Pension Credits and Years of Vesting Service
Section 4.01.     Purpose.

The purpose of this Article is to define the basis on which Employees accumulate Pension Credit and Vesting Service toward eligibility for a pension. This Article also defines the basis on which Pension Credit and Vesting Service, once accumulated, may be canceled.

Section 4.02.     Credit for Employment Before the Contribution Period (Past Service Credit).
  1. Past Service Credit for Years of Employment Prior to an Employer's Contribution Date. The Trustees have the right to grant Employees of an Employer Past Service Credit for any years of employment prior to the Contribution Date pursuant to the rules set forth below. The Trustees have the discretion not to grant Past Service Credit to the Employees of an Employer. In addition, the Trustees may reduce or modify the amount of Past Service Credit available under this Section.


  2. Two-year test rule: In order to qualify for Past Service Credit for any years of employment prior to the Contribution Date, an Employee must have earned, from a Contributing Employer, an amount equal to the lesser of 25% of the Social Security base earnings or $5,000 in each of the two Calendar Years immediately prior to the Calendar Year of the applicable Contribution Date.

    One exception to this requirement will be granted to an Employee who proves, on the basis of medical evidence satisfactory to the Trustees, that his failure to earn the required amount during one of the two Calendar Years was due to total disability; provided, however, that such Employee had earned the required amount in the other Calendar Year under the conditions set forth above.


  3. An Employee who qualifies for Past Service Credit by having met the requirements of the "Two-Year Test Rule" will be entitled to Past Service Credit for each Calendar year he earned an amount equal to the lesser of 25% of Social Security base earnings in those years or $5,000, subject to the limitations set forth in Section 7.04, provided that (1) such employment was in a job classification and at a place of business covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement then in effect between the Union and an Employer who subsequently became a Contributing Employer or (2) if such employment was prior to the time the first Collective Bargaining Agreement was signed by the Contributing Employer and the Union, the Participant's job classification during such period was included in the said first Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Trustees shall have the sole discretion to determine whether said prior employment comes within a classification included in the first Collective Bargaining Agreement. There will be a maximum of twenty (20) years of Past Service Credit.


  4. As many Collective Bargaining Agreements provide that the first contribution to the Pension Fund will commence on the date other than January 1st, there may be instances when, for the Calendar Year in which the contributions start, the Employee would be entitled to partial Past Service Credit and partial Future Service Credit. For the first Calendar Year in which employer contributions commence on a date other than January 1st, if the Employee earned the lesser of 25% of Social Security base earnings or $5,000, he will be given sufficient Past Service Credit so that, together with Future Service Credit for each year, he will receive full credit for the year.


  5. It is recognized that for the period prior to the Contribution Date, it may be difficult to establish with certainty the past service of an Employee in the type of employment referred to above. In making the necessary determination as to Past Service Credit, the Board of Trustees may, in its absolute discretion, consider and rely upon any relevant and material evidence, including but not limited to any or all of the following:


    1. Records of employers or the Fund Office.


    2. Records of the Federal Social Security Administration.




Section 4.03.     Breaks in Employment Prior to the Contribution Date (Past Service).
  1. General Rule:

    If an Employee's employment with a first Contributing Employer during the period prior to his Contribution Date was interrupted by two consecutive Calendar Years in which the Employee failed to earn an amount equal to the lesser of 25% of Social Security base earnings or $5,000 in each of the two consecutive years, it will be considered a Break in Past Service, and the period preceding such break will not be credited.


  2. Exception on Account of Disability or Military Service:

    1. An Employee is permitted a grace period if his failure to earn an amount equal to 25% of Social Security base earnings or $5,000 in a year is due to total disability or service in any of the Armed Forces of the United States, provided the Employee makes himself available for Covered Employment within the time period required under applicable federal law. This grace period is to consist of up to two consecutive Calendar Years if such failure is caused by total disability, during which the Employee failed to earn an amount equal to the lesser of 25% of Social Security base earnings or $5,000 in a year.


    2. This grace period is not intended to add to the Pension Credit of the Employee unless otherwise required by the terms of the Plan or applicable federal law. Rather it is a period which is to be disregarded in determining whether there was a period of two consecutive Calendar Years during which the Employee failed to earn an amount equal to the lesser of 25% of Social Security base earnings or $5,000 in any one of the two consecutive years.


    3. The Trustees, in their sole discretion, determine whether periods of disability claimed as grace periods hereunder should be granted.


Section 4.04.     Credit for Employment During the Contribution Period.

