Connecticut Carpenters Pension Fund

 

 

Procedures for Determining the Qualified Status of Domestic Relations Orders

and Participant Benefit Disclosure Policy

as restated effective January 1, 2004

 

 

 

            The Connecticut Carpenters Pension Fund (the “Fund”) has adopted the following procedures for determining the qualified status of domestic relations orders and administering distributions with respect to such orders under the Pension Plan (the “Plan”) maintained by the Fund.  A domestic relations order is any judgment, decree, or order (including approval of a property settlement agreement) made pursuant to a state domestic relations law which relates to the provision of child support, alimony payments, or marital property rights to a spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent of a participant.

 

            The Fund has also adopted a policy with respect to the disclosure of a participant’s benefit information in connection with domestic relations proceedings.

 

I.          Procedures Upon Receipt of a Domestic Relations Order

 

            When a domestic relations order (the “Order”) is received, the Fund Office will act in accordance with the following procedures:

 

            A.        The Fund Office will note the receipt of the Order on appropriate records.  Such records will indicate that distribution of a participant’s benefits may now be affected by that Order.

 

            B.         Within thirty (30) days after receipt of the Order, the Fund Office will notify the participant whose benefits are affected by the Order and all alternate payees named in the Order of the receipt of the Order.  A sample notice is attached as Exhibit A.  Such notification will include a copy of these Procedures for Determining the Qualified Status of Domestic Relations Orders (the “Procedures”).

 

            The Fund Office will send separate letters of notification by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the addresses of the participant and alternate payee specified in the Order.  If the Order does not specify an address, the letter will be sent to the participant’s or alternate payee’s last known address.  The Fund Office also will forward notification of receipt of the Order and a copy of these Procedures to any attorney representing a participant or alternate payee of whom the Fund Office has notice.

 

            C.        The Fund Office will require that it be furnished with a complete copy of the Order, which is certified by the clerk of the appropriate court.  If an Order received by the Fund Office does not meet this requirement, the Fund Office will coordinate with the Fund’s Legal Counsel to notify the participant, alternate payee, and any attorney representing the participant or alternate payee of whom the Fund Office has notice that the Order must comply with this requirement as a condition of its qualified status.  Thereafter, the Fund Office will refer the Order to Legal Counsel to determinate its qualified status.

 

            D.        During the period in which the qualified status of the Order is being determined, the Fund Office, subject to procedures, will defer payment of and separately account for any amounts which would have been payable to the alternate payee under the Order.  If the amount payable to the alternate payee is uncertain, all benefit payments will be deferred.  Separate accounting may be accomplished by maintaining a bookkeeping account for the benefits in dispute unless, on the advice of the Fund’s Accountant, physically segregating and investing assets would be appropriate.  This paragraph D applies only when a written document purporting to be an Order is received by the Fund Office.  The Fund will have no obligation to defer payment based on telephone calls or notices from a putative alternate payee or any counsel.

 

II.        Procedures for Determining the Qualified Status of a Domestic Relations Order.

 

            The Fund’s Legal Counsel will determine whether or not an Order is a qualified domestic relations order (“QDRO”) within a reasonable period after Legal Counsel’s receipt of the Order and pursuant to the procedures set forth in this policy.

 

            If necessary, Legal Counsel may require submission of actuarial data and documents and may seek the advice of the Fund’s Consultant and Actuary regarding interpretation of the Order’s instructions on amounts payable to the alternate payee.

 

            A.        A QDRO must be created or recognize the existence of an alternate payee’s right to, or assign to an alternate payee the right to, receive all or a portion of the benefits payable with respect to a participant under the Plan.  An alternate payee is any spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent of a participant who is recognized by an Order as having a right to receive all, or a portion of, the benefits payable under a plan with respect to such participant.

 

            B.         A QDRO must clearly specify the following:

 

                        (1)        that is applies to the Connecticut Carpenters Pension Fund,

 

(2)        the name and last known mailing address (if any) of the participant and the name and mailing address of each alternate payee covered by the Order.

