Benefits and Eligibility
Section 5.01. Payment of Benefits.

Subject to the provisions of Article V, the Participant's Individual Account, determined in accordance with Article IV, will be paid upon the Participant's Retirement, Total and Permanent Disability, Separation from Covered Employment or Preretirement Death.

Section 5.02. Retirement.

When a Participant retires as defined in Section 1.19, up to 100% of the amount in his Individual Account, if any, will be paid to the Participant in accordance with Section 5.05 of the Plan. A Participant may retire:

  1. When he attains Normal Retirement Age;


  2. When he attains age 55 and provides evidence of his receipt of a pension from another pension plan covering him under terms of a Collective Bargaining Agreement or, in the case of a Participant who is not vested in a pension plan covering him under the terms of such an agreement, he provides evidence of his receipt of Social Security Retirement Benefits; or


  3. If he is Totally and Permanently Disabled, regardless of age, as determined in accordance with Section 5.04 of the Plan.

    A Participant who applies for and receives less than 100% of the amount in his Individual Account may subsequently apply for additional Retirement Benefit payments. The Participant's eligibility for a Retirement Benefit will be determined based on whether he meets the requirements of this Section at the time of each application.
Section 5.03. Benefit Upon Separation from Covered Employment.
  1. If a Participant separates from Covered Employment, as defined in Section 5.03(b), up to 100% of the amount in his Individual Account may, upon application of the Participant, be paid in accordance with this Section and Section 5.05 of the Plan.

    A Participant who applies for and receives less than 100% of the amount in his Individual Account may subsequently apply for additional Separation Benefit payments. However, the Participant's eligibility for a Separation Benefit will be determined based on whether he meets the requirements of this Section at the time of each application.

  2. For purposes of this Section 5.03, a Participant separates from Covered Employment as follows:


    1. with respect to the portion of a Participant's Individual Account based on employment through December 31, 1995, a Participant separates from Covered Employment on the earlier of the following dates: (A) the end of the second Plan Year following the Plan Year in which the Participant last works in Covered Employment or in any employment for an Employer maintaining the Plan or (B) the end of a period of twelve (12) consecutive months during which he has not worked any hours for which Contributions are required to be made to this Fund, and has not performed any services, direct or indirect, and whether or not compensated, for any employer in the piping industry, or is self-employed in the piping industry within the United States; and


    2. with respect to the portion of a Participant's Individual Account based on employment on and after January 1, 1996, a Participant separates from Covered Employment at the end of a period of twelve (12) consecutive months during which he has not worked any hours for which Contributions are required to be made to this Fund and has not performed any services, direct or indirect, and whether or not compensated, for any employer in the piping industry, or is self-employed in the piping industry within the United States.


    3. Effective January 1, 2005, a Participant who is not employed by an Employer maintaining the Plan and whose individual account is less than $2,500 as of the Effective Date, separates from Covered Employment at the end of a period of six (6) consecutive months during which the Participant has not worked any hours for which contributions are required to be made to this Fund.


  3. With respect to the portion of a Participant's Individual Account based on employment through December 31, 1995, no Separation Benefit will be paid if at the time of application or payment the Participant is employed in Covered Employment or in any employment for an Employer maintaining the Plan. With respect to the portion of a Participant's Individual Account based on employment on and after January 1, 1996, no Separation Benefit will be paid if at the time of application or payment the Participant is employed in Covered Employment or is performing any services, direct or indirect, and whether or not compensated, for any employer in the piping industry, or is self-employed in the piping industry within the United States. In addition, no Separation Benefit will be paid if the Participant has received a Separation Benefit from the Fund within the previous twelve (12) months.


  4. In connection with each application for a Separation Benefit, the Participant must conclusively demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Trustees that he satisfies the requirements of this Section for a Separation Benefit. The Trustees may adopt rules for the enforcement of this Section including requirements for acceptable documentary evidence.


Section 5.04. Benefit in Case of Total and Permanent Disability.
  1. If a Participant is Totally and Permanently Disabled as defined in (b) below, he will be eligible to receive his Individual Account as provided in Section 5.05 of this Plan.


  2. A Participant will be considered to be Totally and Permanently Disabled if as a result of an injury, disease or mental disorder he becomes completely unable to engage in Covered Employment and it is reasonably certain such condition will continue during his remaining lifetime.


  3. The determination whether a Participant is Totally and Permanently Disabled will be made solely by the Trustees, whose decision will be final and binding on the Participant.

    In making this determination, the Trustees may rely on a determination by the Social Security Administration that the Participant qualified for Social Security Disability benefits; they may require the Participant to submit medical reports which they determine to be sufficient to enable the Trustees to make a decision on the question of disability; they may require the Participant to be examined by a physician or physicians of the Trustees' choosing; or they may require that any combination of the foregoing types of proof be provided.


