Applications, Benefit Payments, Retirement and Benefit Suspensions
Section 7.01.     Applications.

Except as required by law, as a condition for payment of any benefit from this Plan, an application for the benefit must be made in writing in the form and manner required by the Trustees. Benefit payments will begin as of the ďEffective DateĒ of a pension as defined in Section 7.05(b). An application may be withdrawn at any time before payments begin.

Section 7.02.     Information and Proof.

Every claimant for benefits must furnish, at the request of the Trustees, any information or proof reasonably required to determine his benefit rights. If the claimant makes willfully false statements material to his application or furnishes fraudulent information or proof material to his claim, benefits not Vested under this Plan (as defined in Section 7.10) may be denied, suspended, or discontinued. The Trustees have the right to recover any benefits paid in reliance on any false statement, information or proof submitted by a claimant (including withholding of material facts) plus interest and costs without limitation by recovery through legal proceedings or offset of benefit payments as permitted by this Article.

Section 7.03.     Action of Trustees.

Subject to the requirements of law, the Trustees have full and complete discretionary authority to interpret the Plan and to determine all questions arising in the administration, application and interpretation of this Plan. Decisions of the Trustees are final and binding on all parties.

The Trustees will exercise their discretionary authority in a uniform and non-discriminatory manner. The Trustees will process a claim for benefits as speedily as 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 7.04.     Right to Appeal.
  1. A Participant or Beneficiary 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 in connection with the application of this Plan, will be provided with adequate notice in writing setting forth the specific reasons for such denial or interpretation. The Participant or Beneficiary has the right to appeal the decision by written request filed with the Trustees within 180 days after receipt of such notice. The appeal will be reviewed by the Trustees or by a person or committee designated by the Trustees.


  2. All questions or controversies of any kind, which arise in any manner or between any parties or persons, in connection with this Pension Plan or the administration the Plan, whether concerning a claim for benefits by a Participant, Beneficiary or any other person, or concerning the language or meaning of the Pension Plan or the Trust Agreement, or concerning any writing, decision, instrument or accounts in connection with the operation of the Pension Plan or otherwise, will be submitted to the Trustees, and the decision of the Trustees will be binding upon all persons dealing with the Pension Plan or claiming benefits under the Pension Plan.


Section 7.05.     Benefit Payments Generally.
  1. A Participant who is eligible to receive benefits under this Plan, who retires as defined in Section 7.07 and who submits an application in accordance with the rules of the Plan will be entitled to receive the pension benefits provided subject to the provisions of the Plan. If the present value of the pension payable is more than $5000, the Participant will be entitled to receive monthly benefits for the remainder of his life. If the present value of the pension is $5000 or less, the Participant will receive his benefit as a lump sum payment in lieu of a monthly pension.

    1. If the present value 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. The actuarial assumptions used to calculate the present value of the small benefit cash out under this Section for any Calendar Year before January 1, 2000 are the Actuarial Present Value assumptions specified in Section 1.02 (a).


      1. For purposes of calculating the present value of the small benefit cash out under this Section for the period from January 1, 2000 through October 31, 2000, such amount shall be the greatest of the following:


        1. the present value of the benefit using the Actuarial Present Value assumptions specified in Section 1.02(a);


        2. the present value of the benefit using the Actuarial Present Value assumptions specified in Section 1.02(b); or


        3. the present value of the benefit using the Applicable Mortality Table in Section 1.02(b)(1) and the annual rate of interest on 30-year Treasury Securities during December 1999 as published by the IRS.


      2. For purposes of calculating the present value of the small benefit cash out under this Section for the period from November 1, 2000 through October 31, 2001, such amount shall be the greater of the following:


        1. the present value of the benefit using the Actuarial Present Value assumptions specified in Section 1.02(b); or


        2. the present value of the benefit using the Applicable Mortality Table in Section 1.02(b)(1) and the annual rate of interest on 30-year Treasury Securities (as published by the IRS) during the month of December preceding the Plan Year when such benefit is payable.


      3. For purposes of calculating the present value of the small benefit cash out under this Section on and after November 1, 2001, such amount shall be calculated as the present value of the benefit using the Actuarial Present Value assumptions specified in Section 1.02(b).


    2. If the present value of the benefit payable calculated in accordance with Section 7.05(a)(1) exceeds $5000, benefits may not be paid before the Participant has attained Normal Retirement Age without the consent of the Participant. The consent of the Participant and the Participant's Spouse, if applicable, must be in writing and within the ninety (90) day period ending on the Effective Date of the Pension. 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. Pension Effective Date.

    1. Election Period. 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 ninety (90) days before the Pension Effective Date and, except as provided in (4) below, ends on the Effective Date and after the explanation of the optional forms of benefit and other information has been provided to the Participant and Spouse, if applicable, in accordance with Section 7.05(a)(2) or 5.02 (f)(3). In the case of a Retroactive Effective Date, the Election Period begins ninety (90) days before the actual date of distribution of benefits and ends on the actual date of distribution of benefits and after the explanation of the optional forms of benefit and other information has been provided to the Participant and Spouse, if applicable, in accordance with Section 7.05(a) or 5.02 (f)(3).


    2. Effective Date. The Effective Date of a Participantís Pension is the first day of the first calendar month beginning 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 7.01. The Effective Date of Benefits will not be later than the Required Beginning Date. Benefits will be paid as of the Effective Date. Except as provided in (4) below, the Effective Date will be no sooner than thirty (30) days after the applicable information is supplied to the Participant and Spouse, if applicable.