 

(3)        the amount or percentage of the participant’s benefits to be paid by the Plan to each such alternate payee, or the manner in which such amount or percentage is to be determined, and

 

(4)        the number of payments or period to which such Order applies and the date when payments are to commence to the alternate payee,

 

provided that, with respect to paragraphs (1) and (2), above, in accordance with Question 2-9 of the Department of Labor’s guidance on QDROs, an Order will not be denied qualified status solely because it fails to include certain factual identifying information which is readily available to the Fund Office or which may be readily supplied to the Fund Office or Legal Counsel by the participant, alternate payee, or any attorney representing the participant or alternate payee of whom the Fund Office has notice.

 

            C.        A QDRO must not require:

 

(1)        the payment of any type or form of benefit, or any option, not otherwise provided under the Plan,

 

(2)        the payment of increased benefits (determined on the basis of actuarial value),

 

(3)        the payment of benefits to an alternate payee which are required to be paid to another alternate payee under another Order previously determined  to be a QDRO, or

 

(4)        that payments of benefits be made in the form of a joint and survivor annuity with respect to the alternate payee and the alternate payee’s spouse.

 

            D.        A QDRO will not affect benefits paid or in the process of payment before receipt of the Order.  The Fund will have no obligation to attempt to recover any such benefits paid or in the process of payment.  A QDRO will not affect the type and form of benefit payment elected by a participant before the QDRO is received by the Fund.

 

E.         (1)       An Order will not be denied qualified status solely because it requires payments to an alternate payee to begin on or after the date on which the participant attains his or her earliest retirement age under the Plan whether or not the participant actually retires on that date.

 

            (2)        The amount payable under a QDRO following the participant’s earliest retirement age must not exceed the amount which the participant is (or would be) entitled to receive at such time (taking into account only the present value of the benefits actually accrued and not taking into account the present value of any early retirement subsidy provided by the Plan).

 

            (3)        Payments to the alternate payee after the participant’s earliest retirement age may be paid in any form permitted under the Plan other than a joint and survivor annuity with respect to the alternate payee and the alternate payee’s spouse. 

 

            (4)        For purposes of these Procedures, the term “earliest retirement age” means the earliest age a participant could commence receiving retirement benefits from the Plan in accordance with Section 414(p)(4)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.  The terms of the Plan (which are subject to change) presently permit early retirement benefits if (1) the participant is age 55 and (i) has at least 15 Pension Credits, or (ii) has at least 10 Pension Credits, is totally and permanently disabled, and such disability is evidenced by a Social Security Disability Award; or (2) the total of his age (including full and partial years up to the last full calendar month) and his full and partial Pension Credits (including Past, Special and Future Pension Credits) is at least ninety-two (92), the participant has attained vested status and has worked in Covered Employment for at least 240 hours in one Plan Year beginning on or after April 1, 1991; or (3) the participant becomes totally and permanently disabled, as evidenced by a Social Security Disability Award, and he (i) has attained age 55 with 15 Pension Credits or (ii) he retires on or after August 1, 2002 with at least 10 Pension Credits and has earned at least 2/10 of a Pension Credit for work in a calendar year commencing on or after January 1, 2001 and earned at least 2/10 of a Pension Credit for work in Covered Employment in the Plan Year when the disability was incurred or the immediately preceding Plan Year; or (4) the Participant is entitled to a Service Pension (meaning he retires after August 1, 2002 and has earned at least 30 Pension Credits or 30 Years of Vesting Service) provided he has earned at least 2/10 of a Pension Credit for work in calendar year 2001 or 2002 or first became a Participant after 2002, and has accumulated at least 30 Pension Credits or 40 Years of Vesting Service for work in Covered Employment or reciprocated contributions without regard to Related Plan Pension Credits.  (However, if an individual who was a Participant prior to 2003 failed to earn at least 2/10 of a Pension Credit in calendar year 2001 or 2002, he is not eligible for a Service Pension unless he returns to Covered Employment in one of Connecticut’s local unions and earns the number of Pension Credits under the Plan which equals the number of consecutive Plan Years in which he earned less than 2/10 of a Pension Credit.)

