund’s contribution reports or can I use my own worksheets when remitting contributions?
The Funds would prefer that you use the contribution reports which we send you on a monthly basis. The reason for this is that the names of the employees appear in our computer system in the same order as they appear on the contribution reports. This makes entering the contribution units into the computer much easier and less prone to error. If you are going to submit contributions on a worksheet that you have created, then the Funds ask that you make sure that the employees are listed in alphabetical order and that the social security numbers and contribution units are displayed next to each name. We also ask that you return the contribution reports back to us that we forwarded to you at the beginning of the month and also notify the Fund of any deletions or additions to those reports. Many times employees leave the bargaining unit but the names of the employees continue to remain on the contribution reports because the Employer has never notified the Fund to delete the names. This makes the names continue to appear on our computer screen, as well as the contribution reports, and slows up the process of entering the information into our computer system. Back to Top

4.  Can we send the Fund our contribution reports by e-mail?
The Funds are currently working on a format which we will make available to all Employers who wish to remit their contributions via e-mail. However, you must use the template that the Fund provides.  You will not be able to make any modifications to it. The Funds will take the information directly from the template and upload it into our computer system so that the contribution time is updated automatically. Back to Top

5.  Can I remit one check for both the Health & Welfare and Pension contributions?
The Funds are separate and distinct entities and as such a separate check is needed for the Health & Welfare contributions as well as the Pension contributions. If you are remitting contributions for more then one account, you may consolidate all of your health and welfare contributions onto one check and all of your pension contributions onto a second check. Back to Top

6.  What if I see that someone’s social security number or name is wrong on the preprinted contribution report?
If the participant’s social security number is incorrect, please notify us immediately and provide the correct information. Please do not wait until you file the contribution report. You may fax a letter to us with this information. A copy of the employee’s social security card or W-4 statement should be attached to your letter.

The employee’s name appears in the same form on the preprinted form as it does on our census files. If it is incorrect on the preprinted form then it is either incorrect on our census files or we have never received a census card for this individual. Either a census card has to be filled out or the census information adjusted for the name to reflect correctly on the contribution report. Back to Top

7.  What if I cannot pay my contributions on time?
If you cannot pay your contributions on time, it is imperative that you send in the original contribution report without payment and a letter explaining the reason why the contributions will not be remitted at this time and when you expect that these contributions will be remitted. The Funds will be in contact with you regarding payment of these contributions but it is imperative that we receive the contribution report since the contribution units contained on this report are the basis for eligibility for your employees. Notification to the Fund of your inability to pay the contributions in a timely manner will not relieve you of any liquidated damages that may be assessed. Back to Top

8.  Why am I charged liquidated damages?
The liquidated damages that are charged to an employer are not imposed by the Fund itself but are due under the terms of your particular collective bargaining or participation agreement. Your agreement will state that contributions are due by a due date. If they are not received by that due date, liquidated damages are to be assessed. Back to Top

9.  Why is the charge so huge for being one day late?
A liquidated damage assessment will be the same whether your payment is one day late or thirty-one days late. The provisions of the collective bargaining agreement provide for an assessment to be made once you are late. Back to Top

10.  Why isn’t there a grace period for remitting contributions so that we won’t be assessed liquidated damages?
There is a grace period, the period being from the 1st of the month to your due date. Most employers who receive liquidated damage assessments incur such charges because they wait until the last possible moment to remit the contributions. Please keep in mind that the Funds will use your postmark as the determining factor as to whether or not liquidated damages are assessed. We recognize the postmark since we realize that mail could be delayed. It is also important to remember that the date which the envelope runs through your postage meter machine is not the same as the United States Post Office postmark. If your contributions are due by the 28th of the month and your contribution remittance was metered on the 28th but not postmarked by the United States Post Office until the 29th, liquidated damages will be assessed. Back to Top