    3. Retroactive Effective Date. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Plan to the contrary, the applicable information may be supplied after the Effective Date with payments made as of a Retroactive Effective Date subject to the following requirements:


      1. The Retroactive Effective Date is not before the date on which the Participant could otherwise have started receiving benefits under this Plan;


      2. The Retroactive Effective Date used to calculate the retroactive benefit payment will not precede the actual date of distribution by more than six months;


      3. A Retroactive Effective Date will not be used to calculate a lump sum distribution or other optional form of benefit that is subject to the present value calculation requirements under section 417(e)(3) of the Code;


      4. A Participant eligible for a retroactive benefit payment under this section, must elect to have his or her benefit calculated as of the Retroactive Effective Date, subject to any applicable limitations, instead of the Effective Date;


      5. The Participantís Spouse, if applicable must consent to the election of the Retroactive Effective Date to the extent required by section 417 of the Code and any regulations thereunder. The Participantís Spouse for purposes of consent to this election will be the Spouse on the actual date of distribution of benefits and the consent of the spouse as of the Retroactive Effective Date, if different, will not be required unless otherwise provided in a Qualified Domestic Relations Order;


      6. A Participant who elects to receive benefits based on a Retroactive Effective Date will receive future benefit payments that are the same as the future benefit payments that would have been paid had the payments actually commenced on the Retroactive Effective Date. In addition, the Participant will receive a make-up payment to reflect any missed payments for the period from the Retroactive Effective Date to the date of the make-up payment plus interest from the date the missed payment(s) would have been made to the date of the actual make-up payment.


      Except as provided in (4) below, in the case of a Retroactive Effective Date, the actual date of distribution of benefits will be no sooner than thirty (30) days after the applicable information is supplied to the Participant and Spouse, if applicable.

    4. The Effective Date, or in the case of a Retroactive Effective Date, the actual date of distribution of benefits may begin before the end of the thirty (30) day period after the applicable information is supplied if all of the following requirements are met:


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


      2. The Participant and 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 (7) day period that begins the day after the explanation of available payment options and other information is provided to the Participant, and Spouse, if applicable, provided that such information is provided before the Effective Date;


      3. In the case of a Retroactive Effective Date, the Participant and Spouse, if applicable, are permitted to revoke any election at any time prior to the expiration of the seven (7) day period that begins the day after the explanation of available payment options and other information is provided to the Participant, and Spouse, if applicable;


      4. The actual date of distribution payment of benefits does not begin before the expiration of the seven (7) day period that begins the day after the explanation of the available benefit payment options is provided to the Participant and Spouse, if applicable; and


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


  3. Benefit payments will be made as soon as practical after the Participant's Effective Date, but, unless the Participant elects otherwise, as provided in this Section 7.05(c), the payment of benefits will begin no later than the sixtieth (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 7.07 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.

    If application is delayed beyond sixty (60) days after the Calendar Year, in which the Participant both reaches Normal Retirement Age and Retires, an additional payment will be made to the Participant. This additional payment will be equal to the total of the monthly payments which would have been made to the Participant for the period from the first day of the month following sixty (60) days after the Calendar Year to the date the pension payments begin.

  4. A Participant may elect in writing to postpone the receipt of his benefits to 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 Ĺ 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 Ĺ subject to the rules of Section 401(a)(9) of the Code and related regulations.


  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 Sections 3.07, 5.03 or 7.05(c) 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 which provides for a survivor's pension or for payments to a Beneficiary after the death of the Pensioner.


  7. A Pensioner or Beneficiary who is entitled to make payments to the National Automatic Sprinkler Industry 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 will not be an assignment of benefits in that the Welfare Fund has no right enforceable against this Fund to any part of the monthly pension benefit. The Welfare Fund must acknowledge in writing that the transfer of these kinds of deductions creates 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.


  8. The requirements of this Section 7.05(h) will take precedence over any inconsistent provisions of the Plan. All distributions under this Section will be determined and made in accordance with the Treasury Regulations under Section 401(a)(9) of the Code.


    1. For purposes of this Section 7.05(h), the following definitions will apply:


      1. Designated Beneficiary: The individual who is designated as the Beneficiary under Section 1.04 of the Plan and is the Designated Beneficiary under Section 401(a)(9) of the Code and Section 1.401(a)(9)-1, Q&A-4, of the Treasury Regulations.


      2. Distribution Calendar Year: A calendar year for which a minimum distribution is required. For distributions beginning before the Participantís death, the first distribution calendar year is the calendar year immediately preceding the calendar year which contains the Participantís Required Beginning Date. For distributions beginning after the Participantís death, the first distribution calendar year is the calendar year in which distributions are required to begin under paragraph 7.05(h)(2).


      3. Life Expectancy: Life expectancy is computed by use of the Single Life Table in Section 1.401(a)(9)(9) of the Treasury Regulations.


      4. Required Beginning Date: The date specified in Section 7.17(c) of the Plan.


    2. Time and Manner of Distributions


      1. The Participantís entire interest will be distributed, or begin to distributed, to the Participant no later than the Participantís Required Beginning Date.


      2. If the Participant dies before distributions begin, the Participantís entire interest will be distributed, or begin to be distributed, no later than as follows:


        1. If the Participantís surviving Spouse is the Participantís sole Designated Beneficiary, then, except as provided in this Section 7.05(h), distributions to the surviving Spouse will begin by December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the Participant died, or by December 31 of the calendar year in which the Participant would have attained age 70 Ĺ, if later.


