Section 7.01.     Non-Reversion.

It is expressly understood that in no event will any of the corpus or assets of the Pension Fund revert to the Employers or be subject to any claims of any kind or nature by the Employers, except for the return of an erroneous contribution within the time limits prescribed by law.

Section 7.02.     Limitation of Liability .

This Pension Plan has been established on the basis of an actuarial calculation which has established, to the extent possible, that the contributions will, if continued, be sufficient to maintain the Plan on a permanent basis, fulfilling the funding requirements of ERISA. Nothing in this Plan may be construed to impose any obligation to contribute beyond the obligation of the Employer to make contributions as stipulated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement or Agreements to which the Employer is bound.

There is no liability upon the Trustees individually, or collectively, or upon the Union to provide the benefits established by this Pension Plan, if the Pension Fund does not have assets to make such payments.

Section 7.03.     New Employers .
  1. If an Employer is sold, merged or otherwise undergoes a change of company identity, the successor company will participate as to the Employees theretofore covered in the Pension Plan just as if it were the original company, provided it remains a Contributing Employer as defined in Section 1.07.

  2. No new employer may be admitted to participate in the Pension Fund except upon approval by the Trustees. A written Notice of Acceptance may be sent by the Trustees to any new Contributing Employer who is accepted for participation in the Fund.

  3. An Employer may be accepted by the Trustees as a "Contributing Employer" upon application by the Union, if:

    1. the Employer, along with the Union, signs the standard language for participation in the Fund, as approved by the Trustees, which sets forth the full details of the basis for contributions to the Fund and the basis for acceptance as a Contributing Employer, and

    2. the Employer and Union furnish the name, date of birth, and employment history of each Employee then covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Union and the new Employer, and

    3. such acceptance will not adversely affect the actuarial soundness of the Fund as determined by the Trustees after consultation with the actuaries for the Fund. If the acceptance of an Employer will, in the judgement of the Trustees, adversely affect the actuarial soundness of the Fund, then the Trustees may, as a condition of acceptance, impose any terms and conditions they consider necessary to preserve an equitable relationship between the basis of contributions of all Contributing Employers and the benefits provided for all Employees. Such conditions may include, but may not be limited to, the imposition of special waiting periods before the commencement of benefits to Pensioners and/or the granting of a lower scale of benefits.
Section 7.04.     Terminated Employer .

If a Contributing Employer terminates its participation in the Fund with respect to a bargaining unit, the Trustees are empowered to reduce or cancel that part of any pension for which a person was made eligible because of employment in such bargaining unit prior to the Contribution Period with respect to that unit.

Any active Employee of the said Contributing Employer who earns at least two (2) additional Years of Future Service Credits as a result of employment by another Contributing Employer, and has not suffered a Break in Employment as defined in Section 4.06, will not lose his previously accumulated Service Credits as a result of the termination.

The Trustees may, by resolution, terminate an Employer's status as a Contributing Employer if the Employer has failed, for a period of 90 days after the due date, to make contributions to the Fund as provided for in the Collective Bargaining Agreement to which the Employer is signatory.

If the delinquent Employer wishes to once again participate in this Plan, he will be required to post bond in an amount equal to twice the amount of the delinquency. If all delinquent contributions are not paid within three months of the posting of the bond, such bonds shall be forfeited by the Employer and his participation in the Fund will be canceled.

Section 7.05.     Termination.
  1. Right to Terminate.

    The Trustees have the right to discontinue or terminate this Plan in whole or in part in accordance with the Trust Agreement. The rights of all affected Employees, Retired Employees, surviving Spouses and Beneficiaries to benefits accrued to the date of termination, partial termination or discontinuance to the extent funded as of such date will be nonforfeitable.

  2. Termination of this Plan will occur as a result of:

    1. the adoption of a Plan amendment that provides that Employees will receive no credit for any purpose under the Plan for service with any Employer after the date specified by such amendment; or

    2. the withdrawal of every Employer from the Plan, or the cessation of the obligation of all Employers to contribute under the Plan; or

    3. the adoption of an amendment to the Plan that causes the Plan to become a defined contribution plan.

