Defined Benefit Pension Plan Document

Important Note:
Notwithstanding any information in these Plan Document pages or embedded links, for retirements that are first in pay status on or after April 1, 2017, certain Defined Benefit Plan provisions are scheduled to change in accordance with the adoption of Alternative Schedules 1 or 2 under the Second Critical Status Rehabilitation Plan.

ARTICLE 8 - DEATH BENEFIT AND DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY

This section modified by: Amendment 8. View Previous Language.

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.

This section modified by: Amendment 9. View Previous Language.

8.2 Amount of Pre-Retirement Death Benefit: Default Schedule Accruals

  1. Married Participants: Subject to the eligibility provisions of Section 8.1, should a married Participant with Default Schedule Accruals not already awarded die the surviving spouse shall be entitled to for such accruals a Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity (QPSA) under this Sub-Section.

    The annuity starting date, at the election of the surviving spouse and subject to the timely written application provisions of the Plan, shall be on and after the date the Participant, had the Participant lived, could have commenced early retirement benefits under the Plan but always subsequent to the date of the Participant's death. The annuity starting date of the QPSA shall not be later than the later of the Participant's Normal Retirement Date or the month following Participant's date of death.

    The monthly amounts of the QPSA shall be calculated as follows. First, based upon the accruals, annuity starting date and the birthdates of the Participant and surviving spouse calculate the amount of a Default Schedule 50% QJSA pension. Second, divide the foregoing amount by 2. The result shall be the amount awarded.

    An awarded QPSA shall terminate in the month following the death of the surviving spouse. There are no number of guaranteed payments. Should the surviving spouse die prior to the benefits commencing no benefits shall be payable to the surviving spouse or any other beneficiary.

    Should the effective date of a QPSA precede the application date the term, ‘annuity starting date' shall be replaced with the term, ‘retroactive annuity starting date' in administration of this Sub-Section.
  2. Unmarried Participants: For accruals earned under the Default Schedules of the Plan no Pre-Retirement Death Benefits are payable to any named or preference beneficiaries of a Participant who is unmarried at the time of death."

8.3 Amount of Pre-Retirement Death Benefit: Alternative Schedule Accruals

  1. Married Active Participants: Subject to the eligibility provisions of Section 8.1, should a married Active Participant with Alternative Schedule Accruals not already awarded die, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to for such accruals a Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity (QPSA) under this Sub-Section. Commencement of payments is subject to the written application provisions of the Plan.
    1. The annuity starting date of the QPSA shall be the first of the month following the month of the Active Participant's death.

      The monthly amounts of a QPSA shall be calculated as follows. First, based upon the accruals calculate the Active Participant's Normal Retirement single life annuity as of the Active Participant's Normal Retirement Date. Second, divide the foregoing amount by 2. The result shall be the amount awarded.

      Payments to the surviving spouse shall terminate on the month following the death of the surviving spouse.

      If upon the death of the surviving spouse the Participant is survived by one or more child under the age of 21, then the monthly annuity payments shall continue to such children as follows. Each surviving child under the age of 21 as of the first day of the month of payment shall receive an equal share of the monthly payment. These payments cease when there is no surviving child of the Participant under age 21. Child means a natural or adopted child of the Participant.

      A minimum of 120 times the monthly benefit amount of the QPSA benefit shall be paid. If upon termination of all of the foregoing payments, 59 or more monthly payments have already been issued, the balance of payments, if any, shall be paid in a single payment to the designated or preference beneficiaries of the surviving spouse in equal shares and subsequent thereto all payments shall terminate. If 58 or less monthly payments have been issued, the balance of the guaranteed payments shall be accelerated monthly to the designated or preference beneficiaries of the surviving spouse in equal shares so that by the 60th payment, all guaranteed payments will have been paid and then terminate.

    2. Certain but not all surviving spouses of Active Participants are eligible to reject the foregoing QPSA and elect an increased monthly QPSA for Alternate Schedule Accruals not previously awarded. If the increased QPSA is elected by the surviving spouse, no monthly benefit from such an award shall be paid to the surviving children of the Participant as set forth above, nor shall any number of minimum monthly benefit payments be guaranteed.

      The annuity starting date of the increased QPSA shall be the first of the month following the month of the Active Participant's death. The annuity starting date of this QPSA shall not be later than the month following Participant's date of death.

      The monthly amounts of this increased QPSA shall be calculated as follows. Based upon the accruals, annuity starting date and birth dates of the Participant and surviving spouse, calculate the amount of a 100% QJSA pension. The result shall be the amount of the increased monthly QPSA awarded.

      An increased QPSA benefit in pay status shall terminate in the month following the death of the surviving spouse. There are no number of guaranteed payments, no payments to surviving children under age 21 nor any payment to designated or preference beneficiaries of the surviving spouse. Should the surviving spouse die prior to benefits commencing, the surviving spouse's rejection of Section 8.3(a)(1) benefits shall be null and void and benefits will be paid in accord with Section 8.3(a)(1) commencing on the month following the surviving spouse's death, first to the children of the Participant who are then under the age of 21, if any, and then to the designated beneficiaries or preference beneficiaries of the surviving spouse in the manner set forth in Section 8.3(a)(1) following the death of a surviving spouse.

      A surviving spouse shall be entitled to reject the Section 8.3(a)(1) QPSA and elect the increased QPSA benefit under this Section 8.3(a)(2) only in the following circumstances.

