Applications, Benefit Payments, Retirement, and Benefit Suspensions
Section 6.01.     Applications.

Except as required by law, an application for the benefit must be made in writing in the form and manner required by the Trustees as a condition for the payment of any benefit from this Plan. Benefit payments will begin as of the "Effective Date" of a pension as defined in Section 6.05(b). An application may be withdrawn at any time before payments commence.

Section 6.02.     Information and Proof.

Every claimant for benefits shall furnish, at the request of the Trustees, any information or proof reasonably required to determine his benefit rights. If the claimant makes a willfully false statement material to his application or furnishes fraudulent information or proof material to his claim, benefits not Vested under this Plan (as defined in Section 6.10) may be denied, suspended, or discontinued. The Trustees shall have the right to recover, through legal proceedings, any benefits paid in reliance on any false statement, information, or proof submitted by a claimant (including withholding of material fact) plus interest and costs without limitation by recovery through offset of benefit payments as permitted by this Article. If a Participant is otherwise entitled to benefits despite any false statement, any amounts paid in reliance on the false statements shall be deemed as an advance of future benefits, and shall be recoverable through offset of benefits which become payable in the future, including any benefits payable to a Participant's Beneficiary or estate.

Section 6.03.    Action of Trustees.

The Trustees shall, subject to the requirements of the law, be the sole judges of the standard of proof required in any case and the application and interpretation of this Plan, and decisions of the Trustees shall be final and binding on all parties.

Wherever in the Plan the Trustees are given discretionary powers, the Trustees shall exercise such powers in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner. The Trustees shall process a claim for benefits as speedily as is feasible, consistent with the need for adequate information and proof necessary to establish the claimant's benefit rights and to commence the payment of benefits.

Section 6.04.     Right to Appeal.
  1. A Participant whose application for benefits under this Plan has been denied, in whole or in part, or who has received a ruling concerning benefits, Pension Credits or any other matter concerning application of this Plan, is to be provided with adequate notice in writing setting forth the specific reasons for such denial or interpretation, and shall have the right to appeal the decision, by written request filed with the Trustees within 180 days after receipt of such notice. The appeal shall be considered by the Trustees or by a person or committee designated by the Trustees.


  2. All questions or controversies, of whatsoever character, arising in any manner or between any parties or persons, in connection with this Pension Plan or the administration thereof, whether as to any claim for any benefits preferred by an Employee, Beneficiary or any other person, or whether as to the construction or the language or meaning of the Pension Plan or the Trust Agreement, or as to any writing, decision, instrument or accounts in connection with the operation of the Pension Plan or otherwise, shall be submitted to the Trustees; and the decision of the Trustees shall be binding upon all persons dealing with the Pension Plan or claiming benefits under the Pension Plan.
Section 6.05.     Benefit Payments Generally.
  1. A Participant who is eligible to receive benefits under this Plan, who Retires as defined in Section 6.07 and who submits an application in accordance with the rules of the Plan will be entitled to receive the monthly benefits provided for the remainder of his life, subject to the provisions of this Plan.

    If the Actuarial Present Value as defined in Section 1.02 of the pension payable under the Plan to a Participant, Spouse, former Spouse, or Beneficiary following the death of the Participant is $5000 or less, the Trustees will pay a lump sum in lieu of the pension. If the Actuarial Present Value of the benefit payable under the Plan exceeds $5000, benefits may not be paid before the Participant has attained Normal Retirement Age without the consent of the Participant. The Participant's consent will not be valid unless the Participant has previously received a general description of the material features and an explanation of the relative values of the optional forms of benefit available under the Plan.


  2. For purposes of this Section and Section 5.02, the consent of the Participant and the Participant's Spouse, if applicable, must be in writing and within the "Election Period". The "Election Period" is the period that begins 90 days before the Pension Effective Date and ends as provided in (b) below after the explanation of the optional forms of benefit has been provided to the Participant and Spouse, if applicable, in accordance with Section 6.05(a) or 5.02 (e).

    A Participant's Pension Effective Date is the first day of the first calendar month starting after the Participant has fulfilled all the conditions for entitlement to benefits including receipt by the Trustees of a written application for benefits in accordance with Section 6.01. The Effective Date of Benefits will be no later than the Required Beginning Date. The actual payment of benefits will commence no sooner than 30 days after the applicable information is supplied to the Participant and Spouse, if applicable; and notwithstanding any other provision of this Plan to the contrary, such information may be supplied after the Effective Date of Benefits in which case the applicable election must be made within 30 days after such information is supplied. The actual payment of benefits may commence before the end of the 30-day period after the information is supplied if all of the following requirements are met:


    1. The Participant and Qualified Spouse, if applicable, are provided with information about the right to at least 30 days to consider the available payment options and whether to consent to payment;


    2. The Participant and Qualified Spouse, if applicable, are permitted to revoke any election until the Effective Date of Benefits, or if later, at any time prior to the expiration of the seven day period that begins the day after the explanation of available payment options is provided to the Participant, and Qualified Spouse, if applicable;


    3. The actual payment of benefits does not commence before the expiration of the seven day period that begins the day after the explanation of the available benefit payment options is provided to the Participant and Qualified Spouse, if applicable; and


    4. The Participant and Spouse, if applicable, consent in writing to the commencement of payments before the end of that thirty (30) day period.


