The EP fund is the Employers' Pension Fund, and is a fund that pays for pensions and emergencies for AFM members. In a nutshell, when someone has a union job, whether its an orchestra on stage or in the studio, each musician hired gets paid but also the employer has to put $X.XX in the pension fund. How many times and how much (i believe) gets put in the fund over time is what creates your pension. Its a lot like FICA tax and Social Security. To really understand it however, you can go to http://www.afm-epf.org/
to read about it in detail. Its one of the most excellent benefits of being a lifelong member of AFM. Unfortunately a major portion of revenue for the fund is monies from CD and record sales. And as mechanical sales of tangible items (tape, cd, record, etc) become obsolete, there is much legislation that needs to be changed in how we deal with copyright and mechanical sales of digital files and streaming media. This is one of the most major issues for LOTS of folks, composers especially, as how every creator, musician, composer, songwriter, lyricist, etc is paid in our society is completely up for grabs right now, and we are treading on very very thin ice of technologists who feel that copyright should be abolished.
Keep in mind : a lot of jazz work ( and some indie based pop stuff ) is based on the AFM "limited pressing "scale which is in essence $55 per hr ( with a 2 hr minimum ) Even in LA you can get this rate legally ( providing you do pay the pension fund add ons and file a contract )
I did my second CD in LA in this manner, and had no problem getting A list players like Wayne Bergeron, Andy Martin, Pete Christlieb, et al to participate
since they enjoy playing jazz projects.
Note: these guys WONT do film scores for these prices - you're still better off
getting a project deal someplace ( like Dallas, Salt Lake City or Seattle ) to accomplish such a thing. ( I can personally vouch for the quality of the Dallas players for any type of project -just listen to my film music samples on my page.
most all of them are recorded in Dallas )