What is a Benefit Trust Fund?

A benefit trust fund is an arrangement where one person or a group of people (the trustees) hold the trust assets for the benefit of others. The party or parties that set up the benefit trust fund are called settlors. The settlors create a written document, called a Trust Agreement, which sets out such matters as:

  • The number of trustees and their method of appointment;
  • The explicit powers granted to the trustees to administer the fund;
  • The responsibilities of the trustees and protections for their acts as trustees, provided all actions are in good faith;
  • Requirements for annual meetings, audits and trustee meetings;
  • The basis for accepting contributions to the fund and delinquency procedures that may be available to the trustees, separate from the grievance procedures in the collective agreement;
  • Provisions for amendment and termination of the fund.

The trust agreement is just one of the documents detailing the manner in which a benefit trust fund operates. In their administration of the benefit trust fund, the trustees and their professional advisors are also governed by the plan text, the collective agreement and applicable legislation. The legislation may include pension benefits, trustees, labour relations and income tax legislation. In addition, the trustees are bound by common law standards of fiduciary conduct.

As fiduciaries, the trustees must act with a standard of care and thought for the future. There are four duties of common law to which trustees are held:

  1. Conflict of Interest Rule: to act for the benefit of the trust and never for himself or herself while carrying out his or her duties;
  2. Standard of Care Rule: to be active in carrying out those duties and perform them with complete integrity;
  3. No-Delegation Rule: To carry out those duties personally as a result of the trust and confidence place upon him or her;
  4. Even-Handed Rule: To act impartially between the beneficiaries unless the trust instrument authorizes otherwise.

The settlors for your benefit trust funds are UA Local 740 and the Construction Labour Relations Association of Newfoundland and Labrador. They have set up two Benefit Trust Funds to provide benefits for our members: a Health & Welfare Trust Fund and a Pension Trust Fund.

The following documents are available for viewing through your Member Online Account: https://mwaonline.manionwilkins.com/

  • Actuarial Report (Pension Plan)
  • Annual Information Return (Pension Plan)
  • Pension Plan Text
  • Trust Documents: Health & Welfare Trust, Pension Trust