Amendment 5 to the Pension Plan
Date: May 2017
To: Participants in the Southern California IBEW-NECA Pension Plan
From: Southern California IBEW-NECA Trust Funds Administrative Office
Re: Recently Adopted Plan Amendment
Enclosed is a recently adopted amendment to the Southern California IBEW-NECA Pension Plan. Please read the amendment in its entirety for a complete description. Please keep a copy of this notice with your Summary Plan Description.
If you have any questions about this amendment, please contact the Pension Department Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
- Amendment 5 - 2016 Rehabilitation Plan
An explanation of this Amendment is not offered since the Amendment is self-explanatory.
AMENDMENT NO. 5
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA IBEW-NECA PENSION PLAN
This Amendment to the Southern California IBEW-NECA Pension Plan ("Plan) executed this 20th day of April, 2017 is made by the Board of Trustees of the Southern California IBEW-NECA Pension Trust Fund ("Board of Trustees") with reference to the following facts and circumstances:
- The Board of Trustees wishes to amend the provisions of the Plan to comply with the Pension Protection Act of 2006 by codifying the Plan Changes of the Plan's July 1, 2016 Rehabilitation Plan as adopted September 28, 2016 and amended October 27, 2016 by the Board of Trustees.
- The Board of Trustees has reserved to themselves the ability to amend the Plan from time to time.
NOW THEREFORE, the Plan is amended as follows:
- Article 17 is amended as follows, the July 1, 2016 Rehabilitation Plan as described above is inserted before the current July 1, 2009 Rehabilitation Plan.
- Furthermore, the first page of Article 17 is amended by replacing the existing language with the following language:
At its October 20, 2009 meeting the Board of Trustees adopted the Rehabilitation Plan for the Plan Year beginning 2009. The provisions of this Article 17 shall be effective October 28, 2009 for all benefits commenced on or after October 28, 2009 and shall supersede the provisions of the Plan to the extent those provisions are inconsistent with the provisions of this Article. Benefits commenced prior to October 28, 2009 continue to be governed by other applicable provisions of the Plan.
Because of its changes under the Rehabilitation Plan for the Plan Year beginning 2009, the Plan was certified on September 28, 2010 to not be in critical or endangered status and the Plan's Rehabilitation Period ended.
Furthermore, the Southern California IBEW-NECA Pension Plan ("Plan") was certified by its Actuary on September 28, 2016 to be projected to be in critical status for the Plan Year beginning July 1, 2018, pursuant to IRC Section 432(b)(3). Pursuant to IRC Section 432(b)(4) and the authority and direction of the Board of Trustees, on
September 28, 2016 the Chair and Secretary elected for the Plan to be in critical status effective July 1, 2016.
Effective for the Plan Year beginning July 1, 2016, a new cumulative and additional Rehabilitation Plan was adopted as of September 28, 2016 by the Board of Trustees. The July 1, 2016 Rehabilitation Plan was amended October 27, 2016 by the Board of Trustees. The July 1, 2016 Rehabilitation Plan is incorporated in full as follows and now controls over any conflicting provisions of this Article.
The original September 28, 2016 Memorandum was mailed out to all Participants. If you did not receive the original Memorandum regarding "Benefit Changes under the Critical Status Rehabilitation Plan" and would like to receive additional copies of these documents, please contact the Administrative Trust Funds Office at the nationwide, toll free number (800) 824-6935 or at the primary business number (323) 221-5861.
- The following preamble is inserted at the beginning of both Articles 3 and 4:
Rehabilitation Plan Effective for Normal and Early Retirement Benefits first paid on and after April 1, 2017: Under the 2016 Rehabilitation Plan alternative schedules, neither the normal retirement dates nor the amount of normal retirement benefits has been altered but as described under the contributions section of the Rehabilitation Plan alternative schedules, off benefit monies continue to play no role in the accrual of benefits for either a normal or early retirement benefit. Under the 2016 Rehabilitation Plan, the eligibility requirements for an unsubsidized early retirement benefit are either (1) attainment of at least age 55 with at least 15,000 Covered Hours, or (2) any age with at least 37,500 Covered Hours.