11.  What happens if I become delinquent in my contributions to the Funds?
If you become delinquent you will receive a series of letters and phone calls from the Fund attempting to ascertain the reason for the delinquency and when we can expect payment. If the situation cannot be resolved, or if you completely ignore all attempts to resolve the matter with the Funds Audit Department, then the matter will be turned over to Fund Counsel for collection. You should be advised that under ERISA, you may then be liable for all attorneys fees and costs, interest, as well as liquidated damages. Back to Top

12.  If I contribute to both the Health & Welfare and Pension Funds, do I have to send the remittances in separate envelopes?
No. While the Funds are separate and distinct entities, the remittances for both Funds may be included in the same envelope as the processing of the remittances for both Funds are shared. You do need to remit separate checks, however. Back to Top

13.  Do I have to mail my contributions or can they be hand delivered?
Your contributions can be hand delivered and dropped off at the Fund office during normal business hours, which is typically Monday thru Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Contributions that are hand delivered must be received on or before the due date stated in your agreement. Back to Top

14.  Why can’t the Fund tell whether the contribution units that I am reporting are correct or not?
The contribution method which the Fund employs is a self-reporting method. We rely on the Employer to correctly remit the hours that are due in any given month. The Fund assumes that the contribution remittance is correct. The Fund has no knowledge as to the amount of work performed by any given employee during any given month. As such, we cannot determine that your remittance is incorrect and assume that it is correct. Back to Top

15.  Our agreement with the Union stated that contributions were to be made for vacation hours. Recently, our CEO told me that he had a discussion with the Union in which they agreed that contributions are no longer due for vacation hours. Do I still have to remit contributions for vacation hours?
Contributions are to be made in accordance with the terms of the written agreement between the Local Union and the Employer. Amendments to that agreement cannot be made orally. Any amendments that are made to the original collective bargaining agreement must be done so in writing and signed and dated by both parties. A copy of any and all amendments must also be forwarded to the Health & Welfare and Pension Funds. Back to Top

16.  I included contributions for someone that I should not have. Can I just take the credit when I make my next payment to the Fund?
You should not take any credits against your Health & Welfare and Pension contributions unless you have received written authorization to do so by the Funds. Refunds and credits are governed by the terms of the Trustees Resolution regarding the return of over-reported contributions. Any request for a refund or overpayment must conform to the terms of this resolution. If you do not have a copy of this Resolution, please contact the Funds Audit Department and we will gladly send you a copy. Back to Top

17.  If I am unsure of how to complete my contribution report, what should I do?
Please contact the Fund’s Audit Manager or Accounts Receivable Department. We will gladly assist you in whatever difficulties that you may encountering in the completion of your contribution report. Back to Top

18.  I forgot to include an employee on my recent contribution remittance, what procedure should I follow for sending out a supplemental payment?
If there is a case in which your contribution report does not include all of the hours that it should for any and all of your employees, then you should notify the Fund in writing as to the name and social security numbers of the individuals involved as well as the additional amount of hours that are due. You should also include copies of the payroll records, which may include time cards, or pay sheets, for the entire month for which you are remitting the additional contributions. Back to Top

19.  If I am only submitting one additional day’s contributions, why do I have to send in the time cards for the entire month?
The Funds must ascertain whether or not the contributions which have been made are correct. After we have had a chance to review the payroll records we can determine whether your supplemental report is correct or if there is another problem that has to be addressed. Back to Top

20.  I continue to receive contribution reports even though our company no longer remits contributions? Do I have to continue to remit contribution reports to the Funds even though no one is working?
As long as you are receiving contribution reports from the Funds then you should return the reports even if it means indicating that there are no hours to report for that particular month. If you do not remit any report, you will show up as being delinquent. If you would like to be removed from the Funds active mailing roster, then you should notify us in writing. We will then confirm this matter with the Local Union involved. After we receive confirmation from the Local Union, we will then remove you from our active mailing roster. Back to Top