        2. If the Participantís surviving Spouse is not the Participantís sole Designated Beneficiary, then, except as provided in this Section 7.05(h), distributions to the surviving Spouse will begin by December 31 of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the Participant died.


        3. If there is no Designated Beneficiary as of September 30 of the year following the year of the Participantís death, the Participantís entire interest will be distributed by December 31 of the calendar year following the fifth anniversary of the Participantís death.


        4. If the Participantís surviving Spouse is the Participantís sole Designated Beneficiary and the surviving Spouse dies after the Participant but before distributions to the surviving Spouse begin, this Section 7.05(h)(2)(B), other than Section 7.05(h)(2)(B)(i), will apply as if the surviving Spouse were the Participant.


        For purposes of this Section 7.05(h)(2)(B), unless Section 7.05(h)(2)(B)(iv) applies, distributions are considered to begin on the Participantís Required Beginning Date. If Section 7.05(h)(2)(B)(iv) applies, distributions are considered to begin on the date distributions are required to begin to the surviving Spouse under Section 7.05(h)(2)(B)(i). If annuity payments irrevocably commence to the Participant before the Participantís Required Beginning Date (or to the Participantís surviving Spouse before the date distributions are required to begin to the surviving Spouse under Section 7.05(h)(2)(B)(i)), the date distributions are considered to begin is the date distributions actually commence.

    3. Determination of Amount to be Distributed Each Year


      1. If the Participantís interest is paid in the form of annuity distributions under the Plan, Payments under the annuity will satisfy the following requirements:


        1. the annuity distributions will be in periodic payments made at intervals not longer than one year;


        2. the distribution period will be over a life (or lives) or over a period certain not longer than the period described in Section 7.05(h)(4) or (5);


        3. once payments have begun over a period certain, the period will not be changed even if the period certain is shorter than the maximum permitted;


        4. payments will either be nonincreasing or increase only as follows:


          1. by an annual percentage increase that does not exceed the annual percentage increase in a cost-of-living index that is based on prices of all items and issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics;


          2. in accordance with Section 6.08(c)(3) of the Plan;


          3. to pay increased benefits that result from a Plan amendment.


      2. The amount that must be distributed on or before the Participantís Required Beginning Date (or, if the Participant dies before distributions begin, the date distributions are required to begin under Section 7.05(h)(2)(B)(i) or (ii)) is the payment that is required for one payment interval. The second payment need not be made until the end of the next payment interval even if that payment interval ends in the next calendar year. Payment intervals are the periods for which payments are received. All of the Participantís benefit accruals as of the last day of the first distribution calendar year will be included in the calculation of the amount of the annuity payments for payment intervals ending on or after the Participantís Required Beginning Date.


      3. Any additional benefits accruing to the Participant in a calendar year after the first distribution calendar year will be distributed beginning with the first payment interval ending in the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which such amount accrues.


    4. Requirements for Annuity Distributions that Commence During Participantís Lifetime


      1. If the Participantís interest is being distributed in the form of a joint and survivor annuity for the joint lives of the Participant and a non-Spouse beneficiary, annuity payments to be made on or after the Participantís Required Beginning Date to the Designated Beneficiary after the Participantís death must not at any time exceed the applicable percentage of the annuity payment for such period that would have been payable to the Participant using the table set forth in Q&A-2 of Section 1.401(a)(9)-6 of the Treasury Regulations. If the form of distribution combines a joint and survivor annuity for the joint lives of the Participant and a non-Spouse Beneficiary and a period certain annuity, the requirement in the preceding sentence will apply to annuity payments to be made to the Designated Beneficiary after the expiration of the period certain.


      2. Unless the Participantís Spouse is the sole Designated Beneficiary and the form of distribution is a period certain and no life annuity, the period certain for an annuity distribution commencing during the Participantís lifetime may not exceed the applicable distribution period for the Participant under the Uniform Lifetime Table set forth in A-2 of Section 1.401(a)(9)-9 of the Treasury Regulations for the calendar year that contains the annuity starting date. If the annuity starting date precedes the year in which the Participant reaches age 70, the applicable distribution period for the Participant is the distribution period for age 70 under the Uniform Lifetime Table set forth in Section 1.401(a)(9)-9 of the Treasury Regulations plus the excess of 70 over the age of the Participant as of the Participantís birthday in the year that contains the annuity starting date. If the Participantís Spouse is the Participantís sole Designated Beneficiary and the form of distribution is a period certain and no life annuity, the period certain may not exceed the longer of the Participantís applicable distribution period, as determined under this Section 7.05(h)(4)(B), or the joint and the last survivor expectancy of the Participant and the Participantís Spouse as determined under the Joint and Last Survivor Table set forth in Section 1.401(a)(9)-9 of the Treasury Regulations, using the Participantís and Spouseís attained ages as of the Participantís and Spouseís birthdays in the calendar year that contains the annuity starting date.


    5. Requirements for Minimum Distributions Where Participant Dies Before Distributions Begin.


      1. Except as provided in this Section 7.05(h), if the Participant dies before the date distribution of his or her interest begins and there is a Designated Beneficiary, the Participantís entire interest will be distributed, beginning no later than the time described in Section 7.05(h)(2)(B)(i) or (ii), over the life of the Designated Beneficiary or over a period certain not exceeding:


        1. unless the annuity starting date is before the first distribution calendar year, the life expectancy of the Designated Beneficiary determined using the Beneficiaryís age as of the Beneficiaryís birthday in the calendar year immediately following the calendar year of the Participantís death; or


        2. if the annuity starting date is before the first distribution calendar year, the life expectancy of the Designated Beneficiary determined using the Beneficiaryís age as of the Beneficiaryís birthday in the calendar year that contains the annuity starting date.