  3. A Participant may elect in writing signed by the Participant and filed with the Trustees to receive benefits first payable for a later month, provided that no such election filed on or after January 1, 1984 may postpone the commencement of benefits to a date later than the April 1st following the Calendar Year in which the Participant will reach age 70 ˝ unless the Participant remains in Covered Employment until a later date.

    No election filed on or after January 1, 1989 may postpone the commencement of benefits to a date later than the April 1st following the Calendar Year in which the Participant will reach age 70 ˝ subject to the rules of §401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and related regulations.


  4. Benefit payments will be made as soon as practical after the Participant's Effective Date but, unless the Participant elects otherwise as provided in Section 6.05(b), the payment of benefits will begin no later than the 60th day after the later of the end of the Calendar Year:


    1. in which the Participant attains Normal Retirement Age, or


    2. in which the Participant terminates his Covered Employment and Retires as that term is defined in Section 6.07 of this Article, or


    3. the date the Participant makes a proper application.


    However, the Trustees need not make payment before they are first able to ascertain entitlement to, or the amount of, the pension.
  5. Payment of benefits will include retroactive payment for any months for which the pension is due and payable in accordance with this Section or Section 3.09 of this Plan.


  6. A pension is payable up to and including the month in which the Pensioner dies unless the pension is being paid in a form that provides for a survivor’s pension or for payments to a Beneficiary after the death of the Pensioner.


  7. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Plan, if the Actuarial Present Value of a benefit payable under the Plan is $5,000 or less as of the date payment would start, the benefit will be paid in a single sum equal to that value. For this purpose, Actuarial Present Value is determined in accordance with Section 1.02. This subsection does not apply after payment of the Participant's pension has begun.


  8. A Pensioner or Beneficiary who is entitled to make payments to the National Automatic Sprinkler Metal Trades Welfare Fund for coverage by that plan may authorize in writing a deduction from his monthly pension check of the amount required for medical coverage. Such authorizations are strictly voluntary and may be revoked at any time. Such authorizations shall not be an assignment of benefits in that the Welfare Fund shall have no right enforceable against this Fund to any part of the monthly pension benefit. The Welfare Fund must acknowledge in writing that transfer of these kinds of deductions create no enforceable right in or to any benefit payment, or portion thereof, from this Fund. The deduction and transfer will only be made when or after the money would otherwise be payable to the Pensioner or Beneficiary. These deductions cannot be made unless the Welfare Fund reimburses this Fund the costs of the deductions and transfers.


  9. Payment of benefits under this Plan to a Beneficiary other than a surviving Spouse that become payable because of a Participant’s death will begin no later than one (1) year from the date of death, or if later, as soon as practical after the Trustees learn of the death.


  10. Effective for distributions on or after January 1, 1993, which are Eligible Rollover Distributions as defined in Section 402(f)(2)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code, such distributions will be made, as provided in this subsection, by a direct transfer to an Eligible Retirement Plan as defined in Section 402(c)(8)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code if requested by the Participant, Beneficiary or other Distributee entitled to the distribution.


    1. Notwithstanding any provision of the Plan to the contrary that would otherwise limit a Distributee's election under this subsection, a Distributee may elect, at the time and in the manner prescribed by the Trustees, to have any portion of an Eligible Rollover Distribution paid directly to an Eligible Retirement Plan specified by the Distributee in a Direct Rollover.


    2. Definitions.

      1. An “Eligible Rollover Distribution” is any distribution of all or any portion of the balance to the credit of the Distributee, except that an Eligible Rollover Distribution does not include: any distribution that is one of a series of substantially equal periodic payments (no less frequently than annually) made for the life (or life expectancy) of the Distributee or the joint lives (or joint life expectancies) of the Distributee and the Distributee's designated beneficiary, or for a specified period of ten (10) years or more, any distribution to the extent such distribution is required under Section 401(a)(9) of the Code; and the portion of any distribution that is not includible in gross income (determined without regard to the exclusion for net unrealized appreciation with respect to employer securities).


      2. An “Eligible Retirement Plan” is an individual retirement account described in Section 408(a) of the Code, an individual retirement annuity described in Section 408(b) of the Code, an annuity plan described in Section 403(a) of the Code, or a qualified trust described in Section 401(a) of the Code, that accepts the Distributee's Eligible Rollover Distribution. However, in the case of an Eligible Rollover Distribution to the surviving spouse, an Eligible Retirement Plan is an individual retirement account or individual retirement annuity.


      3. A “Distributee” includes an Employee or former Employee. In addition, the Employee's or former Employee's surviving Spouse and the Employee's or former Employee's Spouse or former Spouse who is the Alternate Payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, as defined in Section 414(p) of the Internal Revenue Code, are Distributees with regard to the interest of the Spouse or former Spouse.


      4. A “Direct Rollover” is a payment by the Plan to the Eligible Retirement Plan specified by the Distributee.


Section 6.06.     Computation of Benefits.
  1. The pension to which a Participant is entitled will be determined under the terms of the Plan as in effect at the time the Participant last separates from Covered Employment, subject to Section 6.06(b) and Section 3.09.

    A Participant shall be deemed to have separated from Covered Employment on the last day of work which is followed by the failure to earn two-tenths (.2) of credit in one (1) complete Calendar Year.


  2. The rules of this Section will not apply to changes in the reduction for Early Retirement (Section 3.06) which are determined under the terms of the Plan as in effect on the Effective Date of the pension; however, a return to Covered Employment by a Pensioner does not change the provisions of Section 3.06 used to calculate benefits attributable to Pension Credits earned prior to the return to Covered Employment.


  3. Break in Continuity.

    1. If an Employee leaves Covered Employment and incurs a Break in Continuity (i.e., fails to earn two-tenths (.2) of credit during a period of two complete consecutive Calendar Years) and returns to Covered Employment, the portion of his Pension attributable to Covered Employment prior to the Break in Continuity will be computed on the basis of the applicable Rules, Regulations and Rates in effect for Pensioners retiring at the time he left Covered Employment. The portion of his Pension attributable to Covered Employment after the Break in Continuity will be computed on the basis of the Rules, Regulations and Rates in effect at that time.


    2. A Break in Continuity will occur on the Effective Date of any pension, except that a Disability Pensioner who recovers and, within one year of recovery, returns to Covered Employment prior to his Normal Retirement Age sufficient to earn one additional Year of Vesting Service, will not be considered to have a Break in Continuity.


    3. A Break in Continuity will not occur during any periods a person is receiving Workers Compensation benefits or periods for which the person supplies evidence of disability to the satisfaction of the Trustees.


    4. A Break in Continuity will not occur during any periods of service in the Armed Forces of the United States.


    5. A Break in Continuity will occur for all employees of employers who withdraw from the Plan unless and until they earn sufficient service with another Contributing Employer to cause such Break to be disregarded.


Section 6.07.     Retirement.
  1. General Rule.

    To be considered Retired, a Participant must have separated from Service with any and all Contributing Employers.


  2. Exception.

    A Participant who separates from Service, as provided in subsection (a),will be considered Retired notwithstanding subsequent employment or reemployment after his Normal Retirement Age with a Contributing Employer as long as he works less than 40 hours in any month.
Section 6.08.     Suspension of Benefits.
  1. Before Normal Retirement Age.

    1. A Participant’s monthly pension benefit will be suspended for any month in which the Participant is employed in Disqualifying Employment before he has attained Normal Retirement Age. "Disqualifying Employment", for the period before Normal Retirement Age, is any work of the type considered Covered Employment for his Plan, either for a person, firm or corporation, or employment or self-employment in any category of work in the sprinkler, plumbing or pipefitting industry.


    2. In addition, a Participant’s monthly pension benefit will be suspended for the five (5) consecutive months after any period of one (1) or more consecutive months during which the Participant was engaged in Disqualifying Employment.


    3. If the Participant fails to notify the Plan of employment that may be the basis for suspension of benefits under paragraph (1), in accordance with the notification requirements of subsection (d), or willfully misrepresents to the Plan with respect to Disqualifying Employment, the Participant’s monthly pension benefit will be suspended for an additional period of six (6) months.


    4. The Trustees may, for good cause, waive either or both of these additional periods of suspension provided for in subparagraphs (2) or (3). However, benefits will not be suspended for any month after the Participant has attained Normal Retirement Age based on the provisions of subparagraphs (2) or (3).


    5. The benefits of a Disability Pensioner who returns to employment prior to Normal Retirement Age will not be suspended as provided in this Section, but such Disability Pension may be terminated by the Trustees as provided in Section 3.11.


  2. After Normal Retirement Age.

    1. If the Participant has attained Normal Retirement Age, his monthly pension benefit will be suspended for any month in which he worked or was paid for at least forty (40) hours in Disqualifying Employment. "Disqualifying Employment" means employment or self-employment that is


      1. in an industry covered by the Plan when the Participant's pension payments began,


      2. in the geographic area covered by the Plan when the Participant's pension began, and


      3. in any occupation in which the Participant worked under the Plan at any time or any occupation covered by the Plan at the time the Participant's pension payments began. However, if a Participant worked in Covered Employment only in a skilled trade or craft, that is, as a metal trades fabricator, employment or self-employment will be disqualifying only if it is in work that involves the skill or skills of that trade or craft directly or, as in the case of supervisory work, indirectly. In any event, work for which contributions are required to be made to the Plan is Disqualifying Employment.


    2. The term, "industry covered by the Plan," means the Sprinkler Industry and any other industry in which employees covered by the Plan were employed when the Participant's pension began or, but for suspension under this Article, would have begun.


    3. The geographic area covered by the Plan is the United States of America including Alaska and Hawaii and any other area covered by the Plan when the Participant's pension began or, but for suspension under this Article, would have begun.


    4. If a Retired Participant re-enters Covered Employment to an extent sufficient to cause a suspension of benefits, and his pension payments are subsequently resumed, the industry and area covered by the Plan "when the Participant's pension began" will be the industry and area covered by the Plan when his pension was resumed.


    5. For purposes of suspension of benefits, hours include Hours of Service under this Plan as well as service with non-contributing employers. Hours include service for which either direct or indirect compensation or benefit is received by the Pensioner.


    6. Notwithstanding any provision of the Plan to the contrary, a Participant's benefits will be suspended after Normal Retirement Age if he continues to work in Covered Employment for which employer contributions to the Plan are required or continues to work in Disqualifying Employment. However, no benefits will be suspended after a Participant's Required Beginning Date, as defined in Section 6.17.


  3. Definition of Suspension.

    "Suspension of benefits" for a month means non-entitlement to benefits for the month. If benefits were paid for a month for which benefits were later determined to be suspended, the overpayment may be recovered through deductions from future pension payments, pursuant to subsection (g), and in accordance with Section 6.03.


  4. Notices.

    1. Upon commencement of pension payments, the Trustees will notify the Pensioner of the Plan rules governing suspension of benefits, including identity of the industries and area covered by the Plan. If benefits have been suspended and payment resumed, new notification shall, upon resumption, be given to the Participant, if there has been any material change in the suspension rules or the identity of the industries or area covered by the Plan.


    2. A Pensioner must notify the Plan in writing within 21 days after starting any work of any type that is or may be disqualifying under the provisions of the Plan and without regard to the number of hours of such work (that is, whether or not less than 40 hours in a month). The Trustees will inform all retirees at least once every 12 months of the re-employment notification requirements.


    3. A Participant whose pension has been suspended must notify the Plan in writing when Disqualifying Employment has ended. The Trustees may hold back benefit payments until such notice is filed with the Plan.


    4. A Pensioner may ask the Plan whether a particular employment will be disqualifying. The Trustees will provide the Pensioner with their determination.


    5. The Plan will inform a Participant of any suspension of benefits by notice given by personal delivery or first class mail during the first calendar month in which his benefits are withheld. This notice will include a description of the specific reasons for the suspension, a copy of the relevant provisions of the Plan, reference to the applicable regulation of the U.S. Department of Labor, and a statement of the procedure for securing a review of the suspension.

      In addition, the notice will describe the procedure for the Participant to notify the Plan when his disqualifying employment ends. If the Plan will recover overpayments by offset under subsection (g)(2), the suspension notice will explain the offset procedure and identify the amount expected to be recovered and the periods of employment to which they relate.


    6. Notice will be given to all Participants who have not Retired at Normal Retirement Age that benefits may be permanently forfeited for periods of work past Normal Retirement Age to the extent that additional credits earned do not increase the eventual benefit paid to the Actuarial Equivalent of the accrued benefit at Normal Retirement Age.


  5. Review.

    A Participant is entitled to a review of a determination suspending his benefits by written request filed with Trustees within 180 days of the notice of suspension.

    A Participant also is entitled to a review under the same terms, to a determination by or on behalf of the Trustees that contemplated employment will be Disqualifying Employment.


  6. Waiver of Suspension.

    The Trustees may, upon their own motion or on request of a Participant, waive suspension of benefits subject to such limitations as the Trustees in their sole discretion may determine, including any limitations based on the Participant's previous record of benefit suspensions or noncompliance with reporting requirements under this Article.


  7. Resumption of Benefit Payments.

    1. Benefits will resume for months after the last month for which benefits are suspended provided the Participant has complied with the notification requirements of subsection (d)(3) above.


    2. Overpayments attributable to payments made for any month or months for which the Participant had disqualifying employment will be deducted from pension payments otherwise paid or payable subsequent to the period of suspension. A deduction from a benefit after the Pensioner attained Normal Retirement Age will not exceed 25% of the pension amount (before deduction), except that the Plan may withhold up to 100% of the first pension payment made upon resumption after a suspension. If a Pensioner dies before recoupment of overpayments has been completed, deductions will be made from the benefits payable to his Beneficiary or Spouse, subject to the 25% limitation on the rate of deduction if applicable.


Section 6.09.    Benefit Payments Following Suspension.
  1. The monthly amount of pension when resumed after suspension will be determined under paragraph (1), and adjusted for any optional form of payment in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3). Nothing in this Section will be understood to extend any benefit increase or adjustment effective after the Participant's initial Retirement to the amount of pension upon resumption of payment, except to the extent that it may be expressly directed by other provisions of the Plan.


    1. The amount of benefit payable prior to suspension, including any retiree increases, will be increased by an amount equal to the reduction for early Retirement for each month benefits are suspended, not to exceed the total reduction used to calculate the benefit at original Retirement. This result will be added to the benefit attributable to Pension Credits earned during the period of suspension, determined as if it were then being determined for the first time using the benefit rates in effect for the calculation of the original benefit. The reduction for early Retirement will be the reduction(s) used to calculate the benefit prior to suspension for the benefit payable prior to suspension, and the reduction specified in Section 3.06 for Pension Credits earned during the suspension of benefits.


    2. The amount determined under the above paragraph will be adjusted for the Husband-and-Wife Pension in accordance with which the benefits of the Participant and any contingent annuitant or Beneficiary are payable.


    3. The benefit determined under the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) will not be adjusted in any event to an extent that would result in forfeiture of the Participant's Regular Retirement Pension at Normal Retirement Age in violation of Section 203(a)(3)(B) of ERISA. Following Normal Retirement Age, benefits may be permanently forfeited to the extent that additional credits earned do not increase the benefit to the Actuarial Equivalent of the accrued benefit at Normal Retirement Age.


  2. A Husband-and-Wife Pension in effect immediately prior to suspension of benefits and any other benefit following the death of the Pensioner will remain effective if the Pensioner's death occurs while his benefits are in suspension, except as specified in this subsection. Survivor benefits will be restored in accordance with Section 5.03(c). Guaranteed benefits under Sections 5.07 or 5.09 will not apply after a Participant re-qualifies for benefits under Section 5.03. In all cases of death while benefits are suspended, penalties in Section 6.08(a)(2) will not apply. If a Pensioner has returned to Covered Employment, he will not be entitled to a new election as to the Husband-and-Wife Pension except if, upon such return, he had sufficient Covered Employment to earn at least three consecutive years of Vesting Service. Guarantees under Sections 5.07 or 5.09 will include all payments subsequent to the first Effective Date of any benefit payment under this Plan.


  3. Additional Benefits Earned Following Suspension.

    1. Benefit accruals will not cease and the rate of accrual will no be reduced, because a Participant has reached any age and continues to work in Covered Employment.


    2. Benefit increases will apply to reemployed Pensioners to the same extent that they apply to any other Participants who have stopped working in covered service under the Plan for a comparable period for reasons other than Retirement.


    3. A Participant's benefits accrued after Normal Retirement Age will be reduced, but not below zero, by the Actuarial Equivalent of the benefits paid to the Participant for the periods in which the additional benefits were accrued. The actuarial assumptions specified in Section 1.02 of the Plan will be used for these calculations.


    4. Any additional pension amount earned by a Participant in Covered Employment after Normal Retirement Age will be determined at the end of each Calendar Year and will be payable as of the first month following the end of the Calendar Year in which it accrued, provided payment of benefits at that time is not suspended due to the Participant's continued employment.


    5. If a Participant Retires at or after Normal Retirement Age and then returns to Covered Employment, any subsequent benefit accrued will be payable in the benefit form selected at Retirement. With respect to the Single Life Pension with 36 Month Guarantee in Section 5.07, payment of any additional benefit amounts earned after Normal Retirement Age will be guaranteed for 36 months from the date payment of such additional amount commences or would have commenced if it had not been suspended due to the Participant's continued employment.


    6. If a Participant Retires before Normal Retirement Age and then returns to Covered Employment, any subsequent benefits accrued will be payable in the benefit form selected following the resumption of the Participant's benefit payments. The requirements of Section 6.05 will apply to such additional benefits.


    7. If benefit payments are suspended pursuant to Section 6.08(b)(6) of the Plan for a Participant who continues in Covered Employment after Normal Retirement Age without a separation and who does not receive a benefit payment, the commencement of benefit payments following such suspension will be the Effective Date.


