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Defined Contribution Retirement Plan: Administration Information And Rights Under Erisa

  • Who established the Plan?

    The official name of the Plan is Iona College Defined Contribution Retirement Plan.
    The Employer who adopted the Plan is:

    Iona College
    715 North Avenue
    New Rochelle, NY 10801-1890
    914-633-2067
    Federal Tax Identification Number: 13-3508093 Fiscal Year End: 06/30

    Your Employer has assigned Number 003 to the Plan.

    The Plan is a 403(b) defined contribution plan, which means that contributions to the Plan made on your behalf (and earnings) will be separately accounted for within the Plan.
  • When did the Plan become effective?

    Your Employer has amended and restated the Iona College Defined Contribution Retirement Plan which was originally adopted 01/01/1950. The effective date of this amended Plan is 01/01/2009.

  • Who is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Plan?

    Your Employer is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Plan. To assist in operating the Plan efficiently and accurately, your Employer may appoint others to act on its behalf or to perform certain functions.

  • Who pays the expenses associated with operating the Plan?

    All reasonable Plan administration expenses including those involved in retaining necessary professional assistance, may be paid from the assets of the Plan, to the extent permitted by the Individual Agreements. These expenses may be allocated among you and all other Plan participants or, for expenses directly related to you, charged against your account balance. Examples of expenses that may be directly related to you include, general recordkeeping fees and expenses related to processing your distributions or loans (if applicable), qualified domestic relations orders, and your ability to direct the investment of your Plan balance, if applicable. Finally, the Employer may, in its discretion, pay any or all of these expenses. For example, the employer may pay expenses for current employees, but may deduct the expenses of former employees directly from their accounts. Your Employer will provide you with a summary of all Plan expenses and the method of payment of the expenses upon request.

  • Does the Employer have the right to change the Plan?

    The Plan will be amended from time to time to incorporate changes required by the law and regulations governing retirement plans. Your Employer also has the right to amend the Plan to add new features or to change or eliminate various provisions. An Employer cannot amend the Plan to take away or reduce protected benefits under the Plan (e.g., the Employer cannot reduce the vesting percentage that applies to your current balance in the Plan.)

  • Does participation in the Plan provide any legal rights regarding my employment?

    The Plan does not intend to, and does not provide, any additional rights to employment or constitute a contract for employment.

    The purpose of the Summary Plan Description is to help you understand how the Plan operates and the benefits available to you under the Plan. The Plan document is the controlling legal document with respect to the operation of and rights granted under the Plan and if there are any inconsistencies between this Summary Plan Description and the Plan document, the Plan document will be followed.

  • Can creditors or other individuals request a payout from my Plan balance?

    Creditors (other than the IRS) and others generally may not request a distribution from your Plan balance. One major exception to this rule is that your Employer may distribute or reallocate your benefits in response to a qualified domestic relations order. A qualified domestic relations order is an order or decree issued by a court that requires you to pay child support or alimony or to give a portion of your Plan account to an ex-spouse or legally separated spouse. Your Employer will review the order to ensure that it meets certain criteria before any money is paid from your account. You (or your beneficiary) may obtain, at no charge, a copy of the procedures your Employer will use for reviewing and qualifying domestic relations orders.

  • How do I file a claim?

    To claim a benefit that you are entitled to under the Plan, you must file a written request with your Employer. The claim must set forth the reasons you believe you are eligible to receive benefits and you must authorize the Employer to conduct any necessary examinations and take the steps to evaluate the claim.

  • What if my claim is denied?

    Except as described below, if your claim is denied, your Employer will provide you (or your beneficiary) with a written notice of the denial within 90 days of the date your claim was filed. This notice will give you the specific reasons for the denial, the specific provisions of the Plan upon which the denial is based, and an explanation of the procedures for appeal.

    In the case of a claim for disability benefits, if the Employer is making a determination of whether you are Disabled, you will be notified of a denial of your claim within a reasonable amount of time, but not later than 45 days after the Plan receives your claim. The 45-day time period may be extended by the Plan for up to 30 days if the Employer determines that an extension is necessary due to matters beyond the control of the Plan. The Employer will notify you, before the end of the 45-day period, of the reason(s) for the extension and the date by which the Plan expects to make a decision regarding your claim.

