Participant Edge

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Your ERISA Rights

As a Participant in this Plan, you are entitled to certain rights and protections under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). ERISA provides that all Plan Participants shall be entitled to:

  • Examine, without charge, at the Trust Fund Office, the Fringe Benefits Office and at other specified locations, such as worksites and union halls, all Plan documents, including collective bargaining agreements and copies of all documents filed by the Plan with the U.S. Department of Labor, such as detailed annual reports and Plan descriptions. Copies of all Plan documents and other Plan information may also be obtained upon written requests to the Trust Fund Office or the Fringe Benefits Office; a reasonable charge may be made for the copies.
  • Receive a summary of the Plan's annual financial report. The Board of Trustees is required by law to furnish each Participant with a copy of this summary annual report.

Insofar as required by applicable government regulations you may also obtain a statement telling you whether you have a right to receive benefits at Normal Retirement Age (65) if you stop working under the Plan now. This statement must be requested in writing and is not required to be given more than once a year. The Plan must provide the statement free of charge.

In addition to creating rights for Plan Participants, ERISA imposes duties upon the people who are responsible for operation of this Plan. The people who operate your Plan, called "fiduciaries" of the Plan, have a duty to do so prudently and in the interest of you and other Plan Participants and Beneficiaries. No one, including your employer, your union, or any other person may fire you or otherwise discriminate against you in any way to prevent you from obtaining an annuity benefit or exercising your rights under ERISA. If your claim for benefits is denied, in whole or in part, you must receive a written explanation of the reason for the denial and you have the right to have the Plan review and reconsider your claim, as described elsewhere in this booklet.

Under ERISA, there are steps you can take to enforce the above rights. For instance, if you request certain materials required to be furnished by the Plan and do not receive them within 30 days, you may file suit in a federal court. In such a case, the court may require that you be provided with the materials and paid up to $110 a day until you receive them, unless the materials were not sent because of reasons beyond the Board's control. If you have a claim for benefits which is denied or ignored, in whole or in part, you may file suit in a state or federal court. If it should happen that Plan fiduciaries misuse the Plan's money, or if you are discriminated against for asserting your rights, you may seek assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor, or you may file suit in a federal court. The court may decide who should pay court costs and legal fees. If you are successful, the court may order the person you have sued to pay these costs and fees. If you lose, the court may order you to pay these costs and fees, for example, if it finds your claim is frivolous.

If you have any questions about your Plan, you should contact the Board of Trustees. If you have any questions about this statement or about your rights under ERISA, you should contact the nearest Area Office of the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, listed in your telephone directory or the

Division of Technical Assistance and Inquiries
Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington. D.C. 20210.

A Participant acquires a non-forfeitable right to a Regular Pension at Normal Retirement Age after completion of 10 Years of Service (“Years of Service” as used in this Section means those years of service required to be credited in accordance with Section 411 of the Internal Revenue Code and Section 203 of ERISA and as further defined by the applicable regulations). Periods of service and breaks in service are defined for that purpose under this Plan on the basis of all Hours of Service.

Non-foreitability under ERISA

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act requires that certain benefits under this Plan be non-forfeitable.

ERISA also provides certain limitations on any Plan amendment that may change the Plan’s vesting schedule. In accordance with those legal limitations, no amendment of this Plan may take away a Participant’s non-forfeitable right to a Pension at Normal Retirement Age, if he has already earned it at the time of the amendment. Also, an amendment may not change the schedule on the basis of which a Participant acquires this right, unless each Participant who has at least 5 Years of Service at the time the amendment is adopted or effective (whichever is later) is given the option of achieving a non-forfeitable right on the basis of the pre-amendment schedule.

That option may be exercised within 60 days after the latest of the following dates:

  • When the amendment was adopted,
  • When the amendment became effective, or
  • When the Participant was given written notice of the amendment.