 

 

            F.         An Order will not be interpreted to entitle an alternate payee to lump sum, pre-retirement, or post-retirement death benefits, or to benefit increases adopted after the Order is issued, unless the Order specifically covers such death benefits or benefit increases.  An Order cannot require that all or part of an Assigned Benefit revert to the Participant at the death of the Alternate Payee.

 

            G.        An Order will not be denied qualified status solely because it provides for a form of benefit no longer available under the Plan on account of a Plan amendment or a change of law after the Order was issued.

 

            H.        An Order will not be denied qualified status solely because it treats the former spouse of a participant as a surviving spouse of such participant for purposes of a joint and survivor annuity or a pre-retirement survivor annuity.

 

            I.          Upon determining the qualified status of the Order, Legal Counsel will notify the Fund Office in writing of its finding.  If the Order is not qualified, Legal Counsel will include in its letter to the Fund Office the reason(s) why, in the opinion of Legal Counsel, the Order fails to qualify.

 

III.       Procedures Following the Determination of the Status of a Domestic Relations Order

 

            Upon receiving Legal Counsel’s determination of the Order’s qualified status, the Fund Office will act in accordance with the following procedures.

 

            A.        The Fund Office will promptly notify in writing the participant, each alternate payee, and any attorney known to be representing the persons named in the Order of the qualified status of the Order.  See sample notices attached as Exhibits B and C.

 

            B.         If the Order is qualified, the Fund Office will make payment to the alternate payee as provided in the QDRO.  If payment of amounts to which the alternate payee is entitled was deferred during the time the status of the Order was being determined, and if the Order is deemed qualified within eighteen (18) months after the date payments were due to commence under the Order, the Fund Office will distribute such amounts including interest thereon, if any (computed in accordance with IRS regulations), to the alternate payee.  The Fund Office will make further payment of benefits in accordance with the QDRO.

 

            C.        If the order is not qualified, the Fund Office will distribute benefits under the Plan as if there had been no Order.  If benefits were in pay status and were separately accounted for pending the determination of the Order’s qualified status, the Fund Office will pay such amounts including interest thereon, if any (computed in accordance with IRS regulations), to the person or persons entitled thereto.  If an amended Order is submitted to the Fund Office at a later date, the Fund Office and Legal Counsel will proceed in the same manner as with an initial domestic relations order.

 

            D.        If the qualified status of an Order is unresolved at the end of the eighteen (18) month period, the Fund Office will pay deferred amounts including interest thereon, if any, to the person or persons who would have been entitled to such amounts if there had been no Order.

 

            E.         If an Order is deemed qualified after the close of the eighteen (18) month period, the Fund Office will apply the terms of such Order on a prospective basis only.

 

            F.         If the participant or alternate payee disputes the decision of Legal Counsel and the Fund Office on the qualified status of an Order, the dispute will be resolved in accordance with the Plan’s procedures for appealing a denial of benefits or pension award.

 


IV.       QDRO Form

 

            Attached as Exhibit D is a “form” QDRO.  The form QDRO, if properly completed and issued by a court having jurisdiction, will qualify as a QDRO under the Plan’s rules.  No party to a domestic relations proceeding is under any obligation to utilize the Plan’s form QDRO.

 

            A.        The form QDRO provides for a benefit to the alternate payee of an agreed upon percentage of the total benefit accrued by the participant as of a specified date.  The benefit will be paid to the alternate payee in the form of a Ten Year Certain and Life Pension after a properly completed Application of Benefits form has been received and approved by the Trustees.  A Ten Year Certain and Life Pension provides monthly payments from the Fund for the alternate payee’s life, but if the alternate payee should die before 120 monthly payments have been made, the balance of the 120 payments will be made to the alternate payee’s beneficiary.

 

B.         (1)        The form QDRO provides that the benefit will be paid to the alternate payee in the form of a Ten Year Certain and Life Pension beginning on the first day of the month following the participant’s normal retirement age.  “Normal retirement age” means the later of:

 

                        (i)         the participant’s 65th birthday; or

 

                        (ii)        in the case of a participant who commences participation in the Plan within five (5) years before attaining age 65, the fifth anniversary date on which the participant commences participation in the Plan.