    1. The date of termination under subsection (b)(1) or (b)(3) is the later of:

      1. the date on which the amendment was adopted, or

      2. the date on which the amendment takes effect.

    2. The date on which termination occurs under subsection (b)(2) is the earlier of:

      1. the date on which the last Employer withdraws, or

      2. the first day of the first Plan Year for which no Employer contributions were required under the Plan.

  3. In case of termination under subsection (b)(2), the Plan sponsor will, except as provided in subsection (g) below:

    1. limit the payment of benefits to benefits that are nonforfeitable under the Plan as of the date of the termination, and

    2. pay benefits attributable to Employer contributions, other than death benefits, only in the form of an annuity, unless the Plan assets are distributed in full satisfaction of all nonforfeitable benefits under the Plan.

  4. In case of a termination under subsection (b)(2), the Plan sponsor will reduce benefits and suspend benefit payments in accordance with Section 7.06.

  5. In the case of a termination under subsections (b)(1) or (b)(3), the rate of an Employerís contributions under the Plan for each Plan Year beginning on or after the Plan termination date will equal or exceed the highest rate of Employer contributions at which the Employer had an obligation to contribute under the Plan in the five (5) preceding Plan years ending on or before the Plan termination date, unless the PBGC approves of a reduction in the rate based on a finding that the Plan is or soon will be fully funded.

  6. The Plan sponsor may authorize the payment other than in the form of an annuity of an Employeeís entire nonforfeitable benefit attributable to Employer contributions, other than a death benefit, if the value of the entire nonforfeitable benefit does not exceed $1,750. The PBGC may authorize the payment of benefits under the terms of the terminated Plan other than nonforfeitable benefits, or the payment other than in the form of an annuity of benefits having a value greater than $1,750, if the PBGC determines that such payment is not adverse to the interest of the Planís Participants and Beneficiaries generally and does not unreasonably increase the PBGCís risk of loss with respect to the Plan.

Section 7.06.     Benefits After Termination .
  1. Upon termination of the Plan under Section 7.05(e), the Trustees will amend the Plan to reduce benefits and will suspend benefit payments, as required by this Section.

    1. Upon termination under subsection (a), the value of nonforfeitable benefits under the Plan and the value of the Planís assets will be determined in writing, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the PBGC, as of the end of the Plan Year during which Section 7.05(e) becomes applicable to the Plan and each Plan Year thereafter.

    2. For purposes of this Section, Plan assets include outstanding claims for withdrawal liability.

    1. If, according to the determination made under subsection (b), the value of nonforfeitable benefits exceeds the value of the Planís assets, the Plan sponsor will amend the Plan to reduce benefits under the Plan to the extent necessary to ensure that the Planís assets are sufficient, as determined and certified in accordance with regulations prescribed by the PBGC, to discharge when due all of the Planís obligations with respect to nonforfeitable benefits.

    2. Any Plan amendment adopted under this subsection will, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury:

      1. reduce benefits only to the extent necessary to comply with (c)(1);

      2. reduce accrued benefits only to the extent that those benefits are not eligible for the PBGCís guarantee under Section 4022A(b) of ERISA;

      3. comply with the rules for and limitations on benefit reductions under a Plan in reorganization, as prescribed in Section 4244A of ERISA except to the extent that the PBGC prescribes other rules and limitations in regulations under this Section; and

      4. take effect no later than six (6) months after the end of the Plan Year for which it is determined that the value of nonforfeitable benefits exceeds the value of the Planís assets.

    1. If the Plan is insolvent under (d)(2)(A) of this Section and the benefit payments exceed the resource benefit level, any such payments that are not basic benefits will be suspended, in accordance with this subsection, to the extent necessary to reduce the sum of such payments and such basic benefits to the greater of the resource benefit level or basic benefits, unless an alternative procedure is prescribed by the PBGC in connection with a supplemental guarantee program established under Section 4022A(g)(2) of ERISA.

    2. For purposes of this subsection, for a Plan Year:

      1. the Plan is insolvent if:

        1. the Plan has been amended to reduce benefits to the extent permitted under subsection (c), and

        2. the Planís available resources are not sufficient to pay benefits under the Plan when due for the Plan Year.

