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Summary Plan Description
Statement of Rights under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
The Pension Plan was established as the result of collective bargaining agreements, and its purpose is to improve the security and well-being of the Employees and their beneficiaries. The Trustees, the Employers and the Union want you, as a Participant in the Plan, to enjoy its benefits.
This booklet describes the Plan and tells you and your beneficiaries how to get more information. The description of the claims and appeals procedure tells you how to apply for benefits and how to follow up, if necessary.
However, in addition to what the Trustees, the Employers and the Union have done, to see that the Plan’s benefits are fulfilled, every Participant in the Plan is entitled under the law (ERISA) to receive the following summary of rights and protections.
As a Participant in the National Automatic Sprinkler Industry Pension 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 Fund Office, all Plan documents, including insurance contracts, 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. (If it is not practical to consult these documents at the Fund Office, arrangements will be made for examination at a Union Office or, if necessary, at an Employer’s office.)
Obtain copies of all Plan documents and other Plan information upon written request at the Fund Office. The Fund may make a reasonable charge for the copies.
Receive a summary of the Plan's annual financial report. The Trustees are required by law to furnish each Participant with a copy. The Fund Administrator must, by law, give you a copy of this report every year.
Obtain a statement telling you whether you have a right to receive a pension at Normal Retirement Age (age 65 or, if later, your age on the fifth anniversary of your participation in the Plan.) and, if so, what your benefits would be at Normal Retirement Age if you stop working under the Plan now. If you are eligible for a pension, this statement will tell you what your benefits would be at Normal Retirement Age if you stopped working under the Plan now. If you do not have a right to a pension now, the statement will tell you how many more years you have to work to earn a right to a pension. 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.
The Trustees, and anyone else with responsibility for managing or operating the Plan, have certain obligations under the law. These “fiduciaries” must operate the Plan prudently and in the interests of you and other Plan Participants and beneficiaries. You have a right to receive your benefits under the provisions of the Plan and to exercise your rights under the Plan and under ERISA. No one – not your Employer, your Union nor anyone else – may discriminate against you because you pursue your rights.
If your claim for pension benefits is denied, in whole or in part, you must receive a written explanation of the reason for the denial. You have a right to have the Fund review and reconsider your claim.
Under ERISA, there are steps you can take to enforce your rights. For instance, if you request materials from the Plan and do not receive them within 30 days, you may file suit in a federal court. In such case, the court may require the Plan Administrator to provide the materials and pay you up to $110 a day until you receive the materials, unless the materials were not sent because of reasons beyond the control of the Trustees. If you have a claim for benefits that is denied or ignored, in whole or in part, you may file suit in a state or federal court. If you believe that the fiduciaries misuse the Plan’s money or that you are discriminated against for asserting your rights, you may seek assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor or file suit in a federal court. The court will 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, it may make such an order if it finds that your claim was frivolous.
If you have any questions about this statement or your rights under ERISA, you should contact the nearest area office of the Office of Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, U.S. Department of Labor listed in your telephone directory, or the Division of Technical Assistance, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20210.