Welcome to Plasterers Local Union 31
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Plasterers Local 31 Pension Plan

Pension Fund

C/O O.P. & C.M.I.A Combined Funds of Western PA, Inc.
1900 Andrew Street, Suite 202
Munhall, PA 15120
Telephone: (412) 464-2851 ext.11
Toll Free: (800) 628-7914
Fax: (412) 461-9923

Dear Participants and Beneficiaries:

We are pleased to distribute this new Summary Plan Description describing the provisions of the Plasterers Local 31 Pension Plan. (We refer to the Pension Plan as “the Plan” or “the Fund” in this booklet. Both of these mean the same thing.)

The effective date of this booklet is designated as May 1, 2005. It applies to all persons who are Participants in the Plan or who retire on or after that date, to be sure that as required by law, it reflects the terms of the Plan at or shortly before the time this booklet was first distributed. Also, in general, this booklet describes the essential terms of the formal Plan document as amended and restated effective June 1, 1998, plus later amendments. After the June 1, 1998 Amendment/Restatement was adopted, the Internal Revenue Service certified its determination of the Plan’s compliance with the requirements for qualified pension plans.

This booklet summarizes the eligibility rules for participation in the Plan, the benefits provided to those who are eligible and the procedures you must follow when applying for benefits. The Plan generally covers all employees who work within the territorial jurisdiction of the Plasterers Local 31 in employment for which an employer is required to make contributions to the Plan (generally, under the Plasterers Local 31 Collective Bargaining Agreement or another CBA, or in some cases, under another written agreement) and meet the Eligibility Rules as defined by the Trustees.

This booklet has attempted to summarize the major provisions of the plan and is designed to be understandable to you. You should note that the Plan is a defined contribution pension plan in which employer contributions made on your behalf are accounted for in an Individual Account. The contributions are accumulated with other Participants’ contributions and invested by an Investment Manager hired by the Fund Trustees to provide professional investment advice and services.

The booklet is the summary plan description of the Plan, and does not modify or serve as an interpretation of the formal Plan document. The Plan document contains all of the terms and conditions of the Plan and controls in the event of a conflict between this booklet and the plan document. The Fund’s Board of Trustees, who sponsor and administer the Plan, have the authority to interpret the terms of the Plan and to determine eligibility for benefits under the Plan, and they are the only persons with such authority.

If you wish to have a complete copy of the official Plan Document, you may request one in writing. It will be provided to you at a cost of $.25 per page. If you do not want to purchase the document but want to read it, you may do so by going to the Fund Office.

This is your benefit booklet. Make sure you read it from cover to cover and put it in a safe place for future reference. If at any time you have questions about the Plan, call or write the Fund Office for assistance. As changes occur in the Pension Plan, the Fund Office will advise you.

Yours very truly,

Board of Trustees


  1. Who Will Be a Participant: In general, if you are working for an Employer who has a collective bargaining agreement with Plasterers Union Local #31 and that agreement requires contributions to be made to the Pension Plan, you are a participant upon receipt by the Fund of those contributions.

  2. Plan Fiscal Year: The Plan Fiscal Year is the Calendar Year.

  3. Who Pays the Cost of The Pension Plan: Except for the Expenses of the Fund described in Section 1.9, the entire cost of the Pension Plan is under the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

  4. What is an Individual Account: An Individual Account is the account established and maintained for each participant into which is placed employer contributions made on your behalf. In general, it will be:

    1. The sum of all past and present contributions made on your behalf, Plus
    2. All investment earnings (realized and unrealized) credited to your account, Minus
    3. All investment losses (realized and unrealized) credited to your account Minus
    4. Your share of the expenses of operating the Fund, Minus
    5. All amounts paid out to you, your beneficiary or an alternate payee
  5. Can I Contribute to My Indiviual Account: No, a participant may not make personal contributions to their individual account. The only contributions that can be accepted must be in accordance with the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

  6. How Often is the Account Valued: All investment accounts are valued every day of the year.

  7. How Will the Pension Fund Assets Be Invested: The Pension Fund qualifies as a "404(c)" plan, whereby the law relieves the Trustees and other Plan Fiduciaries of the responsibilities for making all investment decisions regarding the Fund assets. A 404(c) plan permits the participants to direct the investment of their individual account according to the rules of Section 404(c) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA") and Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 2550.404c-1. As a result, the Fund's Fiduciaries, including the Trustees, will not be liable for losses that are a direct and necessary result of investment instructions the Trustees received from you.

    Once you have become a participant, you can transfer money from your existing account into one or more of several investment options. You can also designate and change the way new contributions to your account are allocated among the investment options.

    The investment options are selected and reviewed by the Trustees. They have varying levels of risk.

  8. Account Balance - Statements: The Fund employs a Record keeper, Fifth Third Bank, who keeps track of all transactions in your individual account. The Recordkeeper maintains a toll-free telephone number that will permit you to obtain the current value of each of the investments in your individual account.

