A.  Becoming a Participant in the Plan. You are a Participant after:

1.  Employer contributions have been made for you totaling at least $250, provided that the contributions were made during each of 12 or more separate calendar months.


2.  You completed at least 1000 Hours of Service in any 12 consecutive month period with one or more Contributing Employers.  An Hour of Service is any hour for which you were compensated by your employer, including vacations, holidays, and sick pay.

B.  Service Credit. As a Participant, you receive one year of Service Credit for each calendar year during which employer contributions were made on your behalf.  If you had less than 1000 Hours of Service during the calendar year in which you first entered the Plan, you will receive Service Credit for the nearest number of whole months for which contributions were received.
For Vesting purposes only, you will also receive Service Credit if you leave covered employment but remain continuously employed by the same Contributing Employer.
C.  Vesting.  By becoming Vested you are assured of receiving a pension at Normal Retirement Age, 65, even if you leave covered employment.  You are vested when you have 5 years of Service Credit (10 years if no credit was earned after 1988.)
D.  Break in Service  (Loss of Participation). If you are not vested when your employment stops, a Break in Service will occur if a contribution is not made on your behalf for 5 consecutive years.  Once you incur a Break in Service, all Service Credit is canceled and you do not qualify for a pension benefit.
E.  Re-employment After Retirement. Once your pension begins, you may continue working in the industry in which you were covered under the plan without having your benefit suspended as long as you work no more than 10 days in a calendar month.  You are not entitled to a pension payment for a month in which you work more than 10 days, except that after April 1 of the year following the calendar year in which you reach age 70½, there is no restriction on your employment as a pensioner.
F.  Contributions After Retirement. Contributions credited after your Normal or Early pension begins will be used in recalculating your pension amount on an annual basis, provided that new contributions total at least $50.  The increased pension amount is effective beginning with the year after the new contributions were received.  For the recalculations from contributions credited after 2002, where more than 10 days are worked in a month, the additional pension accrued will be reduced by the actuarial equivalent of the pension payments, but will be at least the amount that results from a formula of 0.5% of contributions on or after May 1, 2009 (1% for contributions between January 2003 and May 2009).
Contributions received as an early retirement incentive (buyout) will be credited on a monthly basis as if you had continued to work, using a pension formula of 0.5% for buyouts accepted on or after May 1, 2009 or 1% for buyouts accepted between September 1, 2003 and May 1, 2009.

Contributions received on behalf of a Disability Pensioner will not be credited until the Pensioner reaches age 65.  Those contributions will be credited in a single sum at the pension formula in effect on that date.

G.  Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO). A court order or judgment made under state domestic relations law can provide for a division of your benefit to your spouse, former spouse, child or other dependent, provided that it is in a form that meets legal requirements and is acceptable to the Plan.  You should notify the Plan Office if such a division is being considered, so that it can provide, without charge, a sample QDRO that will be acceptable to the Plan and guidance on procedures.
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