Defined Contribution Plan SPD

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT PLAN PROVISIONS

1. WHEN WILL I BECOME A PARTICIPANT IN THE PLAN?

Employees who were Participants in the Pension Plan on July 1, 1985:

You automatically became a Participant in this Plan on July 1, 1985, if:

  1. you were a Participant in the Southern California IBEW-NECA Pension Plan (the "Pension Plan") on July 1, 1985, and
  2. you were a Covered Employee on July 1, 1985. (You are a Covered Employee if your employer is required by a collective bargaining agreement to contribute to this Plan on your behalf.)

Other Employees:

If you did not automatically become a Participant on July 1, 1985, you become a participant on the first day of the month immediately following the month in which you work one Covered Hour for which contributions are required to be paid into this Plan.

Certain other non-bargaining employees participate under Participation Agreements approved by the Board of Trustees.

A Covered Hour is an hour for which your employer is required by a collective bargaining agreement to contribute to the Plan on your behalf. For purposes of determining whether you are eligible to participate in the Plan, Covered Hours under the Pension Plan will count as Covered Hours under this Plan.

The Plan Year is the twelve month period beginning July 1 and ending June 30.

The Defined Contribution Plan was adopted by the participating unions on the following dates:

IBEW Local 11 June, 1985
IBEW Local 440 June, 1991
IBEW Local 441 December, 1991*
IBEW Local 477 June, 1990

In 1995, the IBEW Individual Retirement Supplement Money Purchase Pension Plan merged into this Plan and the Sound Unit participants became participants in this Plan.

*Effective July 1, 2004, IBEW Local 441 and the Orange County Chapter of NECA amended the Inside Agreement to require that contributions formerly made to this Plan would thereafter be made to the Orange County IBEW-NECA Defined Contribution Plan.

2. HOW ARE CONTRIBUTIONS ALLOCATED TO MY ACCOUNT?

An Individual Account is established under the Plan for each covered employee. Contributions which your employer makes on your behalf are allocated to your Individual Account.

3. HOW ARE INVESTMENT GAINS AND LOSSES ALLOCATED TO MY ACCOUNT?

Investment gains and losses are allocated to your Individual Account on a daily basis. Written statements from New York Life Investment Management are issued to all Participants four times each year, on March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31, (the valuation dates) reflecting investment gains and losses as well as administrative expenses, for the preceding three months. Administrative expenses in the amount of $15.00 per month are deducted from each Individual Account on a monthly basis. This amount is subject to change from time to time as approved by the Board of Trustees.

4. WHEN WILL I HAVE A VESTED RIGHT TO MY ACCOUNT?

A Covered Employee who works one full or partial Covered Hour on or after July 1, 2002 shall be immediately vested with regard to 100% of contributions made or required to be made to the Plan on his or her behalf. For periods prior to July 1, 2002, you will have a vested right to 100% of your Individual Account as soon as you have earned a total of 300 Covered Hours within two consecutive Plan Years.

If you have a "vested" right to your Individual Account, you cannot lose it even if you leave employment covered by the Plan.

5. IS IT POSSIBLE TO LOSE MY INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNT?

Yes, unless your account is vested. For periods of participation prior to July 1, 2002, as of each March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31 valuation date, contributions paid into your Individual Account for the calendar quarter ending two years prior to the valuation date were forfeited unless you were a Participant.

For example, assume contributions were first made into your Individual Account for the calendar quarter ending March 31, 1998, but you do not become a participant until April 1, 2000. As of March 31, 2000, contributions paid into your Account for the quarter ending March 31, 1998 are forfeited. As of April 1, 2000, you become 100% vested in all contributions paid into your Account after March 31, 1998.

Prior to July 1, 2012, forfeited contributions were used to pay Plan expenses. To the extent forfeitures exceeded Plan expenses, they were allocated to participants' accounts in the same proportion as contributions were made to the Accounts for the quarter. However, a Covered Employee who works one full or partial Covered Hour on or after July 1, 2002 shall be immediately vested with regard to 100% of contributions made or required to be made to the Plan on his or her behalf.