(The 2016 Rehabilitation Plan notwithstanding the following, if a Plan Participant is in pay status as of April 1, 2017 based on an annuity starting date for a portion of their benefit effective prior to April 1, 2017, the entirety of their benefit accrued up to
April 1, 2017 will be considered in pay status prior to April 1, 2017 for purposes of availability of subsidized Early Retirement Plan Provisions; as such Plan Provisions regarding early retirement subsidies in place prior to April 1, 2017 will apply for the remainder of the benefit accrued prior to April 1, 2017.)
Under the 2016 Rehabilitation Plan, all Default Schedule accruals are not eligible for a subsidized early retirement benefit. However, for benefits earned under the Plan's Alternative schedules, the eligibility requirements for a subsidized early retirement benefit include: Active Participant status upon attainment of at least age 56 and at least 44,500 Covered Hours. Furthermore Participants who have incurred a Grace Period must also meet the requirements of Section 4.4(c) to receive a subsidized early retirement benefit.
The amounts of unsubsidized early retirement benefits are a reduced actuarial equivalent to the Normal Retirement benefit otherwise payable to the Participant. All Default Schedule accruals and all other early retirement pensions are paid in the form of unsubsidized early actuarially equivalent retirement benefits when benefits are commenced prior to attainment of Normal Retirement Age. Accruals earned under the Default Schedule are payable as separate and distinct annuities from the remainder of accruals.
For the 1.9% benefit multiplier, for Covered Hours worked on and after April 1, 2017, the section 3.2(b) 42,500 hours requirement is removed and replaced with a 44,500 Covered Hours requirement. In other words, for this specific "Covered Hours only" based aspect of the 1.9% benefit multiplier requirement, the 1.9% benefit multiplier applies to Covered Hours worked on and after April 1, 2017, only to hours in excess of 44,500 Covered Hours.
Any conflicting provisions of this Article are maintained solely in order to identify eligibility for and amounts payable as monthly pension benefits for pensions awarded prior to April 1, 2017.
- The first paragraph of Section 4.2(b)(5) is amended as follows:
(5) the amount of Employer Contributions paid on behalf of the Participant since the later of (ix) January 1, 2004 or, (x) the Participant's most recent Employee Contribution Date, multiplied by .0145 (1.45%), or .019 (1.9%) times those Employer Contributions paid on behalf of the Participant on and after the first of the month coincident with or next following the Participant's entitlement to receive an Early Pension Benefit pursuant to the first paragraph of Section 3.2 or, only for accruals prior to April 1, 2017, pursuant to Section 3.2(b) if earlier or, for accruals earned on or after April 1, 2017 once the Participant attains 44,500 Covered Hours if earlier or on and after the first of the month coincident with or next following the Participant's entitlement to receive a Normal Retirement pursuant to Section 3.1 of the Plan.
- The following preamble is added at the beginning of Article 5:
Rehabilitation Plan: Beginning with the 2009 Rehabilitation Plan Default Schedule and continuing with the 2016 Rehabilitation Plan's Default Schedule, the Normal Form of Pension for all benefits earned under the Plan's Default Schedules is a life pension without any monthly payments guaranteed. The forms of benefit available for married participants for accruals earned under the Plan's Default Schedules are the 50% Joint and Survivor and the 75% Joint and Survivor.
Beginning with the 2009 Rehabilitation Plan, the Level Income Option is eliminated in all its various forms for all accruals for benefits not in pay status as of October 28, 2009.
For accruals earned under the Plan's Alternative Schedules, with the exception of the Level Income Option, all other benefit forms described in this Article 5 remain available.
Any conflicting provisions of this Article are maintained solely in order to identify benefit forms available for pensions awarded prior to October 28, 2009.
- The following preamble is added at the beginning of Article 7:
Rehabilitation Plan: Under the 2016 Rehabilitation Plan schedules, no disability benefits are payable with pensions first paid on and after April 1, 2017. All pensions awarded on and after April 1, 2017 are subject to the Rehabilitation Plan. The Sections which follow govern disability pensions awarded prior to April 1, 2017.
- Article 8 is restated effective April 1, 2017 in its entirety as follows:
DEATH BENEFIT AND DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY
8.1 Pre-Retirement Death Benefit Eligibility
A Participant may be eligible for a Pre-Retirement Death Benefit under 8.2 and/or 8.3 for accruals earned under the Plan if they have not commenced benefits with respect to the accrued benefits in question and meet one of the following requirements at the time of death:
- Accrue at least 5 years of Vesting Service or
- Accrue 10 years of Total Credited Service including at least 2 years of Future Service Credit or
- They have attained Normal Retirement Age under section 3.1.