      2. ďResource benefit levelĒ and ďavailable resourcesĒ have the meanings set forth in paragraphs (2) and (3), respectively, of Section 4245(b) of ERISA.

    3. If the Plan is insolvent under subsection (d)(2)(A), the Plan sponsor has the powers and duties of the plan sponsor of a plan in reorganization which is insolvent within the meaning of Section 4245(b)(1) of ERISA, except that regulations governing the Plan sponsorís exercise of those powers and duties under this Section will be prescribed by the PBGC, and the PBGC will prescribe by regulation notice requirements that assure that Plan Participants and Beneficiaries receive adequate notice of benefit suspensions.

    4. The Plan is not required to make retroactive benefit payments with respect to that portion of a benefit that was suspended under this subsection, except that the provisions of Section 4245(c)(4) and (5) of ERISA will apply if the Plan is insolvent under (2)(A) in connection with the Plan Year during which such Section 7.05(e) first became applicable to the Plan and every year thereafter, in the same manner and to the same extent as such provisions apply to insolvent plans in reorganization under Section 4245 of ERISA in connection with insolvency years under Section 4245.
Section 7.07.     Rights of Employees .

Nothing in this Plan gives any Employee the right to be retained in the service of an Employer or to interfere with the right of an Employer to discharge such Employee at any time, nor does it give an Employer the right to require the Employee to remain in his service nor is it to interfere with the Employee's rights to terminate his service at any time.

Section 7.08.     Appointment of Actuary.

The Trustees will appoint an Actuary who shall be independent of the Union and the Contributing Employers and qualified through Fellowship in the Society of Actuaries to perform all necessary actuarial services in connection with the operation of the Plan, or a firm of actuaries which has on its staff such an Actuary.

Section 7.09.     Unauthorized Representations.

The Fund is not bound by the representations of any person, other than the Board of Trustees, regarding participation in and eligibility for benefits under this Plan, status of Employees or Employers or any other matter relating to the Pension Plan or Fund.

Section 7.10.     Designation of Beneficiary .

A Participant (including a Beneficiary receiving payments) may designate a person or persons as a Beneficiary or Beneficiaries to receive the benefits, if any, provided in accordance with Sections 5.06 and 5.09 by forwarding such designation in a form acceptable to the Trustees to the Fund Office. An unmarried Participant has the right to change his designation of Beneficiary without the consent of the Beneficiary. A married Participant may change his designation of Beneficiary only with consent of his Spouse. The consent must be in writing, must acknowledge the Beneficiary or Beneficiaries designated, and must be notarized.

A change of Beneficiary designation will not be effective or binding on the Trustees unless it is received by the Fund Office before the death of the person making the designation. Any benefits provided in accordance with Sections 5.06 and 5.09 will be paid to the most recently designated Beneficiary filed with the Trustees. The divorce of the Participant and designated Beneficiary does not invalidate the designation; the Participant must submit a change of Beneficiary designation to the Fund to remove the former spouse as a Beneficiary. If the designated Beneficiary, who has survived the Participant and is therefore entitled to the benefits provided, dies before receipt of the benefits, the benefits will be paid in accordance with the procedure provided in Section 7.11.

Section 7.11.     No Beneficiary .

If a Participant or Pensioner (including Beneficiaries receiving payments) has not designated a Beneficiary or there is no designated Beneficiary alive at the death of a Participant or Pensioner, any benefit provided under Sections 5.06 or 5.09 will be payable to the person listed below in the order listed:

  1. in accordance with the most recent properly executed beneficiary form from the National Automatic Sprinkler Metal Trades Welfare Fund or any other sprinkler local welfare fund;

  2. to the Spouse of the Participant or Pensioner;

  3. if no surviving Spouse, to his surviving children, divided equally among them;

  4. if no surviving Spouse or children, to his surviving natural parents, divided equally between them.

If a Participant fails to designate a Beneficiary and none of the persons listed above are living, the Trustees, in their discretion, may make payment to the person who has assumed the responsibility for paying the expenses of the Participant; otherwise, no benefits will become payable under Sections 5.06 or 5.09.

Section 7.12.     Gender.

Except as the context may specifically require otherwise, use of the masculine gender will be understood to include both masculine and feminine genders.