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

Miscellaneous Provisions

Limitation on Benefits

The Internal Revenue Code imposