Providing service and support to film and television musicians.

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Beneficiary Policies

Operation policies directly affecting beneficiaries include:

Musician/Beneficiary Designations

Effective, January, 2008 this policy will amend Exhibit "A" 2. (a), of the 2002-2005 Basic Theatrical Motion Picture Agreement, as follows (italicized text):

In the event of the death of a musician entitled to a distributive share hereunder, the Executive Director shall distribute such share to the beneficiary—or beneficiaries designated by such musician, or alternate beneficiary (in the event the beneficiary predeceased the musician)—on a form provided by the Executive Director for such purpose, or, if no such beneficiary be so designated, then to the surviving spouse of such musician; or if there be no such person, to the musician's estate.

In addition, a beneficiary of a musician or alternate beneficiary (in the event the beneficiary pre-deceased the musician) may select a beneficiary or beneficiaries, (aka: the "BOB") and if no beneficiary be so designated, then to the surviving spouse of such beneficiary; and if there be no such person, to the beneficiary or beneficiaries of the beneficiary's estate. However, the Fund will cease to make any further payments upon the death of all such beneficiaries of beneficiaries (the BOB's).

IMPORTANT: Your beneficiary designation(s) may be subject to certain legal limitations. You may wish to consult your attorney for further information.

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Beneficiary's Right to Assign Residuals

Effective for distributions payable after July 1, 2016, a living individual whom the Fund has determined to be a beneficiary under the provisions of paragraph 2(a) of the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund Agreement may assign any payments that he or she would otherwise receive on account of the death of the participating musician to whom the distribution would otherwise have been due, subject to the following terms and conditions:

  1. Any assignment will be irrevocable.
  2. Assignment may be made to only one living individual, to minimize the Fund's expenses of administering this policy.
  3. Upon the death of the beneficiary's assignee, no further benefits on account of the death of the participating musician will be payable.
  4. The beneficiary agrees to execute an agreement in the form provided by the Fund holding the Fund harmless from, and indemnifying the Fund against, all losses that the Fund may incur with respect to the assignment.
  5. If a subsequent/omitted beneficiary comes forward who would otherwise have been entitled to be included in the participating musician?s share, the Fund reserves the right to withhold/decrease subsequent funds to the previously named beneficiaries in order to make up for the missed payments to the subsequent/omitted beneficiary.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per the collective bargaining agreement between the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund (FMSMF) participant musicians are not allowed to assign their residual wage benefits. However, FMSMF participant musicians are expected to complete a beneficiary card to ensure that their beneficiary wishes are carried out upon their demise.

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Dual Musician/Beneficiary Participants – BeneficiaryDesignation Determination

Effective October 19, 2011 for participants who are both a Musician and an active Beneficiary (receiving payments as a beneficiary):

If there is no Beneficiary of Beneficiary (BoB) Designation card on file, the musician's Beneficiary Designation card will be used to determine their beneficiary. However, if a musician does not have a Beneficiary Designation card on file, but is an active beneficiary with a valid BoB card on file, this BoB card will be used to determine their beneficiary or beneficiaries.

Additionally, if the Fund has both cards on file [a musician Beneficiary Designation card and Beneficiary of Beneficiary (BoB) Designation card] and each card designates a different beneficiary(ies), then the Fund will comply with the designation(s) as indicated on each card.

NOTE: If you intend to designate the same beneficiary(ies) on both cards, you must update both cards accordingly.
If you would like to update your Beneficiary Designation card, please click here.

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Participant Fraud

Effective April 1, 2005, the Fund will handle cases of fraud perpetrated by or against participants in the following ways:

If it is proven that the participant is a victim of fraud (i.e. their check is stolen, forged and cashed) the Fund will make a determination on a case by case basis and depending on the amount will:

  • File a claim with their insurance company and/or
  • Replace the funds to the participant with an Accounts Payable check out of the general funds, documenting the reasons in the ledger, Fund financials, and participant file
  • 1099 the participant
  • Obtain, if possible, an assignment of the musician's rights for assets of whatever is recovered by them
  • Obtain, if possible, an order of restitution
  • Contact the bank who cashed the check
  • Pursue legal action against the perpetrator if it is in the Fund's best interests to do so

If it is determined that the participant has committed the fraud (i.e. cashed duplicate checks) the Fund will establish themselves as a levy/lien agency for purposes of collecting future residuals checks:

  • The participant will be charged for all administrative and legal costs associated with the theft
  • The participant will receive a W2 for the full amount of the checks cashed
  • The lien will be effective until the full amount of the funds is recouped
  • The Fund may take legal action against the participant if it is in its best interests to do so

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