Defined Benefit Pension Summary Plan Description

Appeals Procedure

1. Notice of Claim Denial

If your pension application is denied in whole or in part, the Administrative Office will send you a written notice of denial, which will contain the following information:

  1. The specific reason for the denial;
  2. Specific references to the Plan provisions on which the denial is based;
  3. A description of any additional material or information which would be needed to have your benefit application approved and an explanation of why such material or information is needed;
  4. Information on the steps you should take if you wish to submit your claim for review; and
  5. A description of the review procedure and time limits applicable including a statement of your right to bring a civil action under ERISA Section 502(a) following exhaustion of the Plan's appeal procedures.

A notice of denial will be sent to you within 90 days (or 45 days for Partial Disability Pensions) after your benefit application is filed. If, because of special circumstances, more time is needed to approve or deny your application or calculate the amount of your benefit, the Administrative Office will send you a notice which will describe the special circumstances and tell you how much more time is needed. This extension will not exceed 90 days (or 30 days for Partial Disability Pensions only). For Partial Disability Pensions only, the time may be extended for up to another 30 days (for a total of 105 days).

2. Appeals

If you believe that you have wrongfully been denied a benefit to which you are entitled, you may appeal the benefit denial. If you wish to appeal, you must submit a written application for your appeal to the Administrative Office within 60 days (or 180 days for Partial Disability Pensions only) after you have received the notice that your benefit application was denied.

You or your authorized representative may then review the documents related to your case and submit any written comments and additional information which will support your claim.

The Board of Trustees, or a Committee set up for this purpose, will then review your benefit application and its denial and will notify you in writing of the decision regarding your benefits. You have the right to participate via the telephone before a Committee of the Board of Trustees to review your case. A decision will be rendered upon appeal at the Board of Trustees' Meeting that immediately follows the Plan's receipt of a request for review, unless the request is made within 30 days of the Board of Trustees' Meeting. In such case, the Board may make a benefit determination on appeal at the second meeting following the Trust's receipt of the request for review. However, if special circumstances require an extension of time for processing, the decision will be rendered not later than the third meeting following receipt of the request. Whenever special circumstances require an extension of time for processing, written notice of the extension will be furnished to you before the extension period begins.

The Board of Trustees will notify you of the benefit determination as soon as possible after the meeting, but not later than five (5) days after the benefit determination is made. The decision will be final and binding upon all parties. The decision will include specific reasons for the decision and specific references to the Plan provisions on which the decision is based.