For periods during the Contribution Period, a Participant will be credited with Pension Credits (or Future Service Credit) on the basis of his Hours of Service in Covered Employment on which contributions to the Pension Fund were required to be made in accordance with the following schedule:



Hours
Years of Future Service
Less than 350
None
350 - 549
.2
550 - 749
.3
750 - 949
.4
950 - 999
.5
1000 - 1199
.6
1200 - 1399
.7
1400 - 1549
.8
1550 - 1699
.9
1700 or more
1.0
Section 4.05.     Years of Vesting Service .
  1. General Rule.

    A Participant will be credited with one (1) Year of Vesting Service for each Calendar Year during the Contribution Period (including periods before he became a Participant) in which he completed at least 950 hours of Service in Covered Employment. This rule is subject to the following subsections.


  2. Additions.

    If a Participant works for a Contributing Employer in a job not covered by this Plan and such employment is Continuous with his Employment with that Employer in Covered Employment, His hours of Service in such non-covered job during the Contribution Period after December 31, 1975 shall be counted toward a Year of Vesting Service.


A Participant will not be entitled to credit toward a Year of Vesting Service for years preceding a Permanent Break in Service as defined in Section 4.06.

Section 4.06.     Breaks in Service .
  1. General Rule.

    If a person has a Break in Service before he has earned Vested Status as defined in Section 6.10 it has the effect of canceling his Plan participation, his previously credited Years of Vesting Service, and his previous Pension Credits. However, a Break in Service may be temporary, subject to repair by a sufficient amount of subsequent service. A longer Break in Service may be a Permanent Break in Service.


  2. One-Year Break in Service.

    A person has a One-Year Break in Service if, after any January 1 coincident with or next following his Contribution Date, he fails to earn two-tenths (.2) of a Pension Credit during a Calendar Year.


  3. Permanent Break in Service after 1975.

    1. A person has a Permanent Break in Service if he has consecutive One-Year Breaks in Service, including at least one (1) after 1975, that equal or exceed the number of years of Vesting Service with which he has been credited.


    2. However, an Employee will not have a Permanent Break in Service after December 31, 1985 until he has at least five (5) consecutive One-Year Breaks in Service.


    3. A person who had accumulated any Future Service Credit before June 1, 1974, but who incurred a Permanent Break in Service, will not lose his Future Service Credit if he earns at least two-tenths (.2) Pension Credits before January 1, 1976, through employment with a Contributing Employer. After January 1, 1976, subsection (b) will be applicable to these Employees.


  4. Leave Under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

    An Employee who takes a leave of absence under the terms of the Family and Medical Leave Act will have that period of leave credited towards Vesting Service to the extent required under that Act. Periods of leave provided under the Family and Medical Leave Act will not be counted towards a Break in Service.


  5. Disability Periods.

    A person will not incur a Permanent Break in Service during periods for which he supplies evidence of disability to the satisfaction of the Trustees.


  6. Military Service.

    Periods of military service in any of the Armed Forces of the United States will be credited for purposes of this Plan to the extent required under the Military Selective Service Act, as amended, and any other applicable law.

    Notwithstanding any provision of this Plan to the contrary, contributions, benefits and service credit with respect to qualified military service will be provided in accordance with Section 414(u) of the Internal Revenue Code.

    The liability for funding any obligation of the Plan to provide benefits in accordance with Section 414(u) of the Internal Revenue Code will be allocated to the Plan.


  7. Future Service Credit for Non-Working Periods.

    An Employee will receive Future Service Credit for certain periods when the Employee is not actually at work in Covered Employment. Periods of absence from Covered Employment are to be credited as if they were periods of work in Covered Employment and at the rate of 35 hours a week for each week an Employee receives a Workers Compensation benefit under a state system up to a maximum of 1,700 hours in any one year and a maximum of 1,700 hours during an Employee's lifetime.


  8. Solely for the purpose of determining whether a One-Year Break in Service has occurred, the absence of an Employee from Service by reason of (1) her pregnancy, (2) birth of a child of the Employee, (3) placement of a child with the Employee in connection with his or her adoption of the child, or (4) care for such child for a period beginning immediately after such birth or placement, will be credited as hours of Service to the extent that hours of Service would have been credited but for such absence (or, where that cannot be determined, eight hours of Service per day of absence) to a maximum of 501 hours for each such pregnancy, childbirth, or placement. The hours so credited will be applied to the Calendar Year in which such absence begins, if doing so will prevent the Employee from incurring a One-Year Break in Service in that Calendar Year; otherwise they will be applied to the next Calendar Year. The Trustees may require, as a condition for granting such credit, that the Employee establish in a timely fashion and to the satisfaction of the Trustees that the Employee is entitled to such credit. This subsection applies only to absences that begin after December 31, 1985.





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