      2. If the Participant dies before the date distributions begin and there is no Designated Beneficiary as of September 30 of the year following the year of the Participantís death, distribution of the Participantís entire interest will be completed by December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the Participantís death.


      3. If the Participant dies before the date distribution of his or her interest begins, the Participantís surviving Spouse is the Participantís sole Designated Beneficiary, and the surviving Spouse dies before distributions to the surviving Spouse begin, this Section 7.05(h)(5) will apply as if the surviving Spouse were the Participant, except that the time by which distributions must begin will be determined without regard to Section 7.05(h)(2)(B)(i).


  9. Effective for distributions on or after January 1, 1993, which are eligible rollover distributions as defined in Section 402(f)(2)(A) of the 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 Code if requested by the Participant, Beneficiary or other Distributee entitled to the distribution.


    1. Notwithstanding any provisions 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 required 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 (not less frequently than annually) made for the life (or life expectancy) of the Distributee or the joint lives and (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 ďEligible Retirement PlanĒ is an individual retirement account described in Section 408(a) of the Code (other than an endowment contract), and 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 Distributeeís Eligible Rollover Distribution. However, for distributions made prior to January 1, 2002, in the case of an Eligible Rollover Distribution to the surviving Spouse or former Spouse who is an Alternate Payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, an Eligible Retirement Plan is an individual retirement account or individual retirement annuity.

        Effective for distributions made after December 31, 2001, an Eligible Retirement Plan shall also mean an annuity contract described in Section 403(b) of the al Revenue Code and an eligible plan under Section 457(b) of the Code which is maintained by a state or political subdivision of a state and which agrees to separately account for amounts transferred into such plan from this Plan. In addition, this definition of Eligible Retirement Plan shall apply in the case of a distribution to a surviving Spouse or to a Spouse or former Spouse who is the Alternate Payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.


      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 by section 414(p) of the 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.


  10. Benefits payable to an "Alternate Payee" under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order will be the Actuarial Equivalent of the portion of the Participant's benefits awarded to the Alternate Payee under the Qualified Domestic Relations Order.


Section 7.06.     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 7.06(b) and Section 3.09.

    A Participant is 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 a credit in one (1) complete Calendar Year. For the purpose of this subsection only, the following will be considered Covered Employment:


    1. periods of full-time employment with the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada;


    2. full-time employment for an apprentice or training program jointly sponsored by a participating Sprinkler Local Union and Employers.


  2. The rules of this Section 7.06 do not apply to changes in the reduction for Early Retirement (Section 3.04) which are determined under the terms of the Plan 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 3.04 used to calculate benefits attributable to Pension Credits earned prior to the return to Covered Employment.


  3. Break in Continuity

    1. Except as provided in Section 7.06(c)(5), if an Employee leaves Covered Employment and incurs a Break in Continuity 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 when he subsequently separated from Covered Employment.


    2. An Employee incurs a Break in Continuity if he fails to earn two-tenths (.2) of Pension Credit during a period of two (2) complete consecutive Calendar Years. A Break in Continuity also occurs on the Effective Date of any pension, except that a Disability Pensioner who recovers and, within one (1) year of recovery, returns to Covered Employment prior to his Normal Retirement Age sufficient to earn one (1) 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 worker's compensation benefits and is not employed in the sprinkler industry or periods for which he supplies evidence of disability to the satisfaction of the Trustees that he could not work in the sprinkler industry.


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


    5. For Participants retiring on or after January 1, 1993, a Break in Continuity can be repaired. If an Employee incurs a Break in Continuity prior to establishing the Effective Date of his pension, and subsequently returns to Covered Employment and earns years of Vesting Service at least equal to the total number of years which constituted the Break(s) in Continuity but in no event less than five (5) years, the amount of his pension for the total period of his Credited Service will be computed on the basis of the applicable rules, regulations and rates in effect at the time he last separates from Covered Employment.


    6. A Break in Continuity will not occur during any period of full-time employment for an apprentice or training program jointly sponsored by a participating Sprinkler Local Union and Employers.


    7. A Break in Continuity will not occur during any period of full-time employment with the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada.


  4. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, effective for contributions received on or after October 25, 2001, for each Calendar Year during which contributions are required to be made on behalf of a Participant at a rate that is not equal to the contribution rate under the Collective Bargaining Agreement generally in effect between Local Union No. 669 and the Association for such period (hereinafter referred to as "Nonstandard Rate"), the Participantís benefit for that year will be calculated as follows:


    1. The Participantís Pension Credit pursuant to the schedule set forth in section 4.01(a)(1) multiplied by the applicable benefit rate in Section 3.02(b) multiplied by a fraction whose numerator is the contribution rate required to be made on behalf of the Participant and whose denominator is the contribution rate under the Collective Bargaining Agreement generally in effect between Local Union No. 669 and the Association for such period (hereinafter referred to as "Standard Rate"). This fraction will never exceed 1.0.