 

            (2)        The alternate payee may elect to receive benefits in the form of a Ten Year Certain and Life Pension beginning on the first day of the month following the participant’s earliest retirement age, as defined in Section II, E(4), above.  However, if benefits are payable to the alternate payee on or after the participant’s earliest retirement age, but before his or her normal retirement age, as defined in Section IV, B(1), above, the benefits payable to the alternate payee will be actuarially reduced in accordance with Section II, C(2), above.

 

            (3)        Benefits must begin to be paid to the alternate payee under the form QDRO no later than April 1st of the year following the year in which the participant reaches (or would have reached) age 70 ½.

 

            C.        After the approval of the form QDRO by the Plan, the death of the participant will have no effect on the alternate payee’s right to a benefit.  If the alternate payee dies before the payment of the alternate payee’s benefit has been made, the Plan shall pay any pre-retirement death benefits payable under the Plan to the alternate payee’s designated beneficiary.  If no beneficiary has been designated, the alternate payee’s spouse shall be entitled to the payment of any pre-retirement death benefits.  If there is no spouse, payment of any such death benefits will be made to the alternate payee’s estate.

            D.        Participants and/or alternate payees may wish to use the form QDRO in Exhibit D, or variations of this form, in structuring domestic relations orders.  Be advised however, that although Orders using the form will generally qualify under the Plan’s rules, the form may not deal with all of the terms of the judgment or settlement and may not divide the benefits in the manner intended.

 

            E.         A party to a domestic relations proceeding who elects to utilize the form QDRO should carefully review all of its terms. The Plan makes no representations, promises or guarantees as to its suitability to any particular judgment or situation, and assumes no liability of any kind to any party resulting from its use.

 

V.        Administrative Fees

 

            In accordance with Department of Labor ruling 94-32A, there will be no legal, actuarial or administrative fee charged to a participant or any alternate payee or potential alternate payee for the review by the Fund of a domestic relations order and the determination of its qualified status in accordance with the law and the Procedures outlined above.  If any future Department of Labor ruling or bulletin permits the Fund to impose a charge to defray the costs of determining an Order’s qualified status, then the Fund Trustees shall be permitted to impose charges upon notice to participants without the necessity of amending these Procedures.

 

VI.       Fund’s Policy with respect to Disclosing Participant Benefit Information.

 

            Upon receipt of:  (1) an Order, (2) a subpoena, or (3) other evidence which is acceptable to the Trustees, in connection with a domestic relations proceeding involving a participant in the Fund, the Fund may disclose information regarding such participant’s entitlement to benefits under the Fund, if any, and other pension benefit information which is necessary to prepare a QDRO which relates to such participant.  This information may be directly provided to the prospective alternate payee of such participant, or to any attorney representing the prospective alternate payee of whom the Fund Office has notice.  All disclosures under this Section VI will be made in accordance with Question 2-1 of the Department of Labor’s guidance on QDROs.

 

 

I certify that these related Procedures

were adopted by unanimous vote of the

Board of Trustees at a meeting held on

November 20, 2003.

 

 

/s/    Richard S. Monarca                 

Fund Director

November 20, 2003.

 

 

 

 

Exhibit A

 

Notice of Receipt of Domestic Relations Order

 

[on Fund letterhead – to be sent separately by certified mail, return receipt requested, to participant, alternate payee(s), and any attorney representing a participant or alternate payee of whom the Fund Office has notice.  If the participant is deceased and the order will affect the distribution of benefits to a beneficiary, such beneficiary should also receive this letter]

 

[Date]

 

Dear ________________________:

 

The Connecticut Carpenters Pension Fund (the “Fund”) has received a copy of an order entered in the case of ____________________ v. ____________________ on _____________, 20____.  Such order constitutes a domestic relations order as defined in Section 414(p) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

 

Federal law directs the Fund to determine whether this domestic relations order is “qualified” pursuant to written procedures.  A qualified domestic relations order requires that the Fund pay all of a portion of the participant’s benefits to an alternate payee.  Therefore, if this order is “qualified”, it will affect the distribution of the participant’s retirement and/or death benefits.

