Pensions & Benefits

As a union, the USW helps negotiate the best possible benefits for its members. In most cases, our members receive their union-negotiated benefits -- pension, health care, life insurance, etc. -- directly from their employer, based on the terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement. However, there are a few exceptions.

In terms of pension, the Steelworkers Pension Trust (SPT) is a multi-employer pension plan that has its roots in the former Upholsters’ International Union (UIU), a union that merged with the Steelworkers in 1985. Although the SPT maintains its own staff and offices, it is affiliated with the USW. The same is true for the PACE Industry Union Management Pension Fund (PIUMPF) which came under the USW umbrella when PACE (itself a merger of the Paperworkers and Allied and Chemical Workers) merged with the USW in 2005. In similar fashion, the Aluminum, Brick and Glass (ABG) Workers Union joined with the USW in 1996.

Even more recently, the Glass, Molders and Pottery (GMP) Workers’ Union merged with the USW. Benefits for former GMP members continue to be administered from the Media, PA location.  There are other USW-affiliated exceptions, including the Heavy and Highway groups in Pennsylvania and West Virginia/Kentucky, the Western Independent Shops Pension Plan (WISPP) and the National Integrated Group Pension Plan (NIGPP).

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is an independent agency of the United States government that was created by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 to encourage the continuation of private defined benefit pension plans, provide timely and uninterrupted payment of pension benefits, and to keep pension insurance premiums at the lowest level needed to carry out its operations.

Subject to certain limitations, the PBGC pays pension benefits up to the maximum guaranteed benefit set by law, which was $60,136 a year as of 2016. If you or your family member worked for an employer that went bankrupt or had a pension plan that was severely underfunded (and retired after 1974), it is likely that your pension has been taken over by the PBGC.

In terms of health care, the Steelworkers Health and Welfare Fund is responsible for administering health care benefits for a portion of our members. It is the only group associated with the USW that administers health care benefits. A few of its clients include USW members who work/worked at ArcelorMittal, Koppers, Express Scripts, Newport News shipyard, GATX, Century Aluminum, Bancroft Bag, and some locations for Sappi and Cenveo.

If you have a question about your pension or benefits we first suggest checking with a Local Union officer or the Human Resources office of your employer. If you believe your benefits are provided by the USW, the following list will assist you.




If you still have questions about your benefits, you can contact the USW for assistance at:

Pensions and Benefits
60 Boulevard of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 562-2473
(412) 562-2275 fax