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Pension Plan

 
Spousal Pensions

General. Upon Retirement, a 50%, 75% or 100% Spousal Pension provides a lifetime pension for a married Pensioner who meets the eligibility requirements for any type of Pension under the provisions of Articles 3, 4, and 5, plus a lifetime pension for his or her surviving Spouse, starting after the death of the Pensioner. In the event of death before Retirement, a 50% Spousal Pension provides a lifetime pension to the surviving Spouse of a married Participant who is vested in accordance with Section 6.09.

The monthly amount to be paid to the surviving Spouse in a 50% Spousal Pension is one-half the monthly amount which was payable or would have been payable to the deceased Pensioner or Participant.

The monthly amount to be paid to the surviving Spouse in a 75% Spousal Pension is seventy-five percent of the monthly amount which was payable or would have been payable to the deceased Pensioner.

The monthly amount to be paid to the surviving Spouse in a 100% Spousal Pension is the monthly amount which was payable or would have been payable to the deceased Pensioner.

When a Spousal Pension is in effect, the monthly amount of the Participant's pension is reduced in accordance with the provisions of Section 7.06 from the full amount otherwise payable.

Effective Date. The provisions of this Article do not apply:

  1. To a Pensioner, the Effective Date of whose Pension was before January 1, 1985;
  2. To a Vested Participant who has not earned one Hour of Service after August 22, 1984.

Upon Retirement.

  1. All pensions shall be paid in the form of a 50% (or 75% or 100%, if elected by the Participant) Spousal Pension, unless the Participant has filed with the Board, in writing, a timely rejection of that form of pension, subject to all of the conditions of this Section. No rejection shall be effective unless the Spouse of the Participant has consented in writing to such rejection, and acknowledged the effect thereof, and such rejection is witnessed by a Notary Public. No consent shall be required if it has been established to the satisfaction of the Board that there is no Spouse or the Spouse cannot be located or if such consent cannot be obtained for extenuating reasons satisfactory to the Board. A Participant and his or her Spouse may reject the Spousal Pension (or revoke a previous rejection) at any time but not more than 180 days or less than 30 days before the Pension Effective Date, that is, before the first day of the first month for which a pension is payable. A Participant and his or her Spouse shall in any event have the right to exercise this choice up to 180 days after they have been advised, by the Board, of the effect of such choice on the pension.

    In the absence of a Participant's election as to any form of benefit payable under the Plan, the 50% Spousal Pension shall apply.
  2. No less than thirty (30) days and no more than 180 days prior to the Pension Effective Date, the Plan shall provide to each Participant a written explanation including (1) a general description of the material features, and an explanation of the relative values of, the optional forms of benefit available under the Plan in manner that would satisfy the notice requirements of Code section 417(a)(3) and Treas. Reg. 1.417(a)(3)-1, (2) the terms and conditions of the 50% Spousal Pension, (3) the Participant’s right to make, and the effect of, an election to waive the 50% Spousal Pension, (4) the spouse’s right to consent to the employee’s election to waive the 50% Spousal Pension, and (5) the right to make, and the effect of, a revocation of an election to waive the 50% Spousal Pension.
  3. c. Notwithstanding the forgoing, a Participant may affirmatively elect a Retroactive Pension Effective Date, provided the following requirements are met:
    1. The Participants’ spouse (including an alternative payee who is treated as the spouse pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) as defined in Code Section 414(p)) consents to the distribution in a manner that satisfies Code Section 417(a)(2), unless the amount of the spouse’s survivor annuity payments under the Retroactive Pension Effective Date election is not less than the survivor payments under the 50%, 75%, or 100% Spousal Pension with a Pension Effective Date after the date the written explanation was provided.
    2. The distribution (including appropriate interest adjustments) provided based on the Retroactive Pension Effective Date satisfies the requirements of Code Section 415 as of the date the distributor commences, with the applicable interest rate and mortality table determined as of that date, unless the date the distribution commences is more than twelve (12) months after the Retroactive Pension Effective Date.
    3. The written explanation of the 50% Spousal Pension must be provided no more than 180 days before the date of the first actual payment of benefits based on the Retroactive Pension Effective Date, and must be provided at least thirty (30 ) days before the date of such first actual payment, unless the Participant, with any applicable spousal consent, elects to waive the thirty (30) day minimum election period requirement and distribution commences more than seven (7) days after the date that the written explanation is provided.
  4. d. Retroactive Pension Effective Date means a Pension Effective Date that occurs on or before the date the Participant is provided with the written explanation of the 50% Spousal Pension. The Plan may treat a Participant as having elected a Retroactive Pension Effective Date only if the following requirements are met:
    1. Future periodic payments with respect to the Participant must be the same as the future periodic payments, if any, that would have been paid with respect to the Participant had payments actually commenced on the Retroactive Pension Effective Date.
    2. The Participant receives a make-up payment equal to the amount of the missed payment or payments for the period from the Retroactive Effective Date to the date of the make-up payment, with an appropriate adjustment for interest, at a rate determined by the Trustees, from the date that the missed payment or payments would have been made to the date of the make-up payment.
    3. The benefit determined as of the Retroactive Pension Effective Date complies with the requirements of Code Section 415, with the applicable interest rate and applicable mortality table determined as of that date.
    4. The Retroactive Pension Effective Date does not precede the date upon which the Participant could have otherwise commenced receiving benefits under the terms of the Plan in effect as of the Retroactive Pension Effective Date.