Section 6.10.     Vested Status or Nonforfeitability.

Vested Status is earned as follows:

  1. A Participant's right to his Regular Pension is nonforfeitable upon his attainment of Normal Retirement Age, except to the extent that benefits are canceled, pursuant to Section 7.04, because the Employer has ceased to contribute to the Plan with respect to the employment unit in which the Participant was employed.


  2. Before January 1, 1997, a Participant acquires Vested Status after completion of ten (10) Years of Vesting Service for Collectively Bargained Employees or five (5) Years of Vesting Service for Non-Collectively Bargained Employees, excluding Years of Service that are not taken into account because of a Permanent Break in Service.

    In addition, an individual who completes more than one (1) Hour of Service on or after January 1, 1997, earns Vested Status after he completes at least five (5) Years of Vesting Service during the Contribution Period, excluding Years of Service that are not taken into account because of a Permanent Break in Service determined after the application of this provision.
Section 6.11.     Non-duplication with Disability Benefits.

No pension benefits are payable for any month for which the Participant or Pensioner receives wage indemnification for disability from the National Automatic Sprinkler Metal Trades Welfare Fund. However, this provision is subject to the provisions of Section 6.05.

Section 6.12.     Incompetence or Incapacity of a Pensioner or Beneficiary.

If the Trustees determine that a Pensioner or Beneficiary is unable to care for his affairs because of a mental or physical incapacity, any payment due may be applied, in the discretion of the Trustees, to the maintenance and support of such Pensioner or Beneficiary; or to a legal guardian, committee, or other legal representative; or, in the absence of any of them, to any relative of blood or connection by marriage who is determined by the Trustees to be equitably entitled thereto. Any such payment will be completely discharge the Trustees’ liability with respect to the benefit.

Section 6.13.     Non-Assignment of Benefits.

o Participant, or Beneficiary under this Plan will have the right to assign, alienate, transfer, sell, mortgage, encumber, pledge or anticipate any payments. Payments will not in any way be subject to any legal process to levy, execution upon, or attachment or garnishment proceedings for the payment of any claim against the Participant or Beneficiary. Payments will not be subject to the jurisdiction of any bankruptcy court or insolvency proceedings by operation of law, or otherwise. However, a Participant’s or Beneficiary’s benefits may be reduced pursuant to a judgment, order, decree or settlement entered into on or after August 15, 1997 where the Participant has committed a breach of fiduciary duty against the Plan or committed a criminal act against the Plan. Payments may be made by the Fund to an Alternate Payee of a Participant in accordance with the terms of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.

Section 6.14.     No Right to Assets.

No person other than the Trustees of the Pension Fund has any rights, title or interest in any of the income, or property of any funds received or held by or for the account of the Pension Fund, and no person has any right to benefits provided by the Pension Plan except as expressly provided herein.

Section 6.15.     Mergers.

In the event of any merger or consolidation with or transfer of assets or liabilities to any other plan, each Participant will receive a benefit immediately after the merger, consolidation or transfer that is equal to or greater than the benefit they would have been entitled to receive immediately before the merger, consolidation or transfer.

Section 6.16.     Increases to Retirees.

From time to time, the Trustees may increase benefit payments to Pensioners and Beneficiaries, providing such increases are applied in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner. Such increases apply only to Pensioners and Beneficiaries whose Effective Date is prior to the effective date of the increase and who have not returned to work under Section 6.07.

The Trustees have adopted the following increases for Pensioners and Beneficiaries with an Effective Date before the effective date of the increase:

  1. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1996, received a pension increase effective January 1, 1997 in the amount of 2% of the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1996.


  2. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1997, received a pension increase Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1996, received a pension increase effective January 1, 1998 to the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1997 in the amount of $18.00.


  3. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1998, received an additional pension benefit payment in the amount of $525.00.


  4. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1998, received a pension increase Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1998, received a pension increase effective January 1, 1999 to the monthly pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1998 in the amount of $7.50.

Section 6.17.     Required Distributions.
  1. Benefit payments which are required to commence in accordance with this Section shall be automatically made to the Participant to whom benefits are payable by the Fund but who fail or refuse to apply for benefits. Benefits shall be paid on the Required Beginning Date, as follows:


    1. in a single sum if the Actuarial Present Value (as defined in Section 1.02) of the Participant's benefit is no more than $5000; and


    2. in the form of a Husband-and-Wife Pension calculated on the assumption that the Participant is and has been married for at least one year by the date payments start and that the husband is 3 years older than the wife.