 

A copy of our Procedures for Determining the Qualified Status of Domestic Relations Orders is enclosed.   You will be notified of the Fund’s determination of the order’s qualified status as soon as it is made.  In the interim, while the Fund is determining whether the order is qualified, federal law requires that the Fund defer payment of any benefits in dispute.  To ensure the expeditious handling of this matter, the alternate payee should keep the Fund Office advised of his or her current mailing address.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Pension Department

 

Enclosure


Exhibit B

 

Notice of Determination That Order is Qualified

 

 

[on Fund letterhead – to be sent separately by certified mail, return receipt requested, to participant, alternate payee(s), and any attorney representing a participant or alternate payee of whom the Fund Office has notice.  If the participant is deceased and the order will affect the distribution of benefits to a beneficiary, such beneficiary should also receive this letter]

 

 

[Date]

 

Dear _________________:

 

On ___________, 20___, the Connecticut Carpenters Pension Fund (the “Fund”) received a copy of an order in the case of _______________ v. ________________.  As the order constituted a domestic relations order as defined in section 414(p) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), the Fund proceeded to determine its qualified status.

 

The Fund has determined that the order is a qualified domestic relations order (“QDRO”) as defined in Code section 414(p).  Federal law requires that the Fund distribute all or a portion of the participant’s benefits to the alternate payee in accordance with the directives of this QDRO.

 

We are enclosing a copy of the opinion of the Fund’s Legal Counsel regarding the qualified status of the order dated ___________________, 20___.  This notice is conditioned upon the interpretations of the Fund with respect to the QDRO.

 

To effectuate the QDRO, the Fund will reduce any benefits to which the participant is entitled, and will make any future benefit payments in accordance with the directives of the QDRO.  If distribution of benefits was deferred pending the determination of the order’s qualified status, such deferred amounts will be paid out including any interest thereon, to the alternate payee should keep the Fund Office advised of his or her currently mailing address.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Pension Department

 


Exhibit C

 

Notice of Determination that Order is Not Qualified

 

 

 

[on Fund letterhead – to be sent separately by certified mail, return receipt requested, to participant, alternate payee(s), and any attorney representing a participant or alternate payee of whom the Fund Office has notice.  If the participant is deceased and the order will affect the distribution of benefits to a beneficiary, such beneficiary should also receive this letter]

 

 

[Date]

 

Dear _________________:

 

On ________________, 20____, the Connecticut Carpenters Pension Fund (the “Fund”) received a copy of an order in the case of ___________________ v. ___________________.  As the order constitutes a domestic relations order as defined in Section 414(p) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, the Fund proceeded to determine its qualified status.

 

The order is not a qualified domestic relations order.  We are enclosing a copy of the opinion of the Fund’s Legal Counsel dated ______________, 20___, stating the reasons why the order failed to qualify.

 

The Fund Office will distribute benefits under the Plan as if there had been no order.  If benefits were in pay status and were separately accounted for pending the qualification determination, the Fund Office will pay such amounts, including interest thereon, if any, to the person or persons entitled thereto.

 

Please refer to the Fund’s Procedures for Determining the Qualified Status of Domestic Relations Orders for a description of qualification requirements of domestic relations orders for future submissions.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Pension Department

 

Enclosure

 

 

 

 

 

CONNECTICUT CARPENTERS PENSION FUND

 

SAMPLE FORM FOR

PREPARATION OF QUALIFIED DOMESTIC RELATIONS ORDER

(Instructions in Italics)

 

[JURISDICTION]

 

 

            WHEREAS, the marriage between plaintiff and defendant was terminated pursuant to a Judgment dated      [date]     ; and

 

            WHEREAS, this QUALIFIED DOMESTIC RELATIONS ORDER (the "Order") provides for the division and disposition of all or part of the benefits accrued by [name] (the Pension Plan "Participant") under the Connecticut Carpenters Pension Plan (the "Plan") and grants [name] (the "Alternate Payee") rights in such benefits on the terms set forth in this Order; and

 

            WHEREAS, this Order has been issued pursuant to state domestic relations law which relates to the provision of child support, alimony payments, or marital property rights of the Alternate Payee; and

 

            WHEREAS, this Order is intended to constitute a Qualified Domestic Relations Order ("QDRO") satisfying the requirements of Section 414(p) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code") and Section 206(d) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended ("ERISA"), and is to be administered and interpreted accordingly.