6. WHAT IS THE NORMAL RETIREMENT DATE?

Your normal retirement date is the first day of the month coinciding with or next following your 65th birthday.

7. WHAT IS THE EARLY RETIREMENT DATE?

Your early retirement date is the first day of the month coinciding with or next following the date you meet the Plan's early retirement eligibility requirements:

You will be eligible for early retirement if you have severed your employment with all contributing employers to this Plan and you satisfy A or B below:

  1. you have begun to receive early retirement benefits under the Southern California IBEW-NECA Pension Plan, or
  2. if you are not a Participant in the Southern California IBEW-NECA Pension Plan, you have reached age 55 and earned 15,000 covered hours under the Southern California IBEW-NECA Defined Contribution Plan.

8. WHAT WILL I RECEIVE AT MY NORMAL OR EARLY RETIREMENT DATE?

You may elect to retire at any time after reaching your normal or early retirement date and receive a distribution of your Individual Account. You are not required to take a distribution of your Individual Account even though you are retired under the Southern California IBEW-NECA Pension Plan (Defined Benefit Plan) until April 1 of the calendar year following the calendar year in
which you reach age 70½. At that time, if you are not working and have not elected to defer distributions, the Trust Fund is required to begin distributing your account balance to you unless you waive your right to mandatory distributions if permitted by applicable statute.

Amount of Distribution:

The distribution will be equal to the amount of your Individual Account. You may elect to receive a partial distribution of your Individual Account, as long as the balance remaining in the Account is more than $5,000.00.

Form of Distribution:

If you are married, your Individual Account will be distributed as a joint and 50% survivor annuity unless you elect an optional payment form. The joint and 50% survivor annuity provides you with monthly payments for your lifetime. If your spouse survives you, monthly payments will continue to your surviving spouse for your spouse's lifetime in an amount equal to 50% of the payments you were receiving. You may, with the consent of your spouse, reject the 50% survivor annuity and elect an optional payment form. Your spouse's consent must be in writing and notarized by a notary public. The optional payment forms for a married participant are:

  1. payment in a single lump sum,
  2. payment in annual installments over a period of at least two years but not more than five years,
  3. the single life pension in the form of an annuity purchased through an insurance company,
  4. 66 2/3% Joint and Survivor Annuity,
  5. 75% Joint and Survivor Annuity,
  6. 100% Joint and Survivor Annuity;
  7. Certain and Life Annuity. This Annuity provides for monthly annuity payments commencing on the Participant's Annuity Starting Date and is payable over the lifetime of the Participant. Monthly payments end with the payment due on or before the day the Participant dies but not before the guaranteed period of monthly payments have been made. If the Participant dies during the guaranteed period, the payments will continue for the remainder of the guaranteed period to the Participant's beneficiary. One hundred and twenty (120) monthly annuity payments are guaranteed under the Certain and Life Annuity.
  8. Full Cash Refund Annuity. This form of benefit provides for monthly annuity payments commencing on the Participant's Annuity Starting Date and continuing during the Participant's lifetime. The annuity benefit will end with the last monthly payment due on or before the Participant's date of death. However, upon receipt of the Participant's death certificate, the beneficiary will receive the excess of the cost of the annuity over the total of the annuity benefit payments due the Participant up to and including their date of death.

If you are not married, distribution will be made as a single life annuity unless you elect otherwise. A single life annuity provides monthly payments for your lifetime, with no payments continuing after your death. An unmarried Participant may also elect a:

  1. payment in a single lump sum,
  2. payment in annual installments over a period of at least two years but not more than five years,
  3. Certain and Life Annuity, or
  4. Full Cash Refund Annuity.

Election of an optional payment form must be made within 180 days before the date distribution of your Account is made or begins.

