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

Information Required by the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974

  1. The Name and Type of Administration of the Plan.
    Producer-Writers Guild of America Pension Plan
    Collectively Bargained,
    Joint-trusteed Labor-Management Trust.
    This is a defined benefit pension plan.
  2. Name and Address of the Person Designated as Agent for the Service of Legal Process.
    Service of legal process may be made on the Interim Administrator listed in Item 3 below.
  3. Name and Address of the Administrator.
    Same as Item 4 below.
    The Board of Directors serves as the Plan Administrator within the meaning of ERISA. The Directors have employed the person named below to perform the routine administration of the Plan.

    Jim Hedges (Chief Executive Officer)
    Producer-Writers Guild of America Pension Plan
    Writers’ Guild-Industry Health Fund
    2900 W. Alameda Ave.
    Suite 1100
    Burbank, CA 91505-4220
  4. Names, Titles and Addresses of any Director or Directors.

    Employer Directors

    Mark Badagliacca
    Stephen Carroll
    Katya Culberg
    Jill Glosser
    J. Keith Gorham
    Jim Gray
    David G. Gross
    Harry Isaacs
    Hank Lachmund
    Laura Legge
    Carol Lombardini
    Melissa Lopez Vantrease
    Sean Quinn
    Laura Ritchie
    Marc Sandman
    Mark Stubington
    Jacob Vonk


    UNIONS DIRECTORS

    Lise Anderson
    John Auerbach
    John Bowman
    Patti Carr
    Stan Chervin
    Ashley Gable
    Tim Lea
    Lowell Peterson
    Melissa Salmons
    Robert Schneider
    Charles Slocum
    David N. Weiss
    Ann Widdifield
    David Young
    Lisa Zwerling

  5. Internal Revenue Service Employer Identification Number (EIN) and Plan Number.
    The EIN issued to the Board of Directors is 95-2216351. The Plan Number is 001.
  6. Collective Bargaining Agreements.
    The Plan is maintained pursuant to more than one collective bargaining agreement. Copies of any of the collective bargaining agreements may be obtained by Participants and Beneficiaries upon written request to the Plan Administrator and are available for examination by Participants and Beneficiaries at the Administrative Office, in the principal offices of the employee organizations (Writers Guild of America West, Inc., and Writers Guild of America, East, Inc.) and at each employer establishment at which at least 50 Participants are customarily working.
  7. Recordkeeping Period.
    The recordkeeping period is the Plan Year The term Plan Year means the calendar year. which is the consecutive twelve-month period from January 1 to December 31 of any year.
  8. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
    Your pension benefits under this multiemployer plan are insured by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), a federal insurance agency. A multiemployer plan is a collectively bargained pension arrangement involving two or more unrelated employers, usually in common industry.

    Under the multiemployer plan program, the PBGC provides financial assistance through loans to plans that are insolvent. A multiemployer plan is considered insolvent if the plan is unable to pay benefits (at least equal to the PBGC's guaranteed benefit limit) when due.

    The maximum benefit that the PBGC guarantees is set by law. Under the multiemployer program, the PBGC guarantees a monthly benefit payment equal to 100 percent of the first $11 of the Plan's monthly benefit accrual rate, plus 75 percent of the next $33 of the accrual rate, times each year of credited service. The PBGC's maximum guarantee, therefore, is $35.75 per month times a participant's years of credited service. For example, the maximum annual guarantee for a retiree with 30 years of service and a benefit accrual rate of $23 per month would be $7,200.

    The PBGC guarantee generally covers the following types of benefits:
    • normal and early retirement benefits;
    • disability benefits if you become disabled before the Plan becomes insolvent; and
    • certain survivor benefits.
    • The PBGC guarantee generally does not cover the following types of benefits:
    • benefits greater than the maximum guaranteed amount set by law;
    • benefit increases and new benefits based on plan provisions that have been in place for fewer than five years at the earlier of: (i) the date the plan terminates; or (ii) the time the plan becomes insolvent;
    • benefits that are not vested because you have not worked long enough;
    • benefits for which you have not met all of the requirements at the time the plan becomes insolvent; and
    • non-pension benefits, such as health insurance, life insurance, certain death benefits, vacation pay and severance pay.

