Do you want to earn pension and health benefits on your gig?
There’s an easy contract you need to know about...
Volume 112, No. 1January, 2012
WHAT IS AN LS-1 OR MUSIC SERVICES AGREEMENT?
The LS-1 and Music Services Agreements allow musicians to get or maintain their Local 802 Health Benefit Plan coverage by piecing together various gigs that are performed for one or more employers. They also allow musicians to make pension payments into the AFM Pension Plan. The 802 Health Benefits Plan and the AFM Pension Plan are both regulated by federal labor laws and cannot accept individual contributions paid directly by musician participants. The payments can only come from an employer in the context of a bargaining agreement with the union. The LS-1/Music Services agreements essentially function as mini union contracts that allow musicians to get credit for individual teaching or performance gigs. Every time you are hired to perform or teach, you can ask that employer to sign one of these agreements for the job or series of jobs. This creates a union contract that then allows health or pension contributions to be made on your behalf. The employer can also designate you to make the payments directly on his or her behalf.
WHAT WORK APPLIES TO LS-1/MUSIC SERVICE AGREEMENTS?
Any kind of music performance or music services work can be covered. You can also cover all teaching and music lessons. Because these agreements serve as union contracts, you must also pay appropriate work dues for the work. The rate for performances is 3.5 percent; the rate for teaching is 2 percent.
HOW DO LS-1/MUSIC SERVICES AGREEMENTS RELATE TO COVERAGE IN THE 802 HEALTH PLAN?
Coverage in the 802 Health Plan is based on the amount of contributions that are sent in on your behalf by employers who are under union contract to pay health benefits. The 802 Health Plan coverage period is from March 1 of each year through the following February 28. This plan year is divided into two segments: March 1 to August 31 and September 1 to February 28. In order to qualify for coverage in the March 1 to August 3 period, you must have contributions sufficient to qualify made for work performed in the period from July 1 to Dec. 31. To qualify for coverage in the September 1 to February 28 period, the contributions must be for work performed from Jan. 1 to June 30.
Health Benefit contributions can not exceed 15 percent of the gross wages for any engagement period.
WHAT ARE THE FILING DEADLINES TO GET HEALTH COVERAGE?
If you want health coverage to begin on March 1, you must file all LS-1 and Music Services agreements no later than January 15. These agreements can only cover work performed from July 1st to Dec. 31.
If you want health coverage to begin on September 1, you must file all LS-1 and Music Services agreements no later than July 15. These agreements can only cover work performed from Jan. 1 to June 30.
Remember to include with your filings the checks for health, pension (if any) and work dues. If the checks are not received, the application cannot be processed.
If you have questions or need assistance in preparing or filing agreements, please contact Bettina Covo at 212-245-4802 ext. 152.