    3. Once benefit payments commence, the form of benefit in the Husband-and-Wife Pension is irrevocable except that it may be changed to a Single Life Pension with 36 Month Guarantee if the Participant proves that he was not married on the Required Beginning Date and the amount of future benefit payments will be adjusted based on the actual ages of the Participant and Spouse if different from the assumption in (2) above.


  2. Participants or Beneficiaries who cannot be located through reasonable efforts shall be presumed dead and their benefits shall be forfeited, subject to reinstatement if the Participant or Beneficiary later makes application for benefits.


  3. A Participant's Required Beginning date is the April 1st of the Calendar Year following the year in which the Participant attains the age of 70 1/2 subject to the provisions of §401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and related regulations.


  4. Payment of benefits under this Plan to a Beneficiary or surviving Spouse will commence by the applicable Required Beginning Date. The Required Beginning Date is as follows:


    1. In the case of benefits to a Beneficiary other than a surviving Spouse, which become payable on account of the Participant's death, payments shall begin no later than one year from the date of death, or if later, as soon as practical after the Trustees learn of the death.


    2. In the case of benefits to a surviving Spouse, payments shall begin on or before the later of the December 31st of the Calendar Year immediately following the Calendar Year in which the Participant died, the December 31st of the Calendar Year in which the employee would have attained age 70˝, or as soon as practicable after the Trustees learn of the death.


Section 6.18.     Maximum Benefit Limitation.
  1. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Plan, the Annual Pension Benefit payable to a Participant under this Plan in the form of a single life annuity (with no ancillary benefits) actuarially adjusted will not at any time within the Limitation Year exceed the lesser of:


    1. $90,000.00 or such higher amount as adjusted for cost of living increases as permitted by Internal Revenue Service Regulations, or


    2. 100% of the Participant's average compensation for the three consecutive Calendar Years during which the Participant was both an active Participant in the Plan and had the greatest aggregate compensation from Contributing Employers.


  2. The limitations of (a)(1) and (2) shall not apply if the Annual Pension Benefit payable to a Participant does not exceed $10,000 and the Employee was never a Participant in a defined contribution plan of an Employer.


  3. In the case of a Participant who has accrued less than 10 years of participation, the maximum Annual Pension Benefit payable to such Participant may not exceed the Annual Pension Benefit determined under (a)(1) multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is his years of participation and the denominator of which is 10.


  4. If the Annual Pension Benefit of a Participant begins before the Social Security Retirement Age, the $90,000 limitation set forth in (a)(1), or, if applicable, (c) above is reduced as follows:


    1. If a Participant begins to receive his annual pension benefit at or before age 62, but prior to the Participant’s Social Security Retirement Age, the maximum annual pension benefit of $90,000 is reduced as follows:


      1. If the Participant’s Social Security Retirement Age is 65, the $90,000 limit is reduced by five-ninths of one-percent for each month by which benefits begin before the month in which the Participant reaches age 65.


      2. If the Participant’s Social Security Retirement Age is later than 65, the $90,000 limit is reduced by five-ninths of one-percent for each of the first 36 months and five-twelfths of one-percent for each additional month (up to 24) by which benefits before the month in which the Participant attains his or her Social Security Retirement Age.


    2. If a Participant’s annual pension benefit begins prior to age 62, the $90,000 is reduced to the Actuarial Equivalent of the benefit payable at age 62, adjusted for cost of living. For purposes of this provision, the Actuarial Equivalent of the annual pension payable at age 62 is determined as follows:


      1. Calendar Years beginning before January 1, 2000. For Calendar Years beginning before January 1, 2000, the Actuarial Equivalent amount is computed using an interest assumption that is not less than the greater of the rate specified in the Plan or five percent (5%) and the 1971 Group Annuity Mortality Table.


      2. Calendar Years beginning on or after January 1, 2000. For Calendar Years beginning on or after January 1, 2000, the Actuarial Equivalent amount is computed using an interest assumption that is not less than the greater of the Plan’s early retirement reduction factors or five percent (5%) interest rate and the Applicable Mortality Table as defined under Section 1.02(b)(1).


  5. If a Participant’s annual pension benefit begins after the Participant’s Social Security Retirement Age, the $90,000 limitation set forth in subsection (a)(1) or, if applicable, section (c) above will be increased so that it is the Actuarial Equivalent of the benefit payable at the Participant’s Social Security Retirement Age. For purposes of this provision, actuarial equivalence is determined as follows:


    1. Calendar Years beginning before January 1, 2000. The Actuarial Equivalent amount is computed using an interest assumption that is no greater than the lesser of the rate specified in the Plan or five percent (5%) and the 1971 Group Annuity Mortality Table.


    2. Effective on or after January 1, 2000. The Actuarial Equivalent amount is computed using an interest assumption that is no greater than the lesser of the Plan’s late retirement increase factors or five percent (5%) interest rate and the Applicable Mortality Table as defined under Section 1.02(b)(1).