    For more information about the PBGC and the benefits it guarantees, ask your Plan Administrator or contact the PBGC's Technical Assistance Division, 1200 K Street, N.W., Suite 930, Washington, D.C. 20005-4026 or call (202) 326-4000 (which is not a toll-free number). TTY/TDD users may call the federal relay service toll-free at (800) 877-8339 and ask to be connected to (202) 326-4000. Additional information about the PBGC's pension insurance program is available through the PBGC's website at http://www.pbgc.gov.
  9. Source of Financing of the Plan and Identity of any Organization Through Which Benefits Are Provided.
    All contributions to the Trust Fund are made by Employers in accordance with their collective bargaining agreements. The Administrative Office will provide you, upon written request, information as to whether a particular employer is contributing to this Plan on behalf of employees working under the collective bargaining agreement and the address of any such employer.

    Most benefits are provided from the Trust Fund's assets which are accumulated under the provisions of the collective bargaining agreements and the Plan document, and are held in a Trust Fund for the purpose of providing benefits to covered employees and defraying reasonable administrative expenses.

    The Trust Fund's assets are held by The Northern Trust Company, as Trustee, whose address is:

    The Northern Trust Company
    50 South LaSalle Street
    Chicago, IL 60675

    The Plan is supported entirely by Employer contributions. Under the current collective bargaining agreements, each Employer must contribute an amount equal to 7.75% of the Covered EarningsEarnings for employment as a writer that is covered by the Plan. Work for which there is no employee-employer relationship is not covered. Royalties, options, clips, program fees, character payments, theatrical residuals, publication fees, separated rights payments, and sale of original material are also not considered covered earnings. However, for periods on and after May 2, 1998, sales of literary material are considered covered earnings if the Employer also employs the writer to do a rewrite or polish on the material. of writers in its employ. From May 2, 2011 thru May 2, 2012, the rate was 7.5%. From March 1, 1982 thru May 1, 2011, the rate was 6%. Prior to such time, the rate was 5%. Per Article 17 of the MBA, settlement payments are considered Covered Earnings. Salary advances are reportable at the time the advance is received.

    Under current applicable collective bargaining agreements, Theatrical Covered Earnings generally include only writing services as an employee of an Employer (earnings as a director or producer, for example, are not included) and are limited to $225,000 per writer/writing team ($500,000 for a bona fide team of three writers) per picture, and in flat-deal television employment, the agreed upon initial compensation of the writer or 2½ times the applicable WGA minimum compensation, whichever is greater. In addition, the weekly/yearly compensation paid for Article 14 employment is reportable subject to certain limits. Covered Earnings do not include royalties, options, clips, program fees, character payments, theatrical residuals, publication fees or separated rights payments, but do include deferred payments of salary. Effective May 2, 1998, if an Employer purchases literary material from a writer and employs that writer to do a rewrite or polish on the material, the Employer must make a contribution to the Plan based upon the purchase price of the material and the fee for the rewrite or polish up to the ceiling per project. Federal law limits the amount of compensation that the Plan may recognize for purposes of benefit accrual. Please refer to Compensation Limitation on page 32.
  10. Claims and Appeals Procedure.
    1. Procedure for Filing Claims for Benefits.
      Applications for benefits under the Plan may be made by filling out the appropriate forms available at the Administrative Office and delivering them to the Plan Administrator.  If the Participant has a claim with respect to the operation of the Plan as distinguished from an application for benefits under the Plan, a written document may be filed with the Plan Administrator of the Plan setting forth all facts relevant to such claim.

      The Plan Administrator shall decide a claim or refer it to the Benefits Committee or other appropriate committee. The person or committee to which the application for benefits or claim is referred shall promptly review it and reach a decision as to whether it should be approved or denied. The decision of the Benefits Committee or other appropriate committee, as applicable, shall be final and binding upon all parties, subject only to the review procedures contained in Sections c. and d. below.

      No employee, Participant, retiree, 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 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. 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. or other person shall have any right or claim to benefits under the Plan other than as specified in the Plan.
    2. Notice of Decision.
      Within 90 days (unless circumstances require an extension of time for processing, in which case up to an additional 90 days may be taken) after filing of the application for benefits or claim, the Plan Administrator will forward to the claimant a written notice of decision of the Benefits Committee, Administrator, or other appropriate person or committee, as applicable, where such decision is a denial, in whole or in part, of the application for benefits, or an adverse decision, in whole or in part, with respect to the claim. In such written notice the Plan Administrator will set forth in clear, understandable language the following information:

      (i) The specific reason or reasons for the denial of the application for benefits or claim;

      (ii) Specific reference to pertinent provisions of the Plan upon which the decision is based;

      (iii) Description of any additional material or information which is necessary for the claimant to perfect the application (or to remedy a deficiency therein) for benefits or a claim, and an explanation of why such material or explanation is necessary; and

      (iv) An explanation of the procedure (applicable process and time limits) to obtain a review of the decision and the period within which such procedure should be commenced, including a statement of the claimant's right to bring a civil action under ERISA Section 502(a) following an adverse benefit determination on review.