    2. Furthermore, if contributions are made pursuant to an agreement, order or award which results in hours being retroactively credited and such agreement, order or award does not provide for the Plan to receive reasonable interest on retroactive contributions as determined by the Trustees, the Participantís Pension Credit will be further adjusted. The numerator of the fraction set forth in Subsection 7.06(d)(1) above will be adjusted to reflect the present value of the actual contribution rate being paid on behalf of the Participant. For purposes of this calculation, the interest rate used for the present value calculation is equal to the greater of the assumed rate of investment return used by the Fundís actuary at the time contributions are made or to the average actual rate of return experienced by the Fund over the period of five (5) Calendar Years immediately preceding the year in which contributions are made. This fraction will never exceed 1.0.


    3. This subsection 7.06(d) will not apply to contributions received pursuant to reciprocal agreements which are adjusted pursuant to Section 4.07.


    4. In any year during which contributions are required to be made at both the Standard Rate and a Non-Standard Rate as defined in this Subsection 7.06(d), the benefit accrual for that year will be calculated first without regard to this subsection based solely on hours for which contributions are required to be made at the Standard Rate. If there is less than 1.0 Pension Credit earned in that year based solely on such hours, then the remaining fraction of the Pension Credit, if any, will be calculated based on this subsection. If the hours for which contributions are required to be made at the Standard Rate are less than the number of hours required for any Pension Credit (less than 350 hours), these hours will be added to the hours for which contributions are required to be made at a Non-Standard Rate and the calculation in this subsection 7.06(d) will be applied to the combined hours.


Section 7.07.     Retirement.
  1. General Rule.
    A Participant is not entitled to receive benefits from the Plan before he separates from service in the sprinkler industry or any other industry covered by this Plan and Retires as defined in this section or is disabled as defined in Section 3.07. A Beneficiary of a Participant may receive benefits upon the death of a Participant before retirement as provided by the Plan.


  2. Definition.
    To be considered Retired, a Participant must separate from any and all employment, self-employment or service, direct or indirect, whether or not compensated in the sprinkler industry or any other industry covered by this Plan within the United States. The Participant must conclusively demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Trustees that he has satisfied the requirements of this Section and the eligibility requirements for any benefit for which he applies.


  3. Return to Work After Retirement.
    A Participant who Retires as defined in this Section and receives a benefit from the Plan may have his benefit suspended as provided in Sections 7.08 and 7.09. A Participant who Retires as defined in this Section and receives a benefit from the Plan will be considered retired despite subsequent employment in the sprinkler industry or any other industry covered by this Plan for less than forty (40) hours in any month as provided in Section 7.08(b).


Section 7.08.     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 reached Normal Retirement Age. "Disqualifying Employment", for the period before Normal Retirement Age, is any work of the type covered by the trade or craft jurisdiction of the United Association, 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. However, effective June 1, 2006, this five (5) month suspension will be waived one time for a Participant who notifies the Plan in accordance with subsection (d) of employment that may be the basis for suspension of benefit under paragraph (1).


    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 or Non-Covered 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 the additional periods of suspension provided for in subparagraphs (2) or (3). However, benefits will not be suspended for any month after the Participant has reached Normal Retirement Age based on the provisions of subparagraphs (2) or (3).


  2. After Normal Retirement Age.

    1. If the Participant has reached 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 (A) in an industry covered by the Plan when the Participant's pension payments began, (B) in the geographic area covered by the Plan when the Participant's pension began, and (C) 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 sprinkler fitter, 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 the Article, would have begun.


    4. If a Retired Participant reenters 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 7.17.


  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 (h)(2) of this section, and in accordance with Section 7.03.


  4. Notices.

    1. Upon commencement of pension payments, the Trustees will notify the Pensioner of the Plan rules concerning suspension of benefits, including identity of the industries and area covered by the Plan. If benefits have been suspended and payment resumed, new notification will be given to the Participant upon resumption of payments, 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 twenty-one (21) days after starting any work of any type that is or may be Disqualifying Employment under the provisions of the Plan and without regard to the number of hours of such work (that is, whether or not less than forty (40) hours in a month). If a Pensioner has worked in Disqualifying Employment other than Covered Employment in any month and has failed to given timely notice to the Plan of such employment, the Trustees will presume that he worked for at least forty (40) hours in that month and any subsequent month before the Participant gives notice that he has ceased Disqualifying Employment. The Participant has the right to overcome this presumption by establishing to the satisfaction of the Trustees that his work was not in fact an appropriate basis, under the Plan, for suspension of his benefits.

      If a Pensioner has worked in Disqualifying Employment other than Covered Employment for any number of hours for a contractor at a building or construction site and he has failed to give timely notice to the Plan of such employment, the Trustees will presume that he has engaged in such work for as long as the contractor has been and remains actively engaged at the site. The Participant has the right to overcome this presumption by establishing to the satisfaction of the Trustees that his work was not in fact an appropriate basis, under the Plan, for suspension of benefits.

      The Trustees will inform all retirees at least once every twelve (12) months of the re-employment notification requirements and the presumptions set forth in this paragraph.


    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 Trustees 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, a reference to the applicable regulation of the U.S. Department of Labor, and a statement of the procedure for requesting 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 intends to recover prior overpayments by offset (under subsection (h)(2)), the suspension notice will explain the offset procedure and identify the amount expected to be recovered, and the period 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. Duty to Supply Verification Information
    A Pensioner must supply to the Plan upon request a notarized and certified statement that the Pensioner is not engaged in Disqualifying Employment. In addition a Pensioner must supply to the Plan, upon request, all reasonable documentation such as income tax returns, pay stubs and any other information determined to be reasonable by the Trustees for the purposes of verifying whether the Pensioner is in Disqualifying Employment. This requirement to provide a certification and documentation is a condition to receiving future benefits. Therefore, if a Pensioner fails to comply with a Plan request for either an employment certification or employment documentation, the Pensioner's benefits will be suspended until such time as the Pensioner has supplied the information. If the benefits have been suspended and payments subsequently resumed, the Plan will forward to the Pensioner, at the next regularly scheduled time for payment of benefits, all payments which had been withheld during the suspension.