    Toll Free Number: 1-866-258-4777

    Web site: Retire.53.com

    In addition, the Recordkeeper will send you a quarterly statement showing the contributions, investment earnings withdrawals and expenses applied to your account. If you believe that there are any discrepancies in your statement, you should contact the Recordkeeper or the Fund Office as soon as possible.

  9. Expenses: The Trustees carefully monitor the expenses of the Fund. These expenses include the cost of the Fund Office and Professionals (Lawyers, Accountants, Consultants, Recordkeeping Services, Investment Management, etc.) The expenses are assessed in two ways: First, a per-capita charge is applied directly to your account and shown on your statement. The second part is a percentage of the assets in your account. This part is deducted daily by the firm that manages the investments.

  10. Changing Investments: If you do not make any changes to your investment allocation, all contributions will be entered into the Default Fund. Details of the Default Fund and the other investment options will be distributed to you upon becoming a participant of the Plasterer’s Local 31 Pension Fund.

    You may also change investments daily by calling the Retirement Response Line (RRL). The RRL is a system that provides participants with twenty-four (24) hour access to their account information. Upon dialing the number, (866) 258-4777, you will be able to interact with the system by pressing the number pad on your touch tone telephone. A pin number will be assigned to you upon becoming eligible for participation in the Fund. The RRL will provide instructions on how to check balances, change election options, and change investment options. Any changes to your investments will result in a written confirmation being mailed to your home address on file with Fifth Third Bank. You may also change your investments over the internet at Retire.53.com.

  11. When are Benefits Payable From the Pension Fund: In general, you will receive the amounts in your Individual Account when:

    1. You retire- normal retirement age is 60, early retirement age is 55;
    2. you die prior to retirement;
    3. you become totally and permanently disabled;
    4. upon termination, when you have an individual account and employer contributions have not been made on your behalf for at least six (6) consecutive months.
  12. In What Form Will Pension Benefit Payments Be Made to Me: If you were married throughout the one year period ending on your Annuity Starting Date, the normal form of receiving benefit payments under this Plan shall be a Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity with your spouse. The Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity is a series of monthly payments, payable as long as you are alive and, if your spouse survives you, 50% of the monthly amount will be payable upon your death, to your spouse for life. You may also elect not to receive a Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity, in which event, your election must be consented to by your spouse in writing which must be witnessed by a notary public.

    You may then elect to have the balance in your account payable in monthly installments not to exceed 10 years or one lump sum or any combination of the two. In the event that you die prior to retirement, your surviving spouse, if you have been married for at least one (1) year prior to your death, will receive a Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Annuity. The earliest date that your spouse may receive a payment is the month following the month in which you would have attained the earliest retirement age. However, your spouse may elect to receive a lump sum distribution of your account balance payable upon your death. If you are married and choose anyone other than your spouse to be your beneficiary and die before you start receiving Annuity payments from the Fund, your spouse, if you have been married for at least one (1) year prior to your death, must be the beneficiary for at least one-half of your account.

  13. Rollover and Penalties for Early Withdrawals: Under current Federal regulations, in an effort to encourage savings for retirement purposes, certain penalties will be charged against any withdrawal or distribution from any qualified plan. The penalty is non-deductible 10% excise tax on the entire taxable amount of the withdrawal or distribution. This penalty is in addition to any income tax you might be liable for on the withdrawal or distribution. The penalty covers withdrawals and distributions due to termination and hardship benefits.

    Under your Plan, the only exceptions to this rule (10% excise tax) are as follows

    1. A distribution or withdrawal after you have reached age 59 ½
      1. Unless you terminated employment under the Plan at or after age 55.
    2. A distribution to your beneficiary due to your death
    3. A distribution to you due to your total and permanent disability;
    4. You may also, under most circumstances, transfer your distribution to a "Rollover IRA". If this is done, there is no immediate tax obligation and no penalty. Additional information on Rollovers is available from the Fund Office.

    If you receive a distribution from another qualified retirement plan that permits Rollovers, you may apply to transfer that distribution into a Rollover account in this Fund.

  14. How to Apply for a Benefit: You should file an application for Retirement, Total and Permanent Disability, or Termination Benefits with the Trustees. Your designated beneficiary or the executor of your estate will file an application in case of a death benefit. The proper form will be provided to you upon request at the office of the Pension Plan Administrator.

  15. Appeals Procedure: If your claim for benefits is denied, you will receive a written notice explaining the reasons for denial. You will then have 60 days after you receive the denial to request in writing an appeal of your case before the Board of Trustees. You can appeal personally or through a representative. The Trustees will review any new evidence or testimony that you may have. After review, the Trustees will notify you in writing of their final decision, which will include explanations and reasons if your claim is denied.

  16. Qualified Domestic Relations Orders: The laws governing this type of plan generally provide that a participant's benefits under a qualified plan cannot be assigned, pledged or otherwise encumbered. The Retirement Equity Act, effective January 1, 1985, established an exception to this rule for "qualified" domestic relations orders - under which the plan may be required to pay benefits to a person (alternate payee) other than a participant. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 amended and further clarified this exception for qualified domestic relations orders.

