Retirement & Security Program
Since 1959, NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association has sponsored a defined benefit retirement plan, the Retirement & Security (R&S) Program. What began with seven member telcos and 100 participants has grown into a program with about 17,000 participants (including more than 1,900 pensioners) and over $2 billion dollars in assets. Why have more than 350 NTCA members come to depend on the NTCA R&S Program for their employee’s future retirement security?
Day-to-day administration of the program is performed by an NTCA subsidiary, Services Management Corporation, with staff in its Arlington, Va., and Asheville, N.C. offices. SMC’s Board of Directors are representatives of NTCA members. Also, the program’s trust committee is made up of member representatives, selected by the NTCA Board of Directors. The trust committee sets policy and oversees program direction. The R&S Program is sponsored exclusively for NTCA members and governed by NTCA members.
Earned Benefits are 100% Vested Immediately
All retirement benefits earned by employees are immediately vested—this means that as each dollar of retirement benefit is earned, it belongs to the employee. No one can take these benefits away. If an employee leaves employment, the benefit earned belongs to that person.
Flexibility of Benefit Choice
There is significant flexibility when an employee becomes entitled to a benefit distribution. This includes payments as an immediate monthly pension, a monthly pension in the future or in a single payment.
The Pension Benefit Guaranteed Corporation (PBGC), a quasi-governmental agency, insures each individual's earned retirement benefit. Currently, for employees retiring at age 65 and electing payment as a monthly income for their life, this guarantee amount is over $60,000 per year.
Flexible and Generous Benefit Features
- Employers choose the level of retirement benefit they want to fund for their employees
- In some cases, employers can purchase benefits for an employee's prior service, with a flexible funding plan
- Retirement benefits are based on a 'high-five' compensation average; as an employee's salary increases, his earned benefits are reflective of those compensation increases
- Early retirement can occur at 55 in the R&S Program, with no benefit reduction if the participant is eligible under an early retirement feature called "Rule of 85"
- Generous pre-retirement death benefits for the beneficiary of a deceased employee
- Flexible payment options including monthly pensions, single sum distributions or combinations of both
- "Early retirement window" feature is available to participating members
- Employees can work beyond 65 and continue to earn retirement benefits
- Retired employees can receive both Social Security benefits and R&S Program benefits, with no offset in the R&S Program benefit
- Depending on the benefit payment option selected, a retiree's surviving spouse can receive up to 100% of the retiree's pension benefit
For More Information
If you are interested in receiving more information on the R&S Program, contact the NTCA member relations team.