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

    A Participant is also 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.


  7. 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.


  8. 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 paragraph (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 reached 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 the deduction if applicable.


  9. Additional Benefits Earned Following Retirement.

    1. Benefit accruals will not cease and the rate of accrual will not 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 Employment under the Plan for a comparable period for reasons other than retirement.


    3. A Participant's benefits accrued after Normal Retirement Age and before his Required Beginning Date will be reduced, but not below zero (0), 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. Except as provided in (7) below, 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 100-Month Guarantee in Section 6.02, payment of any additional benefit amounts earned after Normal Retirement Age will be guaranteed for 100 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. Except as provided in (7) below, 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 7.05 apply to such additional benefits.


    7. If a Pensioner has returned to Covered Employment, he is not entitled to a new election as to the Husband-and-Wife Pension or any optional form of benefit except if, upon such return, he had sufficient Covered Employment to earn at least three consecutive Years of Vesting Service.


    8. If benefit payments are suspended pursuant to Section 7.08(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 7.09.     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 extends 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. 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 3.04 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 or any optional form of benefit in accordance with which the benefits of the Participant and Spouse or Beneficiary are payable.


    3. The benefit determined under the provisions of subparagraphs (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 Pensioner who returns to Covered Employment for an insufficient period of time to complete a Year of Vesting Service, will not, on subsequent termination of employment, be entitled to a recomputation of his pension amount based on the additional service.

    If a Pensioner who returns to Covered Employment completes a Year of Vesting Service, upon his subsequent retirement he will be entitled to a recomputation of his pension amount, based on any additional Pension Credits.


  3. A Husband-and-Wife Pension in effect immediately before 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(d) unless an option was elected under Article 6, in which case it will remain effective in lieu of Section 5.03(d). Guaranteed benefits under Section 6.02 will not apply after a Participant requalifies for benefits under Section 2.03. In all cases of death while benefits are suspended, penalties in Section 7.08(a)(2) do not apply.


Section 7.10.     Vested Status or Nonforfeitability.

Vested Status is earned as follows:

  1. A Participant's right to his Regular Pension is vested or non-forfeitable upon his attainment of Normal Retirement Age, except to the extent that benefits are canceled, pursuant to Section 12.04, 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, 1996, a Participant earns Vested Status after he completes either (1) at least fifteen (15) Pension Credits, five (5) of which are during the Contribution Period, or (2) at least ten (10) Years of Vesting Service during the Contribution Period for Collectively Bargained Employees or five (5) Years of Service during the Contribution Period 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, 1996, 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 7.11.     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 Industry Welfare Fund. However, this provision will be is subject to the provisions of Section 7.05.

Section 7.12.     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 the Participant or Beneficiary may be paid, in the discretion of the Trustees, for the maintenance and support of the Pensioner or Beneficiary; or to a legal guardian, committee, or other legal representative; or, in the absence of any of them, to any relative by blood or connection by marriage who is determined by the Trustees to be equitably entitled thereto. Any such payment will completely discharge the Trustees' liability with respect to the benefit.

Section 7.13.     Non-Assignment of Benefits.

No 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 5, 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 7.14.     No Right to Assets.

No person other than the Trustees of the Pension Fund have 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 7.15.     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 which is equal to or greater than the benefit he would have been entitled to receive immediately before the merger, consolidation or transfer.

Section 7.16.     Increases to Retirees.

From time to time, the Trustees may increase benefit payments to Pensioners and Beneficiaries which are applied in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner. Such increases apply only to Pensioners and Beneficiaries whose Effective Date is before the effective date of the increase and who have not returned to work under Section 7.08. Benefit payments to retirees following suspension of benefits are determined under section 7.09.

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, 1973 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1974 in the amount of 10% of the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1973.


  2. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1974 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1975 in the amount of 5% of the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1974.


  3. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1976 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1977 in the amount of 5% of the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1976.


  4. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1977 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1978 in the amount of 5% of the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1977.


  5. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1978 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1979 in the amount of 5% of the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1978.


  6. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1979 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1980 in the amount of 10% of the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1979.


  7. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1980 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1981 in the amount of 10% of the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1980.


  8. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1982 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1983 in the amount of 10% of the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1982.


  9. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1983 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1984 in the amount of 5% of the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1983.


  10. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1984 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1985 in the amount of 2.5% of the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1984.


  11. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1985 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1986 in the amount of 3.5% of the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1985.


  12. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1986 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1987 in the amount of 4% of the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1986.


  13. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1987 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1988 in the amount of 4% of the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1987.


  14. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1988 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1989 in the amount of 5% of the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1988.


  15. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1989 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1990 in the amount of 6% of the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1989.


  16. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1990 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1991 in the amount of $50 per month to the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1990.


  17. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1991 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1992 in the amount of $50 per month to the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1991.


  18. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1992 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1993 in the amount of $60 per month to the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1992.


  19. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1993 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1994 in the amount of $30 per month to the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1993.