  6. In the case of the plan maintained by Local Unions, which are tax exempt organizations, for their employees:


    1. If the Participant’s annual pension benefit begins before age 65, but on or after age 62, the dollar limit is not reduced.


    2. If the Participant’s annual pension benefit begins before age 62, but on or after age 55, the dollar limit is reduced to the Actuarial Equivalent (within the meaning of subsection (d)(2) above) of the benefit payable at age 62, but not below $75,000.


    3. If the Participant’s annual pension benefit begins before age 55, the dollar limit is reduced to the Actuarial Equivalent (within the meaning of subsection (d)(2) above) of a $75,000 benefit payable at age 55.


    4. If the Participant’s annual pension benefit begins after age 65, the dollar limit is increased to the Actuarial Equivalent (within the meaning of subsection (e) above) of a benefit payable at age 65.


  7. If a Participant is covered by a defined benefit plan of an Employer (or any other employer under common control with an Employer) which is qualified under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code and which is other than a multiemployer plan, such plan will be aggregated with this Plan in accordance with IRS Regulation §1.415-8(e) for purposes of determining compliance with the limitations under 415(b) of the Internal Revenue Code.


  8. In any Calendar Year before January 1, 2000, if a Participant is covered by a defined contribution plan of an Employer (or any other employer under common control with an Employer) which is qualified under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code and which is other than a multiemployer plan, such plan will be aggregated with this Plan in accordance with IRS Reg. §1.415-8(e) for purposes of determining compliance with the limitations under 415(e) of the Code.


  9. "Limitation Year" shall be the Calendar Year.


  10. For purposes of this Section, "Compensation" shall mean the Participant's earned income for services rendered in the course of employment with an Employer maintaining the Plan, but shall not include any contributions made to this Plan, to any other plan of deferred compensation, or any other fringe benefit.


  11. The Trustees shall be entitled to rely on a representation by an Employer that the pension payable to a Participant under this Plan to the extent attributable to employment with that Employer, does not, together with any other pension payable to him under any other plan maintained by that Employer, whether or not terminated, and to the extent attributable to employment with that Employer, exceed the limitations of Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code.


  12. In the case of an Employee who has less than 10 years of service with an Employer, the limitations referred to in Sections 6.18(a)(2), 6.18(b), 6.18(g) and 6.18(h) shall be the limitations determined under such subsections multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is his years of service with an Employer and the denominator of which is 10.


  13. The benefits paid under this Plan shall not exceed the limitations set forth in this Section. If a Participant on his Effective Date is not eligible for full monthly benefits under this Plan because of the operation of this Section, his monthly benefit shall thereafter be recalculated annually until he is receiving a full monthly benefit under the Plan's terms without operation of this Section to reflect cost of living increases as set forth in subsection (a).


  14. In applying this Section, a Participant's annual benefit from this Plan may be divided into separate portions attributable to different Contributing Employers for which he worked in Covered Employment, and this Section may be applied separately to each such portion or to any combination of such portions.


  15. If the Participant’s accrued benefit is paid in any form other than a single life Pension or joint and survivor option, the limitation in subsection (a)(1) above is applied to the annual pension benefit before it is converted to the alternative payment form, so that the amount payable under the payment form selected will be the Actuarial Equivalent of the accrued benefit (which is defined as a single life annuity) as limited by subsection (a)(1).


    1. Benefits not subject to Code Section 417(e)(3). In the case of benefits that are not subject to the rules of Code Section 417(e)(3):


      1. Calendar Years beginning before January 1, 2000. For Calendar Years beginning before January 1, 2000, the Actuarial Equivalent of such other forms of benefits will be determined based on an interest assumption that is not less than the greater of the Plan’s interest rate or a five percent (5%) interest assumption and the 1971 Group Annuity Mortality Table.


      2. Calendar Years Beginning on or after January 1, 2000. For Calendar Years beginning on or after January 1, 2000, the Actuarial Equivalent of such other forms of benefits will be determined using an interest assumption that is not less than the greater of the Plan’s interest rate and mortality table used to determine actuarial equivalence for the form of benefit payable, if any, or a five percent (5%) interest rate and the Applicable Mortality Table as defined in Section 1.02(b)(1).


    2. Benefits subject to Code Section 417(c)(3). In the case of benefits that are subject to the rules of Code Section 417(c)(3), for purposes of adjusting the retirement benefit to a straight life annuity, the rules set forth in Section 6.18(o)(1) will apply except that in Section 6.18(o)(10)(B), the “Applicable Interest Rate” as defined in Section 1.02(b)(1) will be substituted for a “five percent (5%) interest rate.”



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