If the Participant’s spouse as of the Retroactive Pension Effective Date is not the Participant’s spouse as of the date distributions commence, consent of the former spouse is not required for the Participant to waive the 50% Spousal Pension with respect to the retroactive annuity starting date, unless otherwise provided under a qualified domestic relations order (as defined in Code Section 414(p)).

Retirement on a Service Pension or a Disability Pension before Age 55. If the Pension Effective Date of a married Participant's Spousal Pension occurs before the Participant attains age 55 and the Participant should die before attaining age 55, the surviving Spouse, if any, shall have the choice of (a) receiving payment of the Surviving Spouse Pension beginning with the month following the death of the Pensioner or (b) deferring the Pension Effective Date of the Surviving Spouse Pension to the month following the date when the Pensioner would have attained age 55 had he or she lived. In the event payments will commence under (a), the amount of the monthly payments shall be adjusted to reflect the actuarial equivalent of the amount which could have been deferred.

Surviving Spouse Pension.

  1. If a married Participant dies after achieving Vested Status and before Retirement, and after earning one or more Hours of Service after August 22, 1984, his or her surviving Spouse shall be entitled to a Surviving Spouse Pension.

    If the Participant's death occurred after attainment of age 55 or after becoming eligible for a Service or Special Service Pension, the Spouse shall be paid a Surviving Spouse Pension as if the Participant had retired on a 50% Spousal Pension on the day before death.

    If the Participant's death occurred before attainment of age 55 and before becoming eligible for a Service or Special Service Pension, the Spouse shall have the choice of receiving the Surviving Spouse Pension commencing (a) with the month following the death of the Participant or (b) the month following the date the Participant would have attained age 55 had he or she lived. If the Surviving Spouse Pension is deferred until the month following the month in which the Participant would have reached age 55 had he or she lived, the amount of such pension shall be determined as if the Participant had left Covered Employment on the date of death (or the date last worked in Covered Employment, if earlier) retired on a 50% Spousal Pension upon reaching age 55, and died on the last day of the month in which age 55 was reached. If the Surviving Spouse Pension is paid beginning with the month following the Participant's death and prior to the date the Participant would have attained age 55, the amount of such pension shall be the Actuarial Equivalent of the amount which could have been deferred.

    This Section shall also apply to an inactive Participant who has achieved Vested Status, has one or more Hours of Service on or after September 2, 1974 and dies after August 22, 1984.
  2. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Section, a Surviving Spouse Pension shall not be paid in the form, manner or amount described above if one of the alternatives set forth in this Subsection applies.
    1. If the Actuarial Present Value of the benefit is $5,000 or less, the Board shall make a single-sum payment to the Spouse in an amount equal to that Actuarial Present Value in full discharge of the Surviving Spouse Pension.
    2. The Spouse may elect in writing, filed with the Board, and on whatever form it may prescribe, to defer commencement of the Surviving Spouse Pension until a specified date that is no later than the first of the month on or immediately following the date the Participant would have attained Normal Retirement Age. The amount payable at that time shall be determined as described in Subsection a. above, except that the benefit shall be paid in accordance with the terms of the Plan in effect when the Participant last worked in Covered Employment, as if the Participant had retired with a 50% Spousal Pension on the day before the surviving Spouse's payments are scheduled to start, and died the next day.
  3. A surviving Spouse who is the Participant's Beneficiary under Section 8.01 and 8.02 may elect to receive one of those death benefits in lieu of the Surviving Spouse Pension provided by this Section 7.05.
  4. If a Surviving Spouse dies before the Pension Effective Date of the Surviving Spouse Pension, that benefit will be forfeited and there will be no payments to any other person.