  20. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1995 received an additional pension check for 1995 in the same amount as the monthly benefit in effect as of December 31, 1995.


  21. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1997 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1998 in the amount of $60 per month to the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1997.


  22. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1998 received a pension increase effective January 1, 1999 in the amount of $40 per month to the pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1998 and an additional monthly pension benefit check in 1999 in the same amount as the monthly benefit in effect as of January 1, 1999.


  23. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1998 will receive a $700 pension payment effective January 1, 1998 plus a pension increase effective January 1, 1999 in the amount of $40 per month to the monthly pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1998.


  24. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 1999 will receive a pension increase effective January 1, 2000 in the amount of $60 per month to the monthly pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 1999.


  25. Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 2000 received a pension increase effective January 1, 2000 in the amount of $10 per month to the monthly pension benefit in effect as of December 31, 2000.

    Pensioners and Beneficiaries on the rolls as of December 31, 2000 received an additional pension check for 2001 in the same amount as the monthly benefit in effect as of December 31, 2000.

    Pensioners and Beneficiaries who retired on 2001 received an additional pension check for 2001 in the same amount as the monthly benefit in effect as of the date of retirement.


Section 7.17.     Required Beginning Date Payments.
  1. Benefit payments which are required to begin in accordance with this Section will be made automatically to Participants to whom benefits are payable by the Fund but who fail or refuse to apply for benefits. Benefits will be paid on the Required Beginning Date, as follows:

    1. in a single sum if the present value of the Participant's benefit is no more than $5000 (such present value is determined in accordance with Section 7.05(a)); 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 (1) year by the date payments start and that the husband is three (3) years older than the wife.


    3. Once benefit payments commence, the benefit in the form of the Husband-and-Wife Pension is irrevocable except that it may be changed to the applicable normal form for a single Participant, 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 will be presumed dead and their benefits will be forfeited, subject to reinstatement if the Participant or Beneficiary later makes application for benefits.


  3. A Participant's Required Beginning Date is the 1st day of the month following the month in which the Participant attains the age of 70 Ĺ subject to the provisions of Section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code and related regulations.


Section 7.18.     Maximum Benefit Limitation.
  1. Annual Benefit Payable.

    1. For Limitation Years ending after December 31, 2001, the ďAnnual BenefitĒ Payable to a Participant under this Plan in any Limitation Year may not exceed the lesser of the ďDefined Benefit Dollar Limitation.Ē For purposes of this Section, the Defined Benefit Dollar Limitation is $160,000, as adjusted, effective January 1 of each year, under Section 415(d) of the Code in such manner as the Secretary of the Treasury prescribes, and payable in the form of a straight life annuity.


    2. For Limitation Years ending before January 1, 2002, the Annual Benefit Payable to an Employee under this Plan shall not at any time within the Limitation Year exceed the lesser of:


      1. $90,000 or such higher amount as adjusted for cost of living increases as permitted by Internal Revenue Regulations, or


      2. 100% of the Participantís 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 the contributing Employer. Such amount shall be increased for cost of living adjustments as permitted by Internal Revenue Service Regulations after the Participant terminates employment with the Employer.


      ďAnnual BenefitĒ as used herein has the same meaning as ďannual benefitĒ as used in Section 415(b)(2) of the Code. Benefit increases resulting from the increase in the limitation of Section 415(b) of the Code made by EGTRRA will be provided to all current and former Participants (with benefits limited by Section 415(b) of the Code) who have an Accrued Benefit immediately prior to January 1, 2002 (other than an Accrued Benefit resulting solely from a benefit increase as a result of the increase in limitations under Section 415(b) of the Code).


  2. The limitations of subsection (a) above do not apply if the Annual Benefit payable to a Participant does not exceed $10,000 and the Participant was never a participant in a defined contribution plan of the Employer.


  3. For the purpose of determining the maximum permissible Annual Benefit, if the Participant has fewer than 10 years of participation in the Plan, the Defined Benefit Dollar Limitation, as defined in either paragraph (a)(1) or subparagraph (a)(2)(A) of this Section (whichever is applicable), shall be multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of years (or part thereof) of participation in the plan and the denominator of which is 10.

    For Limitation Years ending before January 1, 2002, in the case of a Participant who has accrued fewer than 10 years of service with the Employer, the Defined Benefit Compensation Limitation in subsections (a)(2)(B), (g) and (h) hereof shall be multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is his years of participation in this Plan and the denominator of which is 10.


  4. Defined Benefit Dollar Limitations before age 62


    1. For Limitation Years ending after December 31, 2001, if the benefit of a Participant begins prior to age-62, the Defined Benefit Dollar Limitation applicable to the Participant at such earlier age is an Annual Benefit payable in the form of a straight life annuity beginning at the earlier age that is the actuarial equivalent of the Defined Benefit Dollar Limitation applicable to the participant at age-62 (adjusted under subsection (c) above, if required). The Defined Benefit Dollar Limitation applicable at an age prior to age-62 is determined as the lesser of


      1. the actuarial equivalent (at such age) of the Defined Benefit Dollar Limitation computed using the Interest Rate and Mortality Table specified in Section 1.02 hereof; or


      2. the actuarial equivalent (at such age) of the Defined Benefit Dollar Limitation computed using a 5% interest rate and the applicable Mortality Table as defined in Section 1.02 of the Plan.


      Any decrease in the Defined Benefit Dollar Limitation determined in accordance with this paragraph shall not reflect a mortality decrement if benefits are not forfeited upon the death of the Participant. If any benefits are forfeited upon death, the full mortality decrement is taken into account.

