I have recently been trying to clarify exactly how the Home Plan for the National benefits Fund (NBF) and the Motion Picture Industry Pension & Health Plan (MPIPHP) works. There’s been a lot of confusing information out there, but our BA, Melissa, put me in contact with a very helpful staff member at NBF, so I thought I’d try to pass along what I learned, in case you too, are confused.
First, the IATSE NBF as Home Plan side letter is for someone working under any Local covered by the MPIPHP (mostly the LA based Locals). The home plan allows for the contributions that would have gone to MPIPHP to instead go to the NBF, at the same MPIPHP contribution rate they would have gotten if the contributions were not being redirected.
MPIPHP and the NBF both have criteria for the form to be approved once signed. If the member doesn’t have any contributions at MPIPHP (or at least never enough to not have qualified for their coverage), there should be no problem getting the approval from MPIPHP. As for the NBF criteria, they would just need to have had one contribution there within the past 18 months before receipt of the home plan.
The MPIPHP Home Plan is the one that redirected the contributions in the other direction - it allowed MPIPHP participants who were working under an agreement in which the contributions were NOT due to MPIPHP to fill out that form to have their contributions redirected to MPIPHP from the Funds they would otherwise have been due to. For example, a Studio Mechanic employee working and hired outside of LA under the Area Standards Agreement would contractually have their contributions go to the NBF. The MPIPHP Home Plan allowed them to have their contributions submitted to MPIPHP instead.
That MPIPHP Home Plan was discontinued several years ago, although there is a specific group of “grandfathered” MPIPHP participants (who had previously had an MPIPHP Home Plan approved before it was discontinued) who are still allowed to fill them out. For anyone not grandfathered, the contributions have to remain at the funds required under their underlying CBA.
Also, as a side note, please note that there is actually no such thing as a “Home Away Plan” (although that term is widely used). I think that name came about because originally MPIPHP had an Away Plan form to be signed for anyone who wanted their contractual MPIPHP contributions redirected away from MPIPHP, including the NBF. That form is actually still in effect for the redirection from MPIPHP to all funds except the NBF. The NBF developed its own IATSE NBF Home Plan form (approved by MPIPHP) for all instances in which an employee wants their contributions redirected to the NBF. So, what’s needed is either an Away Plan form (if not NBF) OR a Home Plan form (if NBF).
To sum up, if you have NBF contributions and end up working in a position covered by the MPIPHP benefits (like with Locals 600 or 44), you can have those contributions redirected to your NBF account, but it does not work in the reverse unless you are in that special "grandfathered" group. If you aren’t sure what all this means, check in with your BA or the production accountant. You can find a copy of the form on the NBF website and attached to this article. I hope this was helpful!
Rebecca Cook, VP