      Either the Active Participant had satisfied the eligibility criteria for an unreduced Early Retirement Benefit equal to the Active Participant's Normal Retirement single life annuity prior to the Active Participant's death or the Active Participant and Spouse had completed option election forms within 31 days of an anticipated Annuity Starting Date, elected a100% QJSA pension and the Active Participant died subsequent to completion of the pension option election forms and prior to the proposed annuity starting date.

  2. Inactive Vested Married Participants: Subject to the eligibility provisions of Section 8.1, should a married Inactive Vested Participant with Alternative Schedule Accruals not already awarded die, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to, for such accruals, a Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity (QPSA) under this Sub-Section. Commencement of payments is subject to the written application provisions of the Plan.
    1. The Annuity Starting Date of the QPSA, at the election of the surviving spouse and subject to the timely written application provisions of the Plan shall be the earlier of the date the Participant, had the Participant lived, could have commenced actuarially reduced early retirement benefits under the Plan or attained age 55 but always subsequent to the date of the Participant's death.

      The monthly amount of a QPSA shall be calculated as follows. First, based upon the accruals, calculate the Active Participant's Normal Retirement single life annuity as of the Active Participant's Normal Retirement Date. Second, divide the foregoing amount by 2. The result shall be the amount awarded.

      Payments to the surviving spouse shall terminate on the month following the death of the surviving spouse.

      If upon the death of a surviving spouse, Participant is survived by one or more child under the age of 21, then the monthly annuity payment shall continue to such children as follows. Each surviving child under the age of 21 as of the first day of the month of payment shall receive an equal share of the monthly payment. These payments cease when there is no surviving child of the Participant under age 21. Child means a natural or adopted child of the Participant.

      A minimum of 60 times the monthly benefit amount of the QPSA benefit shall be paid. If upon termination of all of the foregoing payments, less than 60 monthly payments have been issued, the balance of payments shall be paid monthly to the designated or preference beneficiaries of the surviving spouse in equal shares until the 60th guaranteed payment has been paid and all guaranteed payments will then terminate.

    2. Upon the death of an Inactive Vested Participant who is not eligible to retire and who has not attained age 55, the surviving spouse may elect a QPSA with an annuity starting date no earlier than the month following the Inactive Vested Participant's death but such a monthly benefit shall be actuarially reduced to the Actuarial Equivalent of a QPSA benefit payable upon the date, had the Participant lived, the Participant would have attained age 55 and paid pursuant to part (1) of this Sub-Section.

  3. Unmarried Active Participants and Unmarried Inactive Vested Participants: Subject to the eligibility provisions of Section 8.1, should an unmarried Active Participant or unmarried Inactive Vested Participant with Alternative Schedule Accruals not already awarded die, benefits shall be payable for such accruals as follows under this Sub-Section.

    These death benefits or annuity payments shall commence on the first of the month following the month of the Participant's death.

    The monthly amount of the death benefit or annuity shall be calculated as follows. First, based upon the accruals calculate the Participant's Normal Retirement single life annuity as of the Participant's Normal Retirement Date. Second, divide the foregoing amount by 2. The result shall be the amount awarded.

    If upon death the Participant is survived by one or more child under the age of 21, then monthly annuity payments shall be made to such children as follows. Each surviving child under the age of 21 as of the first day of the month of payment, shall receive an equal share of the monthly payment. These payments cease when there is no surviving child of the Participant under age 21. Child means a natural or adopted child of the Participant.

    A minimum of 120 times the monthly amount of the death benefit or annuity shall be paid. If upon termination of all the foregoing annuity payments, 59 or more monthly payments have already been issued, the balance of payments, if any, shall be paid in single payment to the designated or preference beneficiaries of the Participant in equal shares and subsequent thereto all payments shall terminate. If 58 or less monthly annuity payments have been issued, the balance of guaranteed payments shall be accelerated monthly to the designated or preference beneficiaries of the Participant in equal shares so that by the 60th payment, all guaranteed payments have been paid and then terminate.

    If a Participant dies and is not survived by a child under the age of 21, the 120 guaranteed death benefit payments shall be paid at the rate of two payments per month in equal shares to the designated or preference beneficiaries of the Participant and shall then terminate.

    If an unmarried Participant is at any time not survived by any designated or preference beneficiary, death benefits shall be paid to the estate of the deceased Participant and if no estate of the Participant is established by probate proceedings or other operation of law, the only other payment payable will be to reimburse the Participant's reasonable funeral expenses, if any.

  4. Retroactive Annuity Starting Date: Should the effective date of any QPSA under this Section 8.3 precede the application date, the term "Annuity Starting Date" shall be replaced with the term "Retroactive Annuity Starting Date" in administration of this Section.

    In the event the Annuity Starting Date of a QPSA benefit is subsequent to the Participant's Normal Retirement Date, the amount of the QPSA shall not be less than the greater of the QPSA calculated under parts (a) or (b) or one-half of the QJSA pension amount premised upon the accruals, birth dates of the Participant and surviving spouse and an annuity starting date of the month following the month that Participant's death or the Required Minimum Distribution Date, whichever is earlier. Required interest shall be paid on any late Required Minimum Distributions in accord with Section 9.13(b).

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:

  1. 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.
    1. His spouse;
    2. His children, including legally adopted children;
    3. His parents;
    4. 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.

  1. 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.