Your session is about to expire due to inactivity.
Pension Plan
print

Naming Or Changing A Beneficiary Before Retirement

If a Participant is eligible for a Pre-Retirement Surviving Spouse Benefit, the spouse, the Qualified Domestic Partner (or former spouse if a Qualified Domestic Relations Order A judgment, decree or order which meets certain requirements and provides that all or a portion of a Participant's benefit is to be paid to an alternate payee (a spouse, former spouse, child, or other dependent of the Participant). requires that a former spouse be treated as the spouse for benefit purposes) is automatically the beneficiary, and the Participant cannot name another beneficiary. If a Participant is not eligible for a Pre-Retirement Surviving Spouse Benefit, the beneficiary is the person whom the Participant last designated on the latest pdf Designation of Beneficiary Form that was filed with the Plan.

Subject to the spousal consent rules (see page 26), a Participant may change a designation of beneficiary at any time as long as the valid beneficiary designation is received by the Administrative Office prior to the earlier of: (i) the date of his or her death, or (ii) the effective date of his or her pension benefit by submitting to the Administrative Office of the Plan a completed Designation of Beneficiary Form, which is available at www.wgaplans.org. If a Participant is not married (or does not have a Qualified Domestic Partner Your same sex domestic partner for whom you have submitted to the Administrative Office an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership with the Pension Plan, along with supporting documentation, and who meets the criteria in such Affidavit. Generally, the Participant and domestic partner must have a committed same sex relationship similar to marriage that has been in existence for at least six months. No person shall be considered a Qualified Domestic Partner prior to the time a complete Affidavit has been submitted to the Administrative Office. ) and there is no Designation of a Beneficiary Form on file with the Administrative Office of the Plan at the time of his or her death, then the benefits payable on behalf of such Participant shall be made to the Participant's estate. If a Participant dies without leaving a valid will (intestate) (or if a personal representative has not been appointed to the Participant's estate within 90 days of the Participant's death), any survivor benefits will be paid to those who can verify that they are legally entitled to receive such benefits and in the following order:

  • the Participant's spouse or Qualified Domestic Partner;
  • the Participant's children;
  • the Participant's parents;
  • the Participant's brothers and sisters;
  • the Participant's beneficiary under the Writers' Guild- Industry Health Fund or
  • such person as may be chosen in the discretion of the Board.

Note that a category of beneficiaries described in one of the six clauses set forth above shall only be eligible to receive a benefit if no person described in a preceding class is alive at the time of the Participant's death. If the persons described in classes two and four above (Participant's children or the Participant's brothers or sisters) are of different degrees of kinship to the Participant, the intestate succession and amount to be paid to each such person by the Plan shall be determined by the California Probate Code.

If a Participant designates in writing that the spouse is the beneficiaryThis term means the person or persons whom a Participant last designates to receive benefits in the event of his or her death. However, if you have been married at least one year at the time of your death, your spouse will be your Beneficiary unless you and your spouse select a different Beneficiary. If an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership has been on file with the Administrative Office for at least one year at the time of your death, your Qualified Domestic Partner will be your Beneficiary, unless you select a different Beneficiary. If there is no surviving designated Beneficiary, please refer to Section: NAMING OR CHANGING A BENEFICIARY BEFORE RETIREMENT on page 33 for details about the Plan's rules for designating a beneficiary and for paying benefits to a minor. Beneficiary designation forms are available from the Administrative Office. for Plan benefits and then subsequently divorces, the divorce does not automatically revoke that written designation. A Participant must complete and submit a new Designation of Beneficiary Form if he or she wishes to change the beneficiary before retirement.

In the event that any amount is payable under the Plan to a minor (age 18 or less) , payment shall not be made to the minor but instead shall be paid to (i) the child's custodial and living parent(s), (ii) if the child's parents are divorced, then to the sole custodial parent, or (iii) if no parent is living, then to the custodian selected by the Board to hold the funds for the minor under the Uniform Transfers or Gifts to Minors Act in effect in the jurisdiction where the minor resides. If no parent of the minor is living and the Board decides not to select another custodian to hold the funds for the minor, then payment shall be made to the duly appointed and current guardian of the minor's estate (or, if no such guardian has been appointed within 60 days after the date the amount becomes payable, payment shall be deposited with the Court having jurisdiction over the minor's estate).

Incompetence Or Incapacity

If the Directors (or their designee) determine that a Participant or Beneficiary is not able to care for his or her affairs because of legal incapacity, or mental or physical illness, accident or incapacity, then the Directors, in their sole discretion, may elect to pay any payment due to the spouse or such other person having care and custody in the incapacitated person, unless a claim is made by a duly appointed guardian or legal representative for such incapacitated person. Any retirement benefits so paid shall discharge the obligations of the Directors and the Plan to the extent of such payments. See above for payments due to a minor.

Plan Continuation, Amendment And Termination

The Directors hope to continue the Plan indefinitely, but reserve the right, in their sole and absolute discretion to amend, modify or terminate the Plan (to the extent allowed by law and as provided in the Plan document), in whole or in part at any time and for any reason, with respect to all Participants who are, were or may become covered and their beneficiaries. For example, benefit reductions may be needed if the Plan's funding condition does not satisfy certain thresholds required under the law.

If the Plan is terminated, a Participant will immediately have a vested or non-forfeitable right to the accrued benefit. The amount of benefit, if any, may depend on Plan assets, the terms of the Plan and the benefit guarantee provided by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), as described in the Pension Guarantees section on page 43.