Otherwise if one of the above requirements 8.1(a)-(c) are not satisfied no Pre-Retirement Death Benefits are payable under this Plan whatsoever.
8.2 Amount of Pre-Retirement Death Benefit: Default Schedule Accruals
For accruals earned under the Plan's Default Schedules no Pre-Retirement Death Benefits are available to Single Participants.
For accruals earned under the Plan's Default Schedule only, Pre-Retirement Death Benefits available to Married participants meeting the eligibility requirements under section 8.1 include the survivor's portion of a 50% Joint and Survivor benefit. The survivor benefit is payable to the surviving spouse at the later of the first of the month following the Participant's date of death and his/her earliest retirement age, determined as though the Participant had retired under the available Default Schedule benefit provisions that the Participant was eligible for and later died the day before the first payment is due.
8.3 Amount of Pre-Retirement Death Benefit: Alternative Schedule Accruals
The following 8.3 sections apply only for accruals earned under the Plan's Alternative Schedules for Participants who otherwise meet the Pre-Retirement Death Benefit Eligibility Requirements under section 8.1 (there are no Default Schedule benefits available under this section).
Married Participants are entitled to a benefit equal to 50% of the Participants Normal Pension Benefit credited to Participant on the date of death. If a Participant was not eligible for their earliest retirement date, an actuarial reduction is made on this benefit for ages below 56. However, in lieu of the 50% benefit described in this section 8.3(a), a surviving spouse shall be entitled to receive a lifetime monthly benefit equal to the Joint and 100% Survivor benefit if either of the following circumstances apply:
- If at the time of death an Active Participant was entitled to an unreduced Early Retirement Benefit as described in the preambles to Articles 3 and 4 (i.e. at least age 56, 44,500 Covered Hours and Active Status).
- If an Active Participant and their Spouse have completed pension option election forms within 31 days of the proposed annuity starting date, elected a Joint and 100% Survivor pension set forth in Section 5.3(b), and the Participant subsequently dies prior to the proposed annuity starting date.
- For an unmarried Participant or for a married Participant whose surviving spouse has passed away, payments would be payable and split evenly amongst each of any of the Participant's children that are and only while still under age 21. Furthermore 120 payments are guaranteed from the first death benefit paid under any of 8.3(a)-(c). Any of the 120 payments remaining beyond the later of the surviving spouse's death and the youngest child's age 21 are payable to the beneficiary elected by the surviving spouse or Participant if unmarried at death (refer to section 8.5 if no beneficiary elected). If after the later of the death of the surviving spouse and/or the point in time the last child reaches age 21, if there are more than 60 guaranteed payments remaining refer to section 8.7 which governs the rescheduling of the remaining guaranteed payments.
8.4 Waivers, Beneficiary Elections and Discharge of Obligations to Beneficiaries
If an Active or Inactive Vested Participant is married at the time of their death, their spouse is deemed to be the Participant's beneficiary and the applicable spouse receives the Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity set forth in Section 8.2 for accruals earned under the Plan's Default Schedules and 8.3(a) or (b) for accruals earned under the Plan's Alternative Schedules. These Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity benefits may not be waived by any pre-nuptial agreement. Waivers of these Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity benefits are subject to the requirements of Internal Revenue Code Sections 401 and 417 and all related Regulations, including but not limited to Regulation 1.401(a)-20. Waivers must be on forms supplied by the Fund. A spouse's signature consenting to a waiver must be notarized. The waiver must name the non-spouse beneficiary who will receive the pre-retirement death benefit. A spouse's waiver may only be revoked with the written consent of the Participant. The non-spouse beneficiary may be changed by the Participant only with the notarized written consent of the spouse. The Participant may revoke the non-spouse beneficiary designation by execution of a form provided by the Fund. Upon revocation any then spouse of the Participant becomes the beneficiary of the pre-retirement death benefit subject to a subsequent spousal waiver by way of the process set forth above.