If your Individual Account Balance is $5,000.00 or less, it will be paid in a single lump sum, and you cannot elect an optional form.

9. MAY I POSTPONE MY RETIREMENT?

You may postpone your retirement beyond your normal retirement date and receive additional contributions. However, distribution of your Individual Account must be made or begin no later than April 1 following the calendar year in which you reach age 70½, even if you are still working in employment covered by the Plan, unless you elect in writing to defer receipt of benefits until after your actual retirement or you waive your right to receive mandatory required distributions if permitted by applicable statute.

10. ARE DISTRIBUTIONS AVAILABLE BEFORE MY NORMAL OR EARLY RETIREMENT DATE?

If you have terminated employment with all contributing employers to this Plan but have not reached your normal or early retirement date, you will be entitled to a distribution of your Individual Account, provided at least twelve consecutive months have passed since your most recent employment in Covered Employment or Non-Covered Electrical Employment in the Electrical Construction Contracting Industry in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Inyo or Mono Counties or if you have been awarded a pension from the IBEW (I.O. Pension) or NEBF. The Electrical Construction Contracting Industry includes all employers who pay contributions to the Plan pursuant to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement and all employers performing comparable work who are not signatory to collective bargaining agreements requiring contributions to the Plan. For the period September 31, 2010 through December 1, 2011, the Electrical Construction Industry did not include the United States Department of Defense.

For applications for distribution of benefits due to the termination of employment received between December 1, 2010 and December 31, 2014 if the Participant severed employment with all contributing Employees and worked less than 500 Covered Hours in the twelve-month period. The Participant will be eligible for a distribution as long as he has not returned to Covered Employment before receiving the distribution.

However, for distributions made on or after March 1, 2009, if you have severed your employment with contributing employers to this Plan, have no loan balance and have an Account balance at the time of application of $3,000.00 or less, you will be entitled to a distribution upon receipt of an application and all required documents if you apply for and receive your distribution prior to returning to employment with a contributing employer to the Plan.

For applications received on or after December 1, 2013, if your Individual Account Balance is $7,500.00 or less and you have severed your employment with all Contributing Employers, the Participant will be entitled to receive a distribution of his Individual Account balance.

The available Forms of Distribution are set forth in the Answer to Question No. 8 above.

11. WHAT IF I BECOME DISABLED?

If your employment is terminated due to total and permanent disability, you will be entitled to a distribution of your Individual Account. The amount and form of distribution will be the same as described in the answer to Question 10.

12. WHAT DEATH BENEFITS ARE AVAILABLE?

If you die after distribution of your Individual Account Balance has begun, death benefits will depend on the form of payment you have chosen.

If you die before distribution of your Account has begun, your Account will be distributed to your beneficiary.

If you are married, your beneficiary will be your spouse, unless your spouse has provided written and notarized consent to the designation of another person as your beneficiary. If your Individual Account is greater than $5,000.00, payment will be made in the form of a lifetime annuity, with monthly payments to your spouse for life. However, instead of a lifetime annuity, your spouse may elect a single sum distribution. If your Individual Account is $5,000.00 or less, it will be paid in a single sum.

If you are not married, your beneficiary will be the beneficiary you have designated to receive benefits under the Plan, and payment will be paid in a single lump sum.

If an unmarried participant has not designated a beneficiary, payment will be made to the person or persons in the first of the following classes in which members survive the participant:

  1. children,
  2. parents,
  3. brothers and sisters.

If no preference beneficiary survives a participant, then the participant's account shall be distributed to the participant's estate in accordance with applicable state law.

