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STATEMENT OF RIGHTS UNDER THE EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT INCOME SECURITY ACT OF 1974 (ERISA)
As a participant in the Plan, you are entitled to certain rights and protections under the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). ERISA provides that all Plan
participants are entitled to:
Receive Information About Your Plan and Benefits
- Examine, without charge, at the Plan Administrator's office and at other specified
locations, such as union halls and worksites, all documents governing the Plan,
including insurance contracts, 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
- Obtain, upon written request to the Plan Administrator, copies of documents
governing the operation of the Plan, including insurance contracts, collective
bargaining agreements, a copy of the latest annual report (Form 5500 Series) and a
copy of an updated Summary Plan Description. The Plan Administrator may make a
reasonable charge for the copies.
- Receive a summary of the Plan's annual financial report. The Plan Administrator
is required by law to furnish each participant with a copy of this Summary Annual
Report free of charge.
Continue Group Health Plan Coverage
- Continue health coverage for yourself, spouse or dependents if there is a loss of
coverage under the Health Plan as a result of a qualifying event. You or your
dependents may have to pay for such coverage. Review the Summary Plan
Description and the documents governing the Plan for the rules governing your
COBRA continuation coverage rights.
- Reduce or eliminate exclusionary periods of coverage for pre-existing conditions
under your group health plan, if you have creditable coverage from another plan.
You should be provided with a certificate of creditable coverage, free of charge, from
your group health plan or health insurance issuer when you lose coverage under the
Plan, when you become entitled to elect COBRA continuation coverage or when
your COBRA continuation coverage ceases, if you request it before losing coverage,
or if you request it up to 24 months after losing coverage. Without evidence of
creditable coverage, you may be subject to a pre-existing condition exclusion for 12
months (18 months for late enrollees) after your enrollment date in your new coverage.
Obtain a Statement of Pension Eligibility and Amount
- Obtain a statement telling you whether you have a right to receive a pension at
Normal Retirement Age (normally age 60) and if so, what your benefits would be
at Normal Retirement Age if you stop working under the Plan now. If you do not have
a right to a pension, the statement will tell you how many more years you have to
work to get a right to a pension. You must request this statement in writing. The Plan
is not required to give you this statement more than once every 12 months. The Plan
must provide the statement free of charge.
Prudent Actions by Plan Fiduciaries
In addition to creating rights for Plan participants, ERISA imposes duties upon the people
who are responsible for the operation of the employee benefit 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 health or 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 can 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 Plan Administrator 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 Plan Administrator.
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 thereof 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 misused 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 these costs
and fees. If you lose, the court may order you to pay these costs and fees, for example,
if it finds your claim is frivolous.
Assistance with Your Questions
If you have any questions about your Plan, you should contact the Plan Administrator. If
you have any questions about this statement or about your rights under ERISA, or if you
need assistance in obtaining documents from the Plan Administrator, you should contact
the nearest field office of the Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S.
Department of Labor, listed in your telephone directory or:
Division of Technical Assistance and Inquiries
Employee Benefits Security Administration
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20210.
You may also obtain certain publications about your rights and responsibilities under
ERISA by calling the Employee Benefits Security Administration or visit the EBSA website
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