 

            NOW, THEREFORE, GOOD CAUSE HAVING BEEN SHOWN, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

 

1.         Addresses.

            The name, date of birth, Social Security number, current mailing address and telephone number of the Participant are:

 

                        Name:                                                             

                        Date of Birth:                                                   

                        Social Security No:                                          

                        Address:                                                          

                                                                                               

                                                                                               

                        Telephone: (___)                                             

 

            The name, date of birth, Social Security number, current mailing address and telephone number of the Alternate Payee are:

 

                        Name:                                                             

                        Date of Birth:                                                   

                        Social Security No:                                          

                        Address:                                                          

                                                                                               

                                                                                               

                        Telephone: (___)                                             

 

            If applicable, the name, current mailing address and telephone number of the Alternate Payee's legal representative are:

 

                        Name:                                                             

                        Address:                                                          

                                                                                               

                                                                                               

                        Telephone: (___)                                             

 

            The Alternate Payee shall keep the Fund Director informed of his or her current address and telephone number.  Notice of change of address or telephone number shall be made in writing to the Fund Director, addressed as follows:

 

Fund Director

Connecticut Carpenters Pension Fund

10 Broadway

Hamden, CT  06518

 

(or to such other address as the Fund Director may specify in a written notice to the Alternate Payee).

 

2.         Benefits Assigned to Alternate Payee.

            The Participant hereby assigns to the Alternate Payee, upon the conditions hereinafter set forth, _______ percent of the monthly benefit of $________ accrued by the Participant during the period commencing _____________ and ending _______________.  [The period usually, but not necessarily, coincides with that period during the marriage when the Participant was accruing benefits.]  The benefit will be actuarially adjusted by the Plan to reflect the relative ages of the Participant and the Alternate Payee.  For purposes of this Order the benefit accrued by the Participant as of the date specified shall be the benefit, if any, that would be payable to the Participant on the Participant's Normal Retirement Age, which is currently the later of:

 

(i)         the Participant's 65th birthday, or

(ii)        in the case of a Participant who commences participation in the Plan within five (5) years before attaining age 65, the fifth anniversary of the date on which the Participant commences participation in the Plan,

 

assuming that the Participant retired on such date with a Ten Years Certain and Life Pension.

 

            Based on the above, the monthly benefit payable to the Alternate Payee as a Ten Years Certain and Life pension commencing on the first day of the month following the Participant's Normal Retirement Age would be $_______ (the "Assigned Benefit").

 

3.         Method of Payment.

            If the actuarial present value of the Assigned Benefit is determined by the Plan on the date of distribution to be $5,000 or less (or such other maximum mandatory cash-out amount that may be permitted by law and shall have been adopted with respect to the Plan), the actuarial present value of the Assigned Benefit will be paid in a lump sum.  Otherwise, the Assigned Benefit shall be payable to the Alternate Payee in the form of a Ten Years Certain and Life Pension.  The Ten Years Certain and Life Pension provides a monthly pension benefit for the Alternate Payee's life, and if the Alternate Payee should die before 120 monthly payments have been made, the balance of the 120 monthly payments shall be made to the Alternate Payee's designated Beneficiary.

 

4.         Payment.

(a)        The Alternate Payee shall be eligible to receive benefits beginning on or after the first day of the month following the "earliest retirement age" of the Participant as defined under Section 414(p)(4)(B) of the Code.  Benefit payments shall commence as soon as possible after the Alternate Payee submits a completed application to the Trustees and receives their approval, except that benefits may not begin later than the April 1 following the year in which the Participant reaches or would have reached age 70-1/2.