13. WHAT IF I AM REEMPLOYED AFTER DISTRIBUTION OF MY ACCOUNT HAS BEEN PAID OR HAS BEGUN?

If additional contributions are paid to your Individual Account because of your reemployment, you may apply for a distribution of your Account which is attributable to the additional contributions. In order to receive a distribution of your additional Account, either

  1. Twelve (12) consecutive months must have passed since your most recent employment in the Electrical Construction Contracting Industry in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Inyo or Mono Counties or you worked less than 500 hours in the twelve prior months, have severed your employment with all Contributing Employers and have not returned to Covered Employment at the time the distribution is made, or
  2. For applications received on or after December 1, 2013, if your Individual Account Balance is $7,500.00 or less and you have severed your employment with Contributing Employers, or
  3. Have no outstanding loan balance and your Individual Account balance is $3,000.00 or less and have severed your employment with all Contributing Employers, or
  4. You must have reached the later of your normal retirement date, and the first anniversary of the date your most recent distribution was made or begun.

You may elect that your additional Account be payable in any payment form available to you under the Plan.

If you die before payment of your additional Account has begun, death benefits attributable to your additional Account will be paid as if you had died before retirement.

14. HOW DO I APPLY FOR A DISTRIBUTION?

You may contact the Administrative Office or NYLIM or download an application from the following websites: www.bcomplete.com or www.scibew-neca.org. When you receive the application, review it carefully. The application should be mailed/forwarded to the Administrative Office for review of eligibility. You will be required to make an election regarding the date you wish your distribution to become effective.

15. CAN I BORROW FROM MY ACCOUNT?

Yes. You can borrow money from your account for the following specified purposes:

  1. To pay for the unreimbursed medical, dental or legal expenses incurred by the Participant or a member of the Participant's immediate family;
  2. To acquire a primary residence for the Participant;
  3. To make improvements to the Participant's primary residence;
  4. To prevent foreclosure on the Participant's primary residence;
  5. To purchase an automobile for the Participant or a member of the Participant's immediate family;
  6. To pay for books, tuition and related educational expenses for Participant or Participant's immediate family members.
  7. To consolidate debt by the Participant and/or the Participant's spouse for loan applications received between May 1, 2009 and December 31, 2014.

The term of the loan shall be five (5) years. However, loans used to acquire a Participant's primary residence may be repaid over ten (10) years. The loan must be repaid in at least quarterly installments. The minimum loan amount is $1,000.00. Only one loan may be outstanding at any one time. The interest rate charged on Participant loans is the prime rate plus one point. The maximum loan amount shall be the lesser of $50,000.00 or one-half of the non-forfeitable balance of Participant's Account. In the event of a default in repayment of the loan, the Participant shall be required to pay tax on the outstanding principal balance and accrued interest at the Participant's ordinary income tax level, plus a ten percent (10%) penalty. Spousal consent is required for all loans unless a Participant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Board of Trustees that he is not married or is unable to locate his spouse.

Loans under this Plan are administered by New York Life Investment Management, a third-party administrator. To obtain a loan application, a Participant must call New York Life Investment Management at 1-800-294-3575 or obtain a loan application from the following website: www.bcomplete.com.

Loans are required to be repaid in full upon retirement under this Plan or other distribution. However, retirement under the Southern California IBEW-NECA Pension Plan, without applying for retirement benefits under this Plan, will not require repayment of a loan under this Plan.

If a Participant fails to make an installment payment when due under the terms of a loan, the Participant has an additional three (3) month (or one calendar quarter) grace period from the last day of the calendar quarter in which the missed installment was originally due to pay that installment. If the installment payment is not made before the expiration of the three (3) month grace period (the last day of the calendar quarter following the calendar quarter in which the missed payment was due), the loan shall be deemed to be in default, resulting in a deemed distribution of the entire outstanding loan balance to the Participant.

If you default on a loan, you will not be eligible to apply for a new loan until you have repaid the prior loan.

While you are performing service in the uniformed services, loan payments are suspended. Such loan payments shall resume upon the completion of service in the uniformed services. The loan is required to be repaid over a term beginning as of the date the last payment of the original loan was due plus any period of suspension due to service in the uniformed services.

16. ARE HARDSHIP WITHDRAWALS AVAILABLE UNDER THIS PLAN?

No. There are no provisions in the Plan allowing for hardship withdrawals.