    If, before the end of the 30-day extension, your Employer determines that, due to matters beyond the control of the Plan, a decision regarding your claim cannot be made within the 30-day extension, the period for making the decision may be extended for an additional 30 days, provided that your Employer notifies you, before the end of the first 30-day extension, of the circumstances requiring the additional extension and the date as of which the Plan expects to make a decision. The notice will specifically explain the standards on which the approval of your claim will be based, the unresolved issues that prevent a decision on your claim, and the additional information needed to resolve those issues. You will have at least 45 days within which to provide the specified information.

    The period of time within which approval or denial of your claim is required to be made generally begins at the time your claim is filed. If the period of time is extended because you fail to submit information necessary to decide your claim, the period for approving or denying your claim will not include the period of time between the date on which the notification of the extension is sent to you and the date on which you provide the additional information.

    Your Employer will provide you with written or electronic notification if your claim is denied. The notification will provide the following:

    1. The specific reason or reasons for the denial;
    2. Reference to the specific section of the Plan on which the denial is based;
    3. A description of any additional information that you must provide before the claim may continue to be processed and an explanation of why such information is necessary;
    4. A description of the Plan’s review procedures and the time limits applicable to such procedures, including a statement of your right to bring a civil action under Section 502(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) following a claim denial on review; and
    5. In the case of a Plan providing disability benefits, if your Employer used an internal rule or guideline in denying your claim, either 1) the specific rule or guideline, or a statement that the rule or guideline was relied upon in denying your claim, and that 2) a copy of the rule or guideline will be provided free of charge to you upon request.

    If the claim denial is based on a medical necessity, experimental treatment, or similar situation, either an explanation of the scientific or clinical basis for the denial, applying the terms of the Plan to your medical circumstances, or a statement that an explanation will be provided free of charge upon request.

  • May I appeal the decision of the Employer?

    You or your beneficiary will have 60 days from the date you receive the notice of claim denial in which to appeal your Employer’s decision. You may request that the review be in the nature of a hearing and an attorney may represent you.

    However, in the case of a claim for disability benefits, if your Employer is deciding whether you are Disabled under the terms of the Plan, you will have at least 180 days following receipt of notification of a claim denial within which to appeal your Employer’s decision.

    You may submit written comments, documents, records, and other information relating to your claim. In addition, you will be provided, upon request and free of charge, reasonable access to, and copies of, all documents, records, and other information pertaining to your claim.

    Your appeal will take into account all comments, documents, records, and other information submitted by you relating to the claim, even if the information was not included originally.

    If the claim is for disability benefits:

    1. Your claim will be reviewed independent of your original claim and will be conducted by a named fiduciary of the Plan other than the individual who denied your original claim or any of his or her employees.
    2. In deciding an appeal of a claim denial that is based in whole or in part on a medical judgment, the appropriate named fiduciary will consult with a health care professional who has appropriate training and experience in the field of medicine involved in the medical judgment;
    3. Your Employer will provide you with the name(s) of the health care professional(s) who was consulted in connection with your original claim, even if the claim denial was not based on his or her advice. The health care professional consulted for purposes of your appeal will not be the same person or any of his or her employees.
    4. You will be notified of the outcome of your appeal no later than 45 days after receipt of your request for the appeal, unless the Employer determines that special circumstances require an extension of time for processing the claim. If your Employer determines that an extension is required, written notice of the extension will be provided to you before the end of the initial 45-day period. The notice will identify the special circumstances requiring an extension and the date by which the Plan expects to make a decision regarding your claim.

    Your Employer will provide you with written or electronic notification of the final outcome of your claim. The notification will include:

    1. A statement that you are entitled to receive, upon request and free of charge, reasonable access to, and copies of, all documents, records, and other information relevant to your claim;
    2. A statement describing any additional voluntary appeal procedures offered by the Plan, your right to obtain the information about such procedures, and a statement of your right to bring an action under Section 502(a) of ERISA; and
    3. If the Employer used an internal rule or guideline in denying your claim, either 1) the specific rule or guideline, or a statement that the rule or guideline was relied upon in denying your claim, and 2) that a copy of the rule or guideline will be provided free of charge to you upon request.