21.  I recently received a letter from the Fund billing me for contributions for an employee who worked for us. I paid the contributions directly to that employee, shouldn’t the Fund pursue its claim against that employee for these contributions?
Employee contributions are not allowed. If your agreement states that contributions are to be made for work performed under the collective bargaining agreement to the Health & Welfare and Pension Fund, then your company would be responsible for those contributions to the Funds regardless of whether or not you paid them to a third party. Back to Top

22.  Why should I remit contributions for someone who will never be eligible for benefits from your Plan?
Contributions are made to the Fund strictly under the terms of the terms of the collective bargaining agreement or participation agreement. This is the vehicle used to fund the benefit plans. Back to Top

23.  One of our employees has been out of work for awhile. Can we continue to pay health and welfare contributions for him to keep his medical coverage?
Contributions are only to be made as outlined under the terms of your collective bargaining or participation agreement. You cannot remit contributions to the Health & Welfare Fund to maintain an employees eligibility for Health & Welfare coverage if it is not stated in your agreement. Doing so would constitute submitting a fraudulent report. Back to Top

24.  One of our employees who is a few months short of being vested is no longer able to work. Can we continue to contribute to the Pension Fund for him so that he will be able to receive a Pension.
Contributions are only to be made as outlined under the terms of your collective bargaining or participation agreement. You cannot remit contributions to the Pension Fund to maintain an employees eligibility for Pension coverage if it is not stated in your agreement. Doing so would constitute submitting a fraudulent report. Back to Top

25.  Can we contribute for our office employees to the Health & Welfare Fund?
It is possible for non-bargaining unit employees to be able to participate in the Health & Welfare Fund. If you are interested in this option, please contact the business agent for your bargaining unit employees. Back to Top

26.  Can we contribute for our non-bargaining unit employees to the Pension Fund?
No. Contributions are only to be made to the Pension Fund for those employees who are covered under the terms of a written agreement with one of our participating Local Unions. Back to Top

27.  I don’t have to make contributions for an employee until they become a member in good standing with the Union, correct?
This is incorrect. Contributions are to be made under the terms of the written agreement with the Local Union for those employees doing work covered by the agreement. Union membership is not prerequisite for fringe benefit contributions or eligibility under the Funds’ Plans of Benefits. Back to Top

28.  In our company, employees have part of their health and welfare contributions deducted directly from their pay check. How can we collect this money from them once they leave employment?
If your Company is a participating Employer in the Teamsters Health & Welfare Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity, then employee contributions that are made via payroll deduction are not allowed. No employee contributions are allowed except as outlined under COBRA. If your Company is deducting a portion of the Health & Welfare premium from your employees pay, then this method is to be changed immediately. If you should have any questions about this issue, you should contact the Fund’s Audit Manager as quickly as possible. Back to Top

29.  Why is it that it sometimes occurs that we are not notified of a contribution rate increase in a timely manner?
The reason this may occur from time to time is that the Health & Welfare and Pension Fund cannot increase your contribution rate until we receive a copy of the collective bargaining or participation agreement from the Local Union. If we have not received that in a timely manner, then we cannot inform you of any contribution rate increase in a timely manner as we will not be aware of what the terms of the agreement are until we receive it. Back to Top

30.  I understand that my employees only need a minimum of 15 days to be eligible for Health and Welfare benefits. If this is the case, why do I have to remit contributions in excess of 15 days?
The reason for this is that contributions are to be made to the Funds in accordance with the terms of your collective bargaining or participation agreements. These agreements do not limit contributions to fifteen days per month. The cost of providing benefits exceeds the amount of contributions for 15 days.  Employees who work more than 15 days and those who work less than 15 days in effect subsidize those who achieve eligibility by working the minimal number of days required. If all employers were required to remit only 15 contribution days per month, the contribution rate would be extremely high. Back to Top

31.  I recently received a letter notifying me that our company is going to be audited. Why ?
The Funds perform audits to ensure that the Employers are remitting correctly and to head off any potential problems. The Funds want to ensure that contributions are being made for individuals for whom contributions are required and in the correct amounts. It is only through auditing that the Administrator and the Trustees can be reasonably sure that all participating employers are properly and accurately recording the contributions which are due. It also allows the employer to be comfortable with the performance of it’s employees who are remitting contributions to the Funds. Back to Top