Adjustment of Pension Amount. For Pensions effective on and after June 1, 1999, when a Spousal Pension becomes effective, the amount of the Participant's monthly pension is reduced by the appropriate factor(s) in the tables of Spousal Pension factors (Appendices A through E) attached to and made part hereof.

Section 7.07. Additional Conditions. A Spousal Pension is not effective under any of the following circumstances:

  1. A Spousal Pension shall not be effective in the case of the surviving Spouse of a Participant who is not a Pensioner unless the Spouse was married to the Participant throughout the year preceding the Participant's death.
  2. A Spousal Pension shall not be effective in the case of the surviving Spouse of a Pensioner unless the Pensioner and Spouse were married to each other on the Pension Effective Date of the Participant's pension, and for at least a one year period any time before the Pensioner's death.
  3. Subject to the requirements for documentation described in Section 7.03, the Participant must file, before his or her Pension Effective Date, a written representation, on which the Board or other Plan Representative is entitled to rely, concerning that Participant's marital status which, if false, gives the Board the discretionary right to adjust the dollar amount of the pension payments made to the alleged surviving Spouse so as to recoup any excess benefits which may have been erroneously paid.
  4. An effective election to waive the Spousal Pension or a revocation of such an election must be:
    1. Made (or revoked) prior to the Pension Effective Date;
    2. Made on forms furnished by the Fund Office; and
    3. Filed with the Fund Office.
  5. A Spousal Pension, once payable, may not be revoked or Pensioner's benefits increased by reason of the subsequent divorce of the spouse from the Pensioner, except as provided in a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.
  6. The rights of a former spouse or other alternate payee to any share of a Participant's pension, as set forth under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, shall take precedence over any claims of the Participant's Spouse at the time of retirement or death, to the extent provided by such order or by any law of the United States.
  7. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the Plan, a waiver of the Spousal Pension shall not be effective if given more than 180 days before the Pension Effective Date.

Automatic Single Life Reversion Provision. For a married Participant who retires on or after January 1, 1991, and whose pension is to be paid in the form of a 50% Spousal Pension or for a married Participant who retires on or after January 1, 1993 and whose pension is to be paid in the form of a 75% or 100% Spousal Pension, if such Participant's Spouse predeceases him or her, the monthly benefit payable as a Spousal Pension shall revert to the full monthly amount otherwise payable in the absence of the application of the provisions of Section 7.06. That full amount is payable for the lifetime of the Pensioner.

All other provisions of Article 7 shall apply to this provision unless specifically indicated otherwise.

Spousal Consent Not Necessary

  1. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Plan, spousal consent in accordance with Section 7.03 is not required if the Participant establishes to the satisfaction of the Trustees:
    1. That there is no Spouse;
    2. That the Spouse cannot be located;
    3. That the Participant and Spouse are legally separated; or
    4. That the Participant has been abandoned by the Spouse as confirmed by court order.
  2. If the Spouse is legally incompetent, consent under Section 7.03 may be given by his or her legal guardian, including the Participant if authorized to act as the Spouse's legal guardian.

Spousal Pensions under the Rehabilitation Plan. Pursuant to the Rehabilitation Plan, the 100% Spousal Pension is not available for a Participant who retires subject to an Alternative Schedule. For a Participant who retires on or after January 1, 2011 subject to the Default Schedule, the 100% Spousal Pension shall be available only as to amounts accrued before January 1, 2011 and shall not be available as to amounts accrued on or after January 1, 2011.

Download a Sample QDRO Form.

References to specific section(s) of the Plan can be found in the Official Plan Document under Plan Documents on this website.

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