Section 5.05. Form of Benefit.
  1. A Participant who becomes entitled to receive his Individual Account will receive it in the Normal Form of Benefit Payment for either married or unmarried Employees depending on the Participant's marital status on the Effective Date of the Participant's benefit unless the Participant, and the Participant's Spouse, if applicable, has filed a timely rejection of that form of payment with the Plan. The Effective Date of the Participant's benefit is set out in Section 7.01.


  2. The Normal Form of Benefit Payment for an unmarried Participant is a Single Life Pension. A Single Life Pension means a series of payments, purchased from an insurance carrier, continuing for the life of the Participant. Any distribution in excess of $5000 to a Participant who is not married on the Effective Date of his benefits will be paid in the form of a Single Life Pension, unless the Participant elects otherwise in accordance with this Section.


    1. Once a Single Life Pension becomes effective it cannot be revoked. If the Participant dies after a Single Life Pension becomes effective, no further payments will be made to the Participant's Beneficiary.


    2. An unmarried Participant who applies for a distribution from his Individual Account will be advised by the Trustees of the estimated effect of payment in the form of the Single Life Pension, including a comparison between the estimated monthly pension benefits and the amount that would be paid in a single payment.


    3. If there is a valid waiver of the Single Life Pension, the Participant's Individual Account will be paid in accordance with the form of payment elected by the Participant.


    4. A Participant will only be permitted to make an election concerning the Single Life Pension when the Participant applies for a Retirement Benefit under Section 5.02 or a Separation Benefit under Section 5.03.


    5. The Single Life Pension may only be waived in accordance with this Section. The Participant must file the waiver in writing in the form that the Trustees require.


    6. To be timely, a waiver of the Single Life Pension must be filed within the time period provided in Section 7.01(b). To be valid, such a waiver must be made after the Participant has been provided with information which includes a general explanation of the Single Life Pension, the circumstances in which it will be provided unless the Participant elects otherwise, the availability of the election, the estimated effect of the Single Life Pension and the eligibility conditions and other material features of the optional forms of benefits provided under the Plan including the relative values of the optional forms. The Participant may revoke a previous waiver or file a new waiver at any time after the receipt of the information referred to in this subsection and before benefit payments to the Participant actually begin.


  3. The Normal Form of Benefit Payment for a married Participant is a 50% Husband-and-Wife Pension. A 50% Husband-and-Wife Pension is defined in Section 6.02. The 50% Husband-and-Wife Pension is purchased from an insurance carrier.


  4. A Participant who has rejected the Normal Form of Benefit Payment which applies to him based on his marital status, with the consent of his Spouse, if applicable, will be entitled to elect to receive his Individual Account (i) in one lump sum, (ii) in monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual installments over a period specified by the Participant which may not be less than two (2) years or more than ten (10) years, (iii) a combination of a lump sum and payment in installments or (iv) in any other actuarially equivalent form available from an insurance company.

    If the Participant is receiving his Individual Account in installment payments, each payment will be the amount of the Participant's Individual Account at the time the installment is to be paid divided by the number of installments remaining.
Section 5.06. Payment of Small Amounts.

If a Participant's Individual Account is less than $5000, payment will be made only in a lump sum. If the portion of a Participant's Individual Account which is paid as a Preretirement Surviving Spouse Benefit under Section 6.03 is less than $5000, payment to the Surviving Spouse shall be made only in a lump sum. If any payment on a monthly basis is less than permitted by the insurance contract under which payments are made, the monthly payments may be combined into quarterly, semi-annual or annual payments.

A lump sum payment will not be made under this Section after the starting date of a Single Life Pension, 50% Husband-and-Wife Pension, Preretirement Surviving Spouse Benefit, or other payment form available from an insurance company pursuant to Section 5.05(b), regardless of the amount of the Individual Account, unless the payment is consented to in writing by the Participant and the Participant's Spouse, if any, in accordance with Section 6.05 or, where the Participant is dead, the Participant's Surviving Spouse in accordance with Section 6.03(c)(iii).

Section 5.07. Full Vesting.

A person for whom an Individual Account has been established will be fully and immediately vested in the Individual Account. However, the Individual Account may be reduced or eliminated in accordance with Sections 4.05 or other applicable sections so that the total of all Individual Accounts does not exceed the net assets of the Fund.

Section 5.08. Preretirement Death Benefit.

If a Participant dies before he becomes an Annuitant, his Individual Account will be paid to his Beneficiary in a lump sum. The Beneficiary may elect to receive as a pension any benefits to which the Beneficiary may be entitled.

However, if the Participant was married on the date of his death, one-half of the Participant's Individual Account will be used to provide a Preretirement Surviving Spouse Benefit in accordance with Section 6.03.

If the Designated Beneficiary is not alive at the time of the Participant's death, the Individual Account will be paid in accordance with Section 7.04.

Section 5.09. Military Service.

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