Any unmarried Participant may name any pre-retirement death benefit beneficiary of the Participant's choice. If an unmarried Participant subsequently marries any prior designation of beneficiary by the participant is automatically revoked as to all pre-retirement death benefits which may be payable by the Plan. An unmarried Participant may change the pre-retirement death benefit beneficiary at any time. However, if an unmarried Participant, or a married Participant whose spouse has consented to a waiver or elected another beneficiary, dies any benefits payable under Sections 8.3 shall be paid to the Participant's surviving children under the age of 21 in accord with Section 8.3 prior to any payment to any other designated or preference beneficiary. All beneficiary designations must be on forms provided by or approved by the Fund Office. All designations must be signed and dated by the Participant. All revocations, except automatic revocations, must be on forms supplied or approved by the Fund Offices and must be signed and dated.
Payments to surviving spouses, designated beneficiaries and preference beneficiaries fully discharge periodic death benefit amounts payable under the Plan unless a contrary claim is received by the Fund prior to the periodic payment. In cases of contested periodic payments the Fund may commence an appropriate proceeding including but not limited to interpleader actions. In any such court action the Fund's attorney fees and costs shall be paid from any contested periodic payments deposited with the court.
8.5 Preference Beneficiary of Participant:
- If no beneficiary has been designated by a Participant or if the designated beneficiary predeceases the Participant, payment of any death benefit payable shall be made to the surviving person or persons in the first of the following classes of successor preference beneficiaries in which a member survives the Participant.
- His spouse;
- His children, including legally adopted children;
- His parents;
- His brothers and sisters.
In determining such person or persons, the Trustees may rely upon an affidavit by a member of any of the classes of preference beneficiaries. Payment based upon such affidavit shall be full acquittance of any benefit payable under the Plan unless, before the payment is made, the Trustees have received written notice of a valid claim by some other person. If two or more persons become entitled to benefits as preference beneficiaries, they shall share equally. If no preference beneficiaries survive the Participant, then no death benefit shall be payable, except to provide for necessary funeral expenses of the participant.
- Preference Beneficiary of Spouse: If no beneficiary has been designated by a surviving spouse, or if the designated beneficiary predeceases the spouse, the preference beneficiary will be determined according to (a) above as if the spouse were a Participant.
8.6 Death Benefits Payable to a Minor
Any death benefit payable to a minor may be paid to the legally appointed guardian of the minor or, if there be no such guardian, to such adults as have, in the opinion of the Trustees, assumed the custody and principal support of said minor.
8.7 Compliance with Internal Revenue Code
In accord with the requirements of Internal Revenue Code Section 401(a)(9) and the regulations related thereto if a Participant dies before the Participant has begun to receive any distribution of their interest under the Plan and no benefits are payable to a surviving spouse in the form of a Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor's Annuity or to the surviving children under age 21 then in that event the Participant's entire interest shall be distributed within 5 years of the Participant's death. The provisions of the Internal Revenue Code Section 401(a)(9) and related regulations override any distribution feature of this Plan which is inconsistent with that Section and related regulations. If no benefits are or will be payable to a surviving spouse in the form of a Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity, no benefits are payable to a surviving child under age 21 and more than 60 guaranteed monthly benefits are then payable then during such period the total paid per month pro-rata per beneficiary shall be equal to the result of the number of guaranteed payments times the guaranteed monthly amount divided by 60.
The 5 year rule described above does not apply to Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity payments payable to a surviving spouse who is, under the Plan, deemed to be the designated beneficiary of the Participant. For purposes of payments under the Plan to the Participant's surviving children under age 21 those children are deemed the designated beneficiaries of the Participant and any surviving spouse. Distributions to these designated beneficiaries shall, except as described below, commence within one year of the death which results in these distributions. Distributions to these designated beneficiaries shall be in accord with the Internal Revenue Code Section 401(a)(9) and applicable regulations and shall be for a period not extending beyond the life expectancy of these designated beneficiaries. These payments may continue for periods longer than five years.
A surviving spouse entitled to Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity may elect to defer receipt of the annuity to a date no later than the date the deceased Participant would have attained 70 ½. If such a surviving spouse dies before their distribution begins and no benefits are payable to surviving children under age 21 the 5 year rule shall apply to the surviving spouse's guaranteed benefit (if any) effective with the date of the surviving spouse's death.