    If the claim denial is based on a medical necessity, experimental treatment, or similar situation, either an explanation of the scientific or clinical basis for the denial, applying the terms of the Plan to your medical circumstances, or a statement that an explanation will be provided free of charge upon request.

  • If I need to take legal action with respect to the Plan, who is the agent for service of legal process?

    Your Employer is the agent to be served with legal papers regarding the Plan.

  • If the Plan terminates, does the federal government insure my benefits under the plan?

    If the Plan terminates, you will become fully vested in your entire balance under the Plan, even though you would not otherwise have a sufficient number of years of vesting service to be 100 percent vested in your balance. You will be entitled to take your entire balance from the Plan following termination.

    The type of plan in which you participate is not insured by the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporate, the government agency that insures certain pension plan benefits upon plan termination.

  • What are my legal rights and protections with respect to the Plan?

    As a Participant in this Plan, you are entitled to certain rights and protections under ERISA. ERISA provides that all Plan Participants shall be entitled to do the following.

    Receive Information About Your Plan and Benefits

    1. Examine, without charge, at the Employer’s office and at other specified locations, such as worksites and union halls, all Plan documents governing the Plan, including insurance contracts and collective bargaining agreements, and a copy of the latest annual report (Form 5500 Series) filed by the Plan with the U.S. Department of Labor and available at the Public Disclosure Room of the Employee Benefits Security Administration.
    2. Obtain, upon request to the Employer, copies of documents governing the operations of the Plan, including insurance contracts and collective bargaining agreements, and copies of the latest annual report (Form 5500 Series) and updated Summary Plan Description (SPD). The Employer may charge a reasonable fee for the copies.
    3. Receive a summary of the Plan’s annual financial report. The Employer is required by law to furnish each Participant with a copy of this Summary Annual Report.
    4. Obtain, once a year, a statement of the total pension benefits accrued and the vested pension benefits (if any) or the earliest date on which benefits will become vested. The Plan may require a written request for this statement, but it must provide the statement free of charge.
    Prudent Actions by Plan Fiduciaries

    In addition to creating rights for Plan Participants, ERISA imposes duties upon the people who are responsible for the operation of the Plan. The people who operate your Plan, called “fiduciaries” of the Plan, have a duty to do so prudently and in the interest of you and other Plan Participants and beneficiaries. No one, including your Employer, your union, or any other person, may fire you or otherwise discriminate against you in any way to prevent you from obtaining a pension benefit or exercising your rights under ERISA.

    Enforce Your Rights

    If your claim for a benefit is denied or ignored, in whole or in part, you have a right to know why this was done, to obtain copies of documents relating to the decision without charge, and to appeal any denial, all within certain time schedules. Under ERISA, there are steps you may take to enforce the above rights. For instance, if you request a copy of Plan documents or the latest annual report from the Plan and do not receive them within 30 days, you may file suit in a Federal court. In such a case, the court may require the Employer to provide the materials and pay you up to $110 a day until you receive the materials, unless the materials were not sent because of reasons beyond the control of the Employer. If you have a claim for benefits which is denied, or ignored, in whole or in part, you may file suit in a state or Federal court. In addition, if you disagree with the Plan’s decision or lack there of concerning the qualified status of a domestic relations order or a medical child support order, you may file suit in Federal court. If it should happen that Plan fiduciaries misuse the Plan’s money, or if you are discriminated against for asserting your rights, you may seek assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor, or you may file suit in a Federal court. The court will decide who should pay court costs and legal fees. If you are successful, the court may order the person you have sued to pay the costs and fees. If you lose, the court may order you to pay these costs and fees, for example, if the court finds your claim is frivolous.

    Assistance with Your Questions

    If you have any questions about your Plan, you should contact the Employer. If you have any questions about this statement or about your rights under ERISA, or if you need assistance in obtaining documents from the Employer, you should contact the nearest area office of the Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, listed in your telephone directory or the Division of Technical Assistance and Inquiries, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue N.W., Washington D.C. 20210. You may also obtain certain publications about your rights and responsibilities under ERISA by calling the publications hotline of the Employee Benefits Security Administration.


    Further, if this Plan is maintained by more than one Employer, you may obtain a complete list of all such Employers by making a written request to your Employer.