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BECOMING A PARTICIPANT 

Who Is Eligible

You are eligible to participate in the Plan if you work in Covered Employment. Covered Employment is work for an employer that is required to contribute to the Plan on your behalf under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.

 

When You Become a Participant

You become a participant in the Plan on the first June 1 or December 1 after you complete a 12-consecutive month period in which you work 870 hours or more in Covered Employment.

You continue to be a participant until you have a Break in Service (see If you leave work). If you incur a Break in Service and have not earned a right to a vested pension, you are no longer a participant as of the last day of the Plan Year in which you incur the one-year Break in Service.

You may reinstate your participation by again completing at least 870 hours of work in Covered Employment in the 12-consecutive month period following your reemployment. You become a participant retroactively to your reemployment date.

Example:
Dan begins working in Covered Employment for a contributing employer on February 15, 2009.  During the next 12 moths, Dan works 1,200 hours.  Dan becomes a participant on June 1, 2010 because that is June 1 that follows the 12 months in which he worked 870 hours or more. 

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Naming Your Beneficiary

When you earn at least five Years of Vesting Service, you should name a beneficiary to receive any benefits that you have earned under the Plan in the event you die before you receive them. This is very important because once you have earned a right to a pension, even if it is to be paid over your life only, the Plan guarantees that a minimum total of 60 monthly payments will be made to you or your beneficiary in the event of your death. You must name a living person as your beneficiary. You may not name a charity (non-profit organization) or a trust as your beneficiary.

There are two types of beneficiaries—first choice and second choice. You can name anyone you want, or more than one person, to be your first choice if you have no spouse to whom you have been married for 12 months or no children under 21. If you have been married for at least 12 months at the time of your death, your surviving spouse is your automatic first choice. If you have a spouse to whom you have been married for less than 12 months, you could name your spouse as your first choice. However, any children under 21 would automatically be first choices ahead of such a spouse. After all such children turn 21, your spouse could then be your first choice to receive any remaining benefits. Children over 21, other relatives or anyone else you choose can also be selected. Equal shares will be paid if more than one person is named as your first choice.

A second choice should be selected to cover a situation where the person or persons who were the first choice beneficiaries cannot collect all benefits. Then your second choice beneficiary would receive the benefits or the remaining benefits if some benefits had been paid. In addition, any children under 21 would be automatic second choices if your surviving spouse was receiving a benefit but died before receiving at least 60 months of such pension benefits. If you name more than one person for your first or second choices, they will receive equal shares of any benefits that are payable.

You can name anyone you choose or more than one person to receive any benefits that are unpaid if 60 months of benefits are not paid out to your first choice beneficiaries.

If the Fund does not have evidence that you named a beneficiary, or your named beneficiary does not survive you, benefits will be paid to your:

If you name your spouse as a beneficiary and you later become divorced, your former spouse will no longer be considered a beneficiary as of the date of the divorce, unless a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) provides otherwise. If you want your former spouse to remain your beneficiary, you must sign an additional beneficiary designation form.

If your beneficiary is incompetent or is not capable of caring for himself or herself, the Trustees may pay benefits to the court-appointed guardian of your beneficiary or to the person who is responsible for the day-to-day care of your beneficiary.

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Spouse’s Waiver

When you apply for your pension, your spouse can waive the right to be your automatic first choice beneficiary and may consent to your naming another first choice beneficiary. Your spouse must file a waiver in writing that acknowledges the effect of the waiver and consent. A notary public or a representative of the Plan designated by the Trustees must witness the waiver.

A written explanation of the effect of the 100% Husband-and-Wife Pension must be provided to you at least 30 days, but no more than 180 days, before your pension start date for the waiver to be valid. A waiver is not effective if it is given more than 180 days before the pension start date. You may file a new waiver or revoke a previous waiver at any time during the 180-day period before your pension start date. You and your spouse also have the right to begin receiving pension benefits before 30 days have elapsed from the date you received the explanation, provided you and your spouse waive the 30-day waiting period in writing.

You may waive the 100% Husband-and-Wife Pension, with your spouse’s consent, and elect an optional form of payment. Your spouse’s consent must be witnessed by a notary public or authorized Plan representative. However, spousal consent is not needed if you elect the 50% Husband-and-Wife Pension instead of the 100% Husband-and-Wife Pension.

If you elect the Husband-and-Wife Pension, you may re-elect another Husband-and-Wife Pension if you do so before the sixth pension check of the optional form has been issued. Your surviving spouse is entitled to elect the survivor benefit under the 100% Husband-and-Wife Pension if you die before a sixth pension check is issued and your surviving spouse presents proper proof of death to the Trustees. These re-elections may not be revoked. In addition, the amount you or your surviving spouse receive under the re-election will be adjusted so that the Plan recovers the difference between the amount previously paid and the monthly amount that would have been paid if the newly elected option had been paid since the first pension payment.