Forwarding Address

Plan Participants, retirees and beneficiaries who are to receive benefits should keep the Administrative Office of the Plan informed of their current addresses to help ensure proper and uninterrupted payment of benefits.

If you are a participant in the Plan who is a resident of Puerto Rico, you should ensure that the Administrative Office has a record of your current Puerto Rico home address to ensure compliance with tax laws that affect Puerto Rico participants. In addition to U.S. tax law, the Plan complies with Puerto Rico tax laws related to employer contributions made on your behalf and any Puerto Rico tax withholding and reporting requirements, as well as benefit limitations, when making pension payments. If you are a resident of Puerto Rico or you perform work there, you can contact the Administrative Office for further information on how you may be affected.

Information And Proof

At times a Participant may be required to provide information or proof necessary to determine his or her right or a beneficiary's right to benefits under the Plan. When inaccurate information is provided, this ultimately can result in the improper use of Plan assets, which adversely affects the ability of the Plan to provide the highest possible level of benefits.

Accordingly, if a Participant or a beneficiaryThis term means the person or persons whom a Participant last designates to receive benefits in the event of his or her death. However, if you have been married at least one year at the time of your death, your spouse will be your Beneficiary unless you and your spouse select a different Beneficiary. If an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership has been on file with the Administrative Office for at least one year at the time of your death, your Qualified Domestic Partner will be your Beneficiary, unless you select a different Beneficiary. If there is no surviving designated Beneficiary, please refer to Section: NAMING OR CHANGING A BENEFICIARY BEFORE RETIREMENT on page 33 for details about the Plan's rules for designating a beneficiary and for paying benefits to a minor. Beneficiary designation forms are available from the Administrative Office. fails to submit the requested information or proof, makes a false statement or furnishes fraudulent or incorrect information, a Participant's or beneficiary's benefits under the Plan may be negatively affected, and benefits may be denied, suspended or discontinued. Of course, if the Plan makes payment for benefits (to a Participant or spouse or beneficiary) that are in excess of what is actually payable, due to error (including for example, a clerical error), fraud or for any other reason, the Participant or spouse or beneficiary must immediately return the overpayment. Amounts recovered by the Plan may include interest, costs and attorneys' fees. If the Plan requests repayment of an overpayment and that overpayment is not fully repaid, then the Plan has the right to recover the overpayment through whatever means are necessary. This includes, for example, deducting any overpayment remaining from future benefits (including benefits due to a surviving spouse or other beneficiary after the Participant's death), or the use of any other legal means (including, without limitation, the initiation of a lawsuit) as determined by the Directors or their delegate to be necessary to recover the overpayment.

Not A Contract Of Employment

This SPD is not a contract of employment; it neither guarantees employment nor continued employment with a Participant's employer or any contributing employer, nor does it diminish in any way the right of contributing employers to terminate the employment of any employee. It does not impose any obligation (beyond the liabilities set forth in ERISA) to contribute beyond what is stipulated in an employer's collective bargaining agreement. It also does not impose liability on the employers, the Union or the Directors (individually or collectively) to provide benefits established under the Plan to the extent that they cannot be provided by the Plan.

Interpreting The Plan

The Board (and/or its duly authorized designee(s)) has the exclusive right, power, and authority, in its sole and absolute discretion, to administer, apply and interpret the Plan, including this SPD, and any other Plan documents, and to decide all matters arising in connection with the operation or administration of the Plan or trust underlying it. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Board (and/or its duly authorized designee(s)) shall have the sole and absolute discretionary authority to:

  • Take all actions and make all determinations with respect to the eligibility for and the amount of benefits payable under the Plan;
  • Decide questions, including legal or factual questions, relating to the calculation and payment of benefits under the Plan;
  • Formulate, interpret and apply rules, regulations and policies necessary to administer the Plan in accordance with its terms;
  • Interpret the provisions of all Plan documents, this SPD, any collective bargaining or participation agreement, and any other document or instrument involving or impacting the Plan;
  • Resolve and/or clarify any ambiguities, inconsistencies and omissions arising under the Plan, including this SPD, or other Plan documents;
  • Process and approve or deny benefit claims and rule on any benefit exclusions; and
  • Determine the standard of proof in any case.

All such determinations and interpretations made by the Directors shall be final and binding upon any individual claiming benefits under the Plan, upon all employees, all Contributing Employers, and the Union, and shall be given deference in all courts of law, to the greatest extent allowable by applicable law.

Severability

If any provision of this SPD is held invalid, unenforceable or inconsistent with any law, regulation or requirement, its invalidity, unenforceability or inconsistency will not affect any other provision of the SPD, and the SPD shall be construed and enforced as if such provision were not a part of the SPD.

Construction of Terms

Words of gender shall include persons and entities of any gender, the plural shall include the singular and the singular shall include the plural. Section headings exist for reference purposes only and shall not be construed as part of the SPD.

Applicable Law

The Plan is governed by regulations and rulings of the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor, and current federal tax law. The Plan will always be construed to comply with these regulations, rulings and laws. Generally, federal law takes precedence over state law.

All questions related to the construction of the Plan and its trust and the accounts and transactions of the parties will be determined, construed and enforced pursuant to California law to the extent not pre-empted or superseded by federal law.

No Vested Interest

Except for the right to receive any benefit payable under the Plan in accordance with the Plan's rules, no person shall have any right, title, or interest in or to the assets of the Plan's Trust Fund or of any Contributing Employer because of the Plan.