    In general, a domestic relations order (DRO) means any judgment, decree, or order that relates to the provision of child support, alimony payments or marital property rights which is made pursuant to a particular state's domestic relations law (including a community property law). If the DRO is found to be a "qualified domestic relations order" (QDRO), the plan must make a payment of all, or part of, a participant's benefits to the alternate payee(s) specified in the DRO. An alternate payee is a spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent of a participant who is recognized by the DRO as having a right to receive all, or a portion, of the participant's benefits under the plan. An alternate payee may designate a representative for receipt of copies of notices and plan information that are sent to the alternate payee with respect to a DRO. To be "qualified" under ERISA the DRO must satisfy certain requirements.

    To be qualified, a domestic relations order must clearly specify:

    1. the participant and each alternate payee covered by the DRO by name and mailing address,
    2. the amount or percentage of the participant's benefits to be paid to each alternate payee, or the manner of determining the alternate payee's benefit,
    3. the number of payments to the alternate payee or the period during which payments are to be made to the alternate payee to which the DRO applies, and
    4. the plan or plans to which the DRO applies
    5. any other information necessary to properly administer the DRO.
    6. In addition, the DRO to be qualified cannot require the plan to:
      1. provide benefits under a form of payment that is not provided for under the plan,
      2. provide benefit amounts which would be greater than the participant's account balance, or
      3. Pay to an alternate payee benefit amounts which are required to be paid to another individual under a prior domestic relations order.
    7. While an DRO generally may not require a plan to provide a type or form of benefit not otherwise provided under the plan, the law includes special provisions which permit benefits to be paid to an alternate payee before the participant begins to receive benefits. However, the following requirements must be met:
      1. Benefits to the alternate payee may not begin before the participant reaches his or her "earliest retirement age". The participant's "earliest retirement age" is the earlier of:
      2. the age the participant could have begun to receive benefits under the plan, if he or she were "separated from service" as defined in the Plan (but not earlier than age 50)
      3. the earliest age the participant could elect to have his or her payments commence
    8. The DRO must provide for a benefit form available under the plan to the participant. However, a joint and survivor annuity for the alternate payee and his or her new spouse is not permitted.
    9. In no event shall any payments be made to an alternate payee until a qualified person, such as the plan's legal counsel, has determined that the DRO is qualified.
    10. Note: If the plan administrator is notified that a DRO is being sought, the plan administrator may delay payments to a participant in anticipation of such DRO.
    11. The law provides that the plan administrator shall have a reasonable length of time in which to determine whether an DRO is qualified. The plan administrator is to separately account for the amount called for in the DRO which would be payable to the alternate payee during an 18 month period beginning at the time the proposed QDRO requires payments to be made to the alternate payee but not earlier than the receipt by the Plan of the proposed QDRO. If benefits are in pay status, the amounts called for in the DRO will be withheld during this period from the participant's benefit.
    12. While the law requires only separate accounting of amounts currently payable to an alternate payee during the determination period, legal counsel may determine that an immediate segregation of the entire potential interest of the alternate payee is required in order to have the account records necessary to enable the plan to comply with the DRO.
    13. If the DRO is determined to be nonqualified before the 18 month period ends, the plan administrator may (i) continue any withholding of benefit payments, and (ii) continue any separate accounting until the end of the 18-month period if he or she has notice that the alternate payee is attempting to rectify any deficiencies in the DRO.
    14. If the plan administrator is unable to resolve the DRO’s qualified status within 18 months of the date payments would first be required under the DRO, then the DRO shall be treated as not qualified with respect to continued withholding of any benefit payments. All payments withheld during this period (together with interest thereon) are to be paid to the individual who would receive them if the DRO was never issued. Furthermore any separate accounting will be eliminated, and if a separate account was established under a defined contribution plan the accumulated segregated amounts (together with earnings thereon) must be paid to the participant or transferred to his or her plan account. If the DRO is found to be qualified after the 18-month period, the provisions of the DRO shall only be applied prospectively.
  17. Plan Termination: The Plan may be terminated by the Board of Trustees and, in such event, all of the funds of the Plan shall be used for the exclusive benefit of Participants as of the date of termination of the Plan and to defray the expenses of the termination. In the event of discontinuance of the Plan, the net value of your individual account shall be determined as of the date of discontinuance. Expenses of terminating the Plan shall be deducted pro-rata from the net value of your individual account, and the balance shall be paid to you in one lump sum or applied to purchase an annuity for you under a group annuity contract as the Trustee shall in their sole discretion determine. Any annuity so purchased may be a fixed dollar or variable annuity, or both, and will be subject in all respect to the terms of the group annuity contract under which it is purchased. Upon Plan termination or partial termination or discontinuance of contributions, your interest in the Plan as of the date of Plan termination, partial termination or discontinuance of contributions will be non-forfeitable. No merger or, consolidation with, or transfer of assets or liabilities to any other plan shall be made unless your benefit after the termination, merger, consolidation or transfer, is equal to or greater than the your benefit immediately before the merger, consolidation or transfer if the Plan had then terminated.