      If you have not received a written decision within 90 days (or notice of an extension) of filing the application for benefits or a claim, such application/claim is deemed to be denied.
    3. Petition for Review of Adverse Decision.
      If the application for benefits or claim is denied, either by a notice from the Plan Administrator (or by the claimant's failure to receive a response from the Plan Administrator within the 90 days) in accordance with Section b. above, the claimant is entitled to a further review of the application for benefits or claim. Within 60 days after the date shown on the notice from the Plan Administrator of the adverse decision, the claimant must file a petition for review with the Plan Administrator. Such petition for review shall be in writing and must state in clear and concise terms the reason or reasons for disagreement with the decision of the Benefits Committee, Administrator, or other appropriate person or committee, as applicable, must be signed by the claimant and must show the claimant's mailing address.

      In connection with the petition for review, the claimant has the following rights:

      (i) To authorize someone else to represent the claimant in the reviewing process by filing with the Plan Administrator, along with the petition for review, the name of the representative and a written representation authorization in a document signed by the claimant and the designated representative;

      (ii) Upon request and free of charge, reasonable access to, and copies of, all documents, records, and other information relating to the claim for benefits;

      (iii) The claimant or representative may submit to the Plan Administrator (for submission to the Benefits Committee or other committee) comments, documents, records, and arguments in writing related to your claim; and

      (iv) A review that takes into account all comments, documents, records, and other information submitted by the claimant relating to the claim, even if such information was not submitted or considered in the initial benefit determination.

      If you choose to designate someone else to act on your behalf, you must inform the Plan in writing. If you revoke the designation, either to designate someone else or to act on your behalf, the revocation will not be effective until written notice is received by the Plan. Once you have designated an authorized representative, all communications and notices from the Plan regarding your retirement benefit, or your appeal, that would otherwise be sent to you will be sent to your designated representative, unless you advise the Plan to continue to provide these communications and notices to you as well.
    4. Review Procedure.
      The Plan Administrator shall refer the petition for review and other written material in connection therewith to the Benefits Committee or, if appropriate, another committee.  The appropriate committee shall review the petition and other written material and, in that regard, may request additional information from the claimant or other parties. The committee may, in its discretion, provide for a hearing or may request additional information from the claimant or other parties. Any hearing shall be held only after reasonable notice to the claimant or representative, if any, and the claimant and representative shall be entitled to submit information relevant to the subject matter of the hearing.  The committee may, in its discretion, permit personal appearances at the hearing.

      After completing its review, the committee shall render a decision on the petition for review. The decision shall be rendered no later than the first meeting occurring at least 30 days following the receipt by the Plan Administrator of the request for review; provided, however, that where there are special circumstances such as the need to hold a hearing or to obtain information from other parties, the committee may take longer to render a decision but not later than the third meeting after receipt of the petition by the Plan Administrator. The Plan Administrator will notify you in writing if the review process will be extended. The decision of the committee shall be in writing and shall specify the reasons for the decision, written in a manner calculated to be understood by the claimant, and shall include specific reference to the pertinent provisions of the Plan on which its decision is based.

      The decision of the committee with respect to the petition for review shall be final and binding upon the claimant and any person claiming under the claimant (however, under ERISA, Participants and Beneficiaries have the right to file a lawsuit in state or federal court once they have exhausted the Plan's internal review procedures).   You should note that any claimant must timely pursue and exhaust all of the claim and appeal rights set forth in this document before bringing any action in law or equity to recover benefits under the Plan's terms, to enforce rights under the Plan's terms or to clarify the claimant's right to future benefits under the Plan's terms.  The provisions of this procedure shall apply to and include any and every claim to benefits from the Plan and any claim or right asserted under the Plan regardless of when the act or omission upon which the claim is based occurred.  The claimant shall be notified of the final benefit determination no later than five days after the benefit determination is made. In such written notice the Plan Administrator will set forth in clear, understandable language the following information:

      (i) The specific reason or reasons for the adverse determination;

      (ii) Reference to the specific Plan provisions on which the benefit determination is based;

      (iii) A statement that the claimant is entitled to receive, upon request and free of charge, reasonable access to, and copies of, all documents, records, and other information relevant to the claimant's claim for benefits; and

      (iv) A statement of the claimant's right to bring an action under ERISA Section 502(a).