    2. For Limitation Years ending before January 1, 2002, If the annual pension benefit of a Participant begins before age 62, the $90,000 limitation set forth in subsection (a)(2)(A), or, if applicable, in subsection (c)(1) above will be reduced so that it is actuarial equivalent to such a benefit beginning at age 62. However the Defined Benefit Dollar Limitation shall not be reduced to less thanó


      1. $75,000 if the Annual Benefit begins at or after age 55, or


      2. the equivalent Actuarial Present Value of the $75,000 limitation for age 55 if the Annual Benefit commences before age 55.


  5. Defined Benefit Dollar Limitations after age 65


    1. For Limitation years ending after December 31, 2001, if the benefit of a Participant begins after the Participant attains age-65, the Defined Benefit Dollar Limitation applicable to the Participant at the later age is the Annual Benefit payable in the form of a straight life annuity beginning at the later age that is actuarially equivalent to the Defined Benefit Dollar Limitation applicable to the Participant at age-65 (adjusted under subsection (c) above, if required). The actuarial equivalent of the Defined Benefit Dollar Limitation applicable at an age after age-65 is determined as the lesser of (i) the actuarial equivalent (at such age) of the Defined Benefit Dollar Limitation computed using the Interest Rate and Mortality Table specified in Section 1.05 of the Plan and (ii) the actuarial equivalent (at such age) of the Defined Benefit Dollar Limitation computed using a 5% interest rate assumption and the applicable Mortality Table as defined in Section 1.02 of the Plan. For these purposes, mortality between age-65 and the age at which benefits commence shall be ignored.


    2. For Limitation Years ending before January 1, 2002, if a Participantís annual pension benefit begins after the Participantís Social Security Retirement Age, the $90,000 limitation set forth in paragraph (a)(2)(A) or, if applicable, subsection (c) above will be increased so that it is the Actuarial Equivalent of the benefit payable at the Participantís 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 not greater than the lesser 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. The Actuarial Equivalent amount is computed using an interest rate assumption that is no greater than the lesser of the Planís later retirement increase factors or five percent (5%) interest rate and the Applicable Mortality Table as defined under Section 1.02.


  6. For purposes of this Section 7.18, pension benefits payable under this Plan shall be converted to an actuarially equivalent single life annuity on the Participantís life with no ancillary benefits. For purposes of adjusting any benefit under this subsection (f), the actuarially equivalent single life annuity of a benefit payment form is the higher of the amount determined using the factors set forth in the Plan for determining actuarial equivalence for the particular payment form or the amount based on the Applicable Mortality Table and 5% interest. However, a benefit payable as a qualified joint and survivor annuity shall be treated as if it were a single life annuity with no ancillary benefits.


  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 Code, such plan will be aggregated with this Plan in accordance with Section 415(f) of the Code. Notwithstanding the first sentence of this subsection (g), for Limitation Years beginning on or after January 1, 2002, this Plan will not be combined or aggregated with any other defined benefit plan maintained by the Employer for purposes of the Defined Benefit Compensation Limitation that may be applicable to such other plan.


  8. In any Limitation Year beginning 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 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 Section 415(e) of the Code.


  9. ďLimitation YearĒ shall be the calendar year.


  10. ďCompensationĒ shall mean the Participantís 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 to any other fringe benefit plan but shall not include gross wages in excess of (i) for Limitation Years beginning before January 1, 2002, $150,000 per annum, adjusted pursuant to Section 401(a)(17) of the Code, or (ii) for Limitation Years beginning after December 31, 2001, $200,000 (The $200,000 limit shall be adjusted for cost-of-living increases in accordance with Section 401(a)(17)(B)) of the Code. Furthermore, effective July 1, 1998, the term ďCompensationĒ shall include elective deferrals to 401(k) plans, elective contributions to non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements for tax exempt employers, and salary reduction contributions to a cafeteria plan. Effective January 1, 2001, elective amounts that are non-includible in the gross income of the Participant by reason of Section 132(f)(4) of the Code are considered ďCompensationĒ for purposes of this Section.


  11. The Trustees are 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 the Employer, does not, together with any other pension payable to him/her under any other plan maintained by the Employer, whether or not terminated, and to the extent attributable to employment with the Employer, exceed the limitations of Section 415 of the Code.


  12. The benefits paid under this Plan will not exceed the limitations set forth in this Section. If a Participant on his Effective Date of Pension is not eligible for full monthly benefits under this Plan because of the operation of this Section, his/her monthly benefits will be recalculated annually thereafter until he/she is receiving a full monthly benefit under the Planís terms without operation of this Section. Each recalculation will be based on this Section with any applicable adjustment to reflect cost of living increases as set forth in subsection (a).


  13. In calculating the benefit of a Participantís surviving Spouse or Beneficiary, the benefit of such Spouse or Beneficiary first shall be calculated based on the amount to which the Participant would have been entitled without regard to the limits imposed by this Section. The limits of this Section then shall be applied to the resulting benefit amount.


Section 7.19.     Employers Who Make Contributions at a Nonstandard Rate.

Except for contributions accepted through a reciprocal agreement or as described above in Section 7.06(d), the Plan shall not accept any contributions at a rate other than at the Standard Rate and no employer shall be permitted to participate in the Plan pursuant to a Collective Bargaining Agreement, agreement with the Trustees or other agreement if such agreement calls for contributions to be made at a rate other than the Standard Rate.


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