 

(b)        A Participant's "earliest retirement age" occurs when: (1) he attains age 55 and (i) has at least 15 Pension Credits or (ii) has at least 10 Pension Credits and is totally and permanently disabled, as evidenced by a Social Security Disability Award; (2) the total of his age (including full and partial years up to the last full calendar month) and his full and partial Pension Credits (including Past, Special and Future Pension Credits) is at least ninety-two (92), the Participant has attained vested status and has worked in Covered Employment for at least 240 hours in one Plan Year beginning on or after April 1, 1991; (3) he is totally and permanently disabled, as evidenced by a Social Security Disability Award, and (i) has attained age 55 and has at least 15 Pension Credits, or (ii) has at least 10 Pension Credits and earned at least 2/10 of a Pension Credit for work in a calendar year commencing on or after January 1, 2001, and earned at least 2/10 of a Pension Credit for work in Covered Employment in the Plan Year when the disability was incurred or in the Plan Year immediately preceding the date the disability was incurred; or (4) he earned at least 30 Pension Credits or 30 Years of Vesting Service, provided generally that the Participant earned at least 2/10 of a Pension Credit for work in calendar year 2001 or 2002, or first became a Participant after 2002, and has accumulated at least 30 Pension Credits or 30 Years of Vesting Service for work in Covered Employment or reciprocated contributions without regard to Related Plan Pension Credits.

 

(c)        If the Alternate Payee elects to commence receiving benefits on or after the Participant's earliest retirement age based on (b)(1) of this section, but earlier than the first day of the month following the Participant's Normal Retirement Age, as defined above, the Assigned Benefit payable to the Alternate Payee hereunder shall be actuarially reduced by ½ of 1% (.005) for each full month by which the date of the Alternate Payee's election precedes the Participant's Normal Retirement Age, or such other actuarial reduction as may be required by the applicable provisions of the Plan at that time.  If this Order should specifically award the Alternate Payee any retirement benefits which are not actuarially reduced for the commencement of payment before the Participant's Normal Retirement Date, such benefits will be paid to the Alternate Payee, prospectively, provided that the Participant:  (i) has retired; and (ii) is entitled to retirement benefits which are not actuarially reduced for the commencement of payment before his or her Normal Retirement Date.

 

(d)        In no event shall benefit payments to the Alternate Payee actually commence before the first day of the month following the Alternate Payee's completion of the Plan's Application for Benefits requirements.  Changes in the Plan's benefit computation formula, including changes in the monthly benefit accrual rate, that are effective after the filing date of this Order shall not be applicable to the Assigned Benefit to be paid to the Alternate Payee.

 

(e)        Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Order, no payment of the Assigned Benefit, or any portion thereof, shall be made to the Alternate Payee until such time, if any, as the Participant has acquired a vested interest in his or her pension benefits under the Plan.  If the Participant fails to acquire a vested interest in his or her benefits under the Plan, no amounts shall be payable to the Alternate Payee under the terms of this Order.  [This paragraph may be deleted if the Participant is already vested on the date the Order is entered.]

 

5.         Disposition of Assigned Benefit at Death.

            (a)        Death of the Participant.

            The death of the Participant after the date of the approval of this QDRO by the Plan will have no effect on the right of the Alternate Payee to the Assigned Benefit.  Any pre-retirement or post-retirement death benefit, other than the Assigned Benefit, which may be payable due to the death of the Participant shall be paid to the beneficiary designated by the Participant under the Plan's regular rules.

 

            (b)        Death of the Alternate Payee.

                        (i)         After Payment of Ten Years Certain and Life Pension has Commenced 

If the Alternate Payee should die after 120 payments of the Assigned Benefit have been made to the Alternate Payee, no further benefits will be payable.  If the Alternate Payee should die before 120 payments of the Assigned Benefit have been made to the Alternate Payee, the remaining balance of such 120 monthly payments shall be made to the Alternate Payee's designated Beneficiary.  If the present value of the 120 monthly payments due to the designated Beneficiary is $5,000 or less, the Plan shall, with the designated Beneficiary's consent, distribute such amount to the designated Beneficiary in a lump sum.