32.  What records are reviewed in the course of a payroll audit?
The type of records reviewed in a audit depends upon the type of Employer that is being audited, as the records involved vary from a small sole proprietorship company to a large national corporation. Basically, the Funds will use time cards, time sheets, payroll registers, employee earning records, personnel records, petty cash journal sheets, and State Unemployment Quarterly Tax Returns. Back to Top

33.  Our employees use drivers logs. We are only required to keep them for six months. How do you audit those hours if the logs are not available?
The ICC may only require that you hold onto the driver logs for six months but ERISA requires that you maintain records to be able to account for the hours worked by your employees. As such, if you decide to destroy the ICC logs, you should have a summary of the hours worked by the employees kept by the month or year. If you don’t have the original records then the Funds may estimate the amount of contributions due based on wages that were earned by the employee during that time period. Back to Top

34.  What can I expect to happen during a payroll audit?
You will be contacted by a Fund Auditor to set up a mutually convenient date to perform the audit. The Auditor will notify you as to what records are needed. Once the Auditor is at your offices, he will review all of the records that have been given to him. If he has any questions regarding the records, he will ask them. He will then perform his review. After he has finished the audit process, he will review with the Employer any and all discrepancies that he has found. He will also ask additional questions if there is additional information needed. At that time the Employer may bring to his attention any areas that the Employer may believe that the auditor has not considered in producing the audit results. The Auditor will provide his/her rationale for assessing contributions in a specific matter. When the Auditor leaves the Employer’s office, the audit is not yet completed. There will be work that the Auditor has to finish at the Fund offices. Once he has completed his worksheets that are then turned in to his/her supervisor for review. After this review, the audit results will be sent out to the Employer. Back to Top

35.  Why should an Employer have to make their tax returns made available. These records contain information of employees other then those covered by our collective bargaining agreement?
The tax returns are one method that the Funds use to review the entire population of employees to determine who is to be included and who is to be excluded for contribution purposes. The matter of making tax returns and other types of records available to Fund auditors was decided in a Supreme Court case known as Central States vs. Central Transport. This case acknowledged that the Trustees of the Plan are responsible for collecting contributions from delinquent employers, that the Trustees are personally responsible for the actions of non-fiduciaries in collecting the delinquent contributions and that the Funds have the right to expect a reasonable audit of the employers books and records which include the tax returns. Back to Top

36.  Does the audit have to take place at the Company’s office or do we have the option of mailing the records in?
The Employer does have the option of mailing the records in only if all of the records, including the tax returns, are going to be mailed. This can be discussed with the Auditor further when he/she makes contact with you. Back to Top

37.  What if the Auditor determines that I am overpaying?
If you are overpaying the Auditor will instruct you how to proceed for any overpayments discovered during the time period of the audit. Please be aware that any refunds or credits will be given under the terms of the Trustees Resolution. The Employer should then undertake a self audit for time period between the end of the payroll audit to the present time to see if the trend has continued. If it has, then a request or refund should be made under the terms of the Trustees Resolution. Back to Top

38.  What should I do if I disagree with the audit results?
Should you disagree with the audit results, you should send a letter into the Fund outlining the differences that you have with the results of the payroll audit. You should also include any and all documentation to support your claim. The Fund may also request that your books and records be made available again to review your assertions. Back to Top

39. We have an employee on Family Medical Leave.  How many days of contribution should we remit for this employee?
Under the FMLA law, and as set forth on the DOL web site, you are obligated to remit contributions for the same number of days that the employee would have worked but for the leave.  The Employer Guide Book on the FMLA published by the U.S. Department of Labor, provides in relevant part:  “If an employee was receiving group health benefits when leave began, an employer must maintain them at the same level and in the same manner during periods of FMLA leave as if the employee had continued to work.”  See http://www.dol.gov/compliance/guide/fmla.htm . Back to Top

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