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Pension Plan

Early Retirement Benefit

Eligibility for Early Retirement Benefit

A Participant may retire and receive an Early Retirement Benefit as of the first day of any month prior to attaining age 65 as of which date he or she elects to retire, provided that the Participant is at least age 52 (effective January 1, 2000), has accumulated at least five Qualified Years A Plan Year in which the Participant earned at least eight Credited Weeks. (effective January 1, 1998) (not counting Qualified Years forfeited prior to January 1, 1998 due to a Permanent Break in Service Prior to January 1, 1998, if a Participant has five consecutive One-Year Breaks in Service before he becomes vested, his earlier Qualified Years and accumulated contributions will be forfeited and his participation in the Plan will be terminated. Effective January 1, 1998, this rule no longer applies to Qualified Years, although service and benefits forfeited prior to 1998 due to a permanent Break in Service will remain forfeited. However, the Break in Service rules continue to apply to counting years of participation for purposes of determining your Normal Retirement Date. ), and files a completed pension application with the Directors at least 30 days in advance of such retirement date. In order to be considered retired and entitled to an Early Retirement Benefit, a Participant cannot perform services for an Employer under the Plan for the first calendar month of his retirement regardless if the work is covered by the Plan.

Amount of Early Retirement Benefit
Effective January 1, 2000, there is no early retirement reduction for a Participant retiring on or after age 63. However, benefits accrued from compensation limited due to Internal Revenue Code Section 401(a)(17) as applied by the Plan (see page 32) are subject to the age reduction factor to the extent a Participant retires before age 65. A Participant retiring on an Early Retirement Benefit prior to age 65 will receive reduced payments designed to pay an amount during the lifetime of the retiree that is actuarially equivalent to what would have been paid over the remainder of the Participant's lifetime if retirement had occurred at age 65 (Normal Retirement Date). The amount of the Early Retirement Benefit is
calculated as follows:


Let's say a married Participant whose compensation does not exceed the Internal Revenue Code 401 limits in any Plan Year accrues a Normal Retirement Benefit of $500.00 per month, but decides to retire at age 60. The Normal Retirement Benefit is reduced by 1/3 of 1% for each month the Participant is younger than age 63 – in this case, 36 months, or 12%. Therefore, the Early Retirement Benefit is equal to $440.00 ($500.00 minus 12% of $500.00).

If, instead, the Participant retired at age 63 through 65, he or she would receive $500.00 per month. If the same Participant retired at age 53, his Normal Retirement Benefit would be reduced 1/3 of 1% for each month he or she is younger than 63 but older than 55 and ½ of 1% for each month he or she is younger than age 55. Thus, his Early Retirement Benefit would be equal to $280.00 per month ($500.00 minus 44% of $500.00).

The Early Retirement Benefit is reduced if any form of benefit other than a Five-Year Certain and Life Annuity or Social Security Adjustment Option is elected.