 

                        (ii)        Before Payment of Ten Years Certain and Life Pension has Commenced 

If the Alternate Payee dies before payment of the Assigned Benefit has commenced to the Alternate Payee, and the Participant has attained age 55 and has attained vested status, the designated Beneficiary of the Alternate Payee will be entitled to a pre-retirement death benefit.  The pre-retirement death benefit shall be the value of the Assigned Benefit payable in equal monthly installments for 120 months, or such other pre-retirement death benefit for unmarried participants as the Plan then in effect provides.  If the Alternate Payee dies before payment of the Assigned Benefit has commenced to the Alternate Payee, and the Participant has not attained age 55 or has not attained vested status, the designated Beneficiary of the Alternate Payee shall not be entitled to any pre-retirement death benefits.

 

6.         Designation of Beneficiary.

            The Alternate Payee may designate a Beneficiary under the Plan's regular rules.  No subsequent spouse of the Alternate Payee shall have any right under the Plan to the Assigned Benefit, except as the designated Beneficiary of the Alternate Payee.  If no Beneficiary has been designated by the Alternate Payee, the estate of the Alternate Payee shall be deemed to be the designated Beneficiary entitled to receive any pre-retirement or post-retirement death benefits.

 

7.         Additional Provisions.

(a)        In case of conflict between the terms of this Order and the terms of the Plan, the terms of the Plan shall prevail.  This Order shall not be deemed qualified under Section 414(p) of the Code and Section 206(d) of ERISA, and shall not be enforceable against the Plan or the benefits of the Participant under the Plan until approved by the Plan.

 

(b)        If the Plan is terminates prior to the full distribution to the Alternate Payee of his or her interest in the Plan, such interest shall be distributed according to the provisions of the Plan governing distribution in the event of Plan termination.

 

(c)        The Court shall retain jurisdiction to amend this Order for the limited purpose of establishing or maintaining its qualification as a QDRO; provided that no amendment of this Order shall require the Plan to provide any form of benefit, option or increase in benefits not otherwise provided under the Plan.  If this Order is amended, the Fund Director shall proceed in determining whether the amended Order is a QDRO in the same manner as the initial Order.

 

(d)        All notices to be given or documents to be sent to the Plan shall be addressed in accordance with Section 1, and shall not be deemed given to the Plan unless actually received (or sent by certified mail, return receipt requested).

 

(e)        Except to the extent provided in IRS Notice 89-25, or subsequent guidance from the IRS, distributions to the Alternate Payee under this Order shall be taxable to the Alternate Payee and not to the Participant.

 

(f)         A distribution under this Order that is made to a spouse or former spouse of the Participant shall, to the extent such distribution is an eligible rollover distribution as defined by Code §402(c)(4) and regulations issued in connection thereto, be eligible for direct transfer treatment as described in Code §401(a)(31).  A distribution that is not made to a spouse or former spouse of the Participant shall not be eligible for direct transfer.

 

(g)        The Participant and the Alternate Payee shall hold the Plan (and its trustees, sponsors, employees and fiduciaries) harmless from and against any claims, expenses, actions or liabilities which arise from paying benefits to the Alternate Payee in accordance with this QDRO, including all reasonable attorneys fees which may be incurred in connection with any claims which are asserted because the Plan honors this Order.

 

(h)        The Plan and its trustees, sponsors and fiduciaries shall not be responsible for any attorneys fees incurred by the Participant or the Alternate Payee in connection with obtaining or enforcing this Order.

 

(i)         Notwithstanding anything contained herein, this Order shall not require the Plan to provide any type or form of benefit or any option not otherwise provided under the Plan, shall not require the Plan to provide increased benefits (determined on the basis of actuarial value), and shall not require the payment of any benefits to the Alternate Payee that are required to be paid to another alternate payee under another qualified domestic relations order.

 

 

DATED:_______________, 20__                                                                                           _

                                                                                                                        JUDGE/CLERK

 

APPROVED:

 

 

___________________________                                                                                         

Participant                                                        Attorney for the Participant

 

                                                                        Address:                                                          

                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                               

                                                                        Telephone #                                                    

                                                                        Facsimile #                                                      

 

 

 

____________________________                                                                                       

Alternate Payee                                                Attorney for the Alternate Payee

 

                                                                        Address:                                                          

                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                               

                                                                        Telephone #                                                    

                                                                        Facsimile #