      At the conclusion of the Plan's appeals process, if the initial determination denying the benefit at issue has been upheld, in whole or in part, then you have the right to file a lawsuit under Section 502(a) of ERISA.
    5. Failure to File a Petition for Review.
      A claimant's failure to file a petition for review within the 60 day period set forth in Section c. above shall constitute a waiver of the claimant's right to reconsideration of the decision on the basis of the information and evidence submitted prior to the decision.
    6. Statute of Limitations.
      No claimant may bring a lawsuit for a benefit claim more than 2 years from the date the Plan makes a final decision on the claim.
  11. Statement of ERISA Rights.
    As a Participant in the Producer Writers Guild of America Pension Plan, you are entitled to certain rights and protections under ERISA, which provides that all Participants shall be entitled to:

    Receive Information About Your Plan and Benefits.
    Examine, without charge, at the Administrative Office and at other specified locations, such as worksites and the Union's Offices, all documents governing the Plan, including insurance contracts and collective bargaining agreements, and a copy of the latest annual report (Form 5500 Series) filed by the Plan with the U.S. Department of Labor and available at the Public Disclosure Room of the Employee Benefits Security Administration.

    Obtain, upon written request to the Plan Administrator, copies of documents governing the operation of the Plan, including insurance contracts and collective bargaining agreements, and copies of the latest annual report (Form 5500 Series) and updated SPD. The Plan Administrator may make a reasonable charge for the copies.

    Receive a summary of the Plan's Annual Funding Notice. The Plan Administrator is required by law to furnish each Participant with a copy of this annual report detailing the financial status of the Plan.

    If the Plan is considered to be in endangered, seriously endangered or critical status as those terms are defined under the Pension Protection Act of 2006, the Plan Administrator will notify you within 30 days of when this status has been certified by the Plan's actuary.

    Obtain a statement telling you whether you have a right to receive a pension at normal retirement age (age 65) and if so, what your benefits would be at normal retirement age if you stop working under the Plan now. If you do not have a right to a pension, the statement will tell you how many more years you have to work to get a right to a pension. This statement must be requested in writing and is not required to be given more than once every twelve (12) months. The Plan must provide the statement free of charge.

    Prudent Actions by Plan Fiduciaries
    In addition to creating rights for Plan Participants, ERISA imposes duties upon the people who are responsible for the operation of the employee benefit plan. The people who operate your Plan, called "fiduciaries" of the Plan, have a duty to do so prudently and in the interest of you and other Plan Participants and beneficiaries. No one, including your employer, the Guild or any other person, may fire you or otherwise discriminate against you in any way to prevent you from obtaining a pension benefit or exercising your rights under ERISA.

    Enforce Your Rights
    If your claim for a pension benefit is denied or ignored, in
    whole or in part, you have a right to know why this was
    done, to obtain copies of documents relating to the decision
    without charge, and to appeal any denial, all within
    certain time schedules.

    Under ERISA, there are steps you can take to enforce the above rights.  For instance, if you request a copy of Plan documents or the latest annual report from the Plan and do not receive them within 30 days, you may file suit in a Federal court. In such a case, the court may require the Plan Administrator to provide the materials and pay you up to $110 a day until you receive the materials, unless the materials were not sent because of reasons beyond the control of the Plan Administrator. If you have a claim for benefits, which is denied or ignored, in whole or in part, you may file suit in a state or federal court; provided that you have fully exhausted the Plan's claims and appeal procedures. In addition, if you disagree with the Plan's decision or lack thereof concerning the qualified status of a domestic relations order, you may file suit in Federal court. If it should happen that Plan fiduciaries misuse the Plan's money, or if you are discriminated against for asserting your rights, you may seek assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor, or you may file suit in a Federal court. The court will decide who should pay court costs and legal fees. If you are successful, the court may order the person you have sued to pay these costs and fees. If you lose, the court may order you to pay these costs and fees, for example, if it finds your claim is frivolous.

    Assistance with Your Questions
    If you have any questions about your Plan, you should contact the Plan Administrator. If you have any questions about this statement or about your rights under ERISA, you should contact the nearest office of the Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, listed in your telephone directory; or the Division of Technical Assistance and Inquiries, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210; or at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/aboutebsa/org_chart.html# section13. You may also obtain certain publications about your rights and responsibilities under ERISA by calling the publications hotline of the Employee Benefits Security Administration.

    This has been a brief explanation of the most important provisions of the Plan. Nothing in this explanation is intended to change in any way the rules expressed in the Plan itself. Your rights, if you are covered by this Plan, can only be determined by consulting the Plan, itself.  If you have any questions about the Plan and how it affects you, you should contact the Administrative Office:

    Producer-Writers Guild of America Pension Plan
    Writers’ Guild-Industry Health Fund
    2900 W. Alameda Ave.
    Suite 1100
    Burbank, CA 91505-4220