How to use LS-1 contracts for health and pension
Volume 120, No. 1January, 2020
Need to contribute a little more to get Local 802 health benefits? Need a few more credits to become fully vested in your pension? There is a viable way to contribute to your AFM pension* and maintain Local 802 health benefits for you and your family — even if you aren’t playing in one of the traditional union orchestras or on Broadway. (*There’s some fine print on pension! Be sure to keep reading…)
LS-1 contracts offer the opportunity to take advantage of Local 802’s benefit plans. You can use these contracts to maintain or supplement your current benefits. You can choose to participate in either the pension plan or the health plan — or both. And your employer can be anyone who has hired you or is paying you — including, in the case of health benefits, your private students!
WHY DO I NEED A CONTRACT? WHY CAN’T I JUST PAY INTO MY OWN HEALTH ACCOUNT OR PENSION ACCOUNT?
Both the AFM pension fund and the Local 802 health benefits fund are federally regulated funds that are required by law to have a collective bargaining agreement with an employer in order to accept benefit contributions. LS-1 contracts serve as mini contracts that allow employers to make health or pension contributions to you on small jobs or single engagements. There are, however, some rather important requirements in order to file the LS-1 contract, particularly for the pension fund.
WHAT CAN BE FILED
Solo performers can file an LS-1 contract provided the engagement is not in a major venue and provided there is no existing CBA.
Ensembles can file only if all the musicians on the engagement are reported on the form.
Teaching engagements are accepted, for both private and institutional teaching/master classes/clinics, with some exceptions below.
The pension fund does not accept LS-1’s for private teaching engagements, with one exception. Private teaching contributions will be accepted for pension if you are incorporated (i.e. an LLC or “S”-corporation or something similar) and the teaching income runs through your corporation.
Also, the pension fund does accept contributions from teaching (private or classroom) but only if you are teaching at a school or institution — again, provided the school signs the form.
Please note that the health fund does accept LS-1’s for private teaching engagements.
WHO CANNOT FILE AN LS-1
The following list contains examples of who cannot file an LS-1 contract:
- A musician who is not an active member of Local 802, with all membership and work dues up to date.
- Musicians working under an existing CBA cannot file an LS-1 for that engagement.
- Musicians working within an orchestra or large ensemble cannot file an LS-1 for that engagement — unless the entire orchestra files an LS-1 for that engagement.
- Solo/ensemble musicians working in a major venue cannot file an LS-1 for that engagement.
- Music prep work (please call 212-245-4802 and consult with our Music Prep department).
- Electronic media/recording work (please call 212-245-4802 and consult with our Electronic Media department)
- Any theatre work (please call 212-245-4802 and consult with our Theatre Department)
WHAT DO I NEED IN ORDER TO SUBMIT THE LS-1?
- Blank LS-1 contracts are available at www.Local802afm.org. Select WHERE WE WORK from the top menu, then CONTRACTS, then scroll down to find “Solo Performance and Private Teaching (LS-1 contract).” Fill it out, then get it signed by your employer or your own corporation
- Pension contributions must be an amount between 4.80 percent to 17.99 percent of the gross wages reported.
- Health contributions must be 15 percent of the gross wages reported.
- Work dues are 2 percent of gross wages (for teaching engagements), or 3.5 percent of gross wages (for performances)
- Proof of engagement includes paperwork like canceled checks, contracts, invoices, schedules of lessons, etc.
WHEN DO I HAVE TO SUBMIT THE CHECKS TO THE PENSION AND HEALTH FUNDS?
Health Fund: Submit by Jan. 15 of each year for any engagements between July 1 and Dec. 31. Submit by July 15 of each year for any engagements between Jan. 1 and June 30.
Pension: All pension payments must be submitted no later than 30 days after the engagement date.
Nothing can be processed until all signed and completed paperwork is received by us, along with all checks.
If you have any questions about LS-1 contracts, or to arrange an in-person appointment, please contact Bettina Covo at LS1@Local802afm.org. The postal address for sending all checks and forms is: Bettina Covo, attention: LS-1 contracts, Local 802, 322 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036.
HEALTH AND PENSION
The information in the article above is about how to accept contributions into your health and pension accounts using an LS-1 contract. But ideally, this money shouldn’t have to come out of your own income. If you’re playing a job that doesn’t include health and pension benefits, your first call should be to Local 802 at (212) 245-4802 (ask for an organizer). The union has a great track record in helping you win the wages and benefits you deserve. For more information about the Local 802 health plans: www.Local802afm.org/local-802-healthcare. For more information about pension: www.afm-epf.org.