If a Participant or Pensioner is not married at the date of death and is not survived by a child under age of twenty-one, then, under the Plan, any death benefits are payable either to named beneficiaries or preference beneficiaries. If a Participant or Pensioner has no named beneficiary nor any surviving preference beneficiary then the only death benefits payable under the Plan is to provide for the necessary funeral expenses of the Participant or Pensioner in some instances. If such a named beneficiary fails to file a claim within one year of the Participant's death then that named beneficiary's share shall be paid pro-rata among any named beneficiaries who do file a claim within one year of the Participant or Pensioner's death. If no named beneficiary files a claim within one year of the Participant or Pensioner's death, then benefits shall be paid to preference beneficiaries under Article 8.5 as if no named beneficiary survived the Participant or Pensioner. If preference beneficiaries fail to file a claim within three years of the Participant's death then in that event the only death benefits payable shall be those payable under Article 8.5 as if no named beneficiaries nor any preference beneficiaries survive the Participant. Nothing in this Article shall impair the obligation of the Plan to pay appropriate QPSA and QJSA benefits.
8.8 Exclusion of Living Trusts as named Beneficiary
Due to the restrictions of the Internal Revenue Code the Plan does not permit Living Trusts to be a named beneficiary. This limitation does not prevent a beneficiary or Participant from requesting automatic deposit of periodic payments payable to the Participant or beneficiary into a bank account which is held by a Living Trust.
8.9 Compliance with Rehabilitation Plans
All provisions of this Article are subject to the limitations and restrictions of Article 17 which govern benefits first commencing on and after October 28, 2009.
- The following preamble is added at the beginning of Article 10:
Rehabilitation Plan: The modifications to eligibility and benefit amounts contained within the 2016 Rehabilitation Plan are permanent for all benefits first paid on and after April 1, 2017 absent adoption of further Amendments by the Board of Trustees. As experience warrants, the law permits further reductions in benefits for prospective accruals as may be necessary. The law limits the ability of the Board of Trustees to adopt any benefit restoration or improvement Plan Amendments.
- The current section 10.7 is renumbered as 10.8 and the following section 10.7 is added
10.7 The Plan shall operate in compliance with Internal Revenue Code sections 432(d) and (f), as such while during an Adoption or Funding Improvement or Rehabilitation Plan Period, the Trustees are limited in adopting certain amendments.
- Section 12.5 is amended as follows
12.5 Disability Benefit (only applies for annuity starting dates prior to April 1, 2017). The commencement date for monthly disability benefit payments to said Participant, who was a Covered Employee on July 1, 1976 and prior to April 1, 2017, shall be determined as of the earlier of (a) or (b) as follows:
No disability benefits are payable with pensions first paid on and after
April 1, 2017.
- The date disability payments would commence pursuant to Article 7 of this Plan, or
- The date disability payments would commence under the Plan as it existed on June 30, 1976.
- Section 14.3 is amended as follows
14.3 Related Hours. The term "Related Hours" means hours of employment that are creditable under a Related Plan. Effective July 1, 2010, for benefits first payable prior to April 1, 2017 for the sole purpose of determining eligibility for an Early Retirement Benefit prior to age 55 with Total Credited Service of 42,500 hours under Section 3.2(b), Related Hours shall be treated as if they were Total Credited Service under this Plan only if such hours were worked prior to July 1, 2010. For benefits first payable on or after April 1, 2017, for the sole purpose of determining unreduced Early Retirement eligibility (on or after meeting the requirements, e.g. Age 56, 44,500 Covered Hours and Active Status as described in the preambles to Articles 3 and 4), Related Hours shall be treated as if they were Covered Hours under this Plan only if such hours were worked prior to July 1, 2010.
- The following paragraph is inserted after the first paragraph of section 15.5:
Participants in this Plan whose home Locals are 440 or 477 may also participate in the Inland Empire IBEW-NECA Pension Trust Fund. For Plan Years commencing on and after July 1, 2015, notwithstanding anything in this Plan to the contrary, no Plan Year in which at least 375 hours of contributions are made on behalf of a Participant to the Inland Empire IBEW-NECA Pension Trust Fund shall constitute a portion of a 'Grace Period' of such a Participant under this Plan.
- All other terms and conditions of the Plan shall remain in full force and effect.
Executed this 20th day of April, 2017 at Commerce, California.
By: Signature on File
By: Signature on File
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