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
Prudent Actions by Plan Fiduciaries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.