17. CAN THE PLAN BE TERMINATED?

Yes. The Trustees are empowered to terminate the Plan if they deem it necessary or prudent to do so. Should this occur, the vested assets in your Individual Account, after deduction of administrative expenses, may not be forfeited by any Participant. In no event can any of the assets of the Plan revert to the Employers or be paid to the Union.

18. WILL A DIVORCE AFFECT MY PENSION?

Your spouse may obtain a court order called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). Under the terms of a QDRO, certain amounts may be taken from your pension benefit to pay alimony, child support, or marital property rights of your spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent.

The Trustees have approved a form QDRO. If the pre-approved form is utilized, the Administrative Office has been authorized to treat the QDRO as qualified and transmit the appropriate notices to the participant and alternate payee. Your attorney can obtain a copy of the form QDRO and/or QDRO procedures from the Trust Fund's attorney. If the form QDRO is not utilized and the attorneys involved in the divorce instead utilize some other form of a proposed QDRO, then the form prepared by those attorneys is transmitted to the Trust Fund's attorney. The Trust Fund attorney will review the QDRO received and provides advice to the Trustees as to whether or not they should treat the QDRO as being qualified under the provisions of federal law taking into account the provisions of the plan. The Trustees will then make a final decision and notify you of their decision.

A QDRO may provide for the distribution to an Alternate Payee following receipt by the Administrative Office, even though such distribution may be made prior to the Participant's entitlement to a distribution under the Plan.

Please note that separate QDROs are required for the Pension Plan (Defined Benefit Plan) and the Southern California IBEW-NECA Defined Contribution Plan.

19. ARE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE DEFINED CONTRIBUTION PLAN SUBJECT TO RECIPROCITY?

Yes. This Plan recognizes the International Reciprocity Agreement, which provides for the transfer of contributions made to another pension fund to this Plan if the other pension fund has adopted the International Reciprocity Agreement and the Participant has registered with ERTS. In addition, the Reciprocity Agreement provides for the transfer of contributions received by this Plan to a Covered Employee's home fund if the Covered Employee has registered with ERTS.

Contributions are required to be transferred under the International Reciprocity Agreement on a like fund to like fund basis. Therefore, this Plan will only receive reciprocity contributions from another fund if the contributions were originally transferred from another defined contribution Plan.

Reciprocity contributions are generally transferred on a monthly basis between participating Funds. In no event will this Plan transfer reciprocity contributions or receive reciprocity contributions for a period that exceeds eighteen months prior to the date of the Employee's authorization.

This Plan also enters into Pro-Rata Reciprocity Agreements from time to time with other Plans. Related Hours of service under another pension fund which has entered into a Pro-Rata Reciprocity Agreement are combined with a Participant's Covered Hours in this Plan to determine if a Participant is vested or has incurred a break in service in this Plan. The amount of benefits and eligibility for any benefit under this Plan, however, are based solely on Covered Hours worked under this Plan and not any related plan.

20. AM I ENTITLED TO ANY BENEFITS DURING PERIODS OF MILITARY SERVICE?

Yes. Military Service is credited at the greater of 125 hours per month for each complete month of Military Service or the average monthly hours worked in the twelve months prior to the Participant's commencement of Military Service and 8 hours per day for any additional fraction of a month. Contributions are credited to the Participant's Individual Account at the hourly rate then in effect in the collective bargaining agreement between the IBEW and NECA which governs the jurisdiction of the participant's IBEW membership for the month in which the hours are being credited. Contributions are credited to a nonbargaining employee's Individual Account pursuant to the terms of any Non-Bargaining Agreement in effect for the participant's last employer prior to the commencement of military service in accordance with the hourly employer contribution rate specified in the non-bargaining agreement for the month in which hours are being credited.

Contributions credited for military service are paid out of Plan assets.

You must provide documentation regarding your Military Service including your honorable discharge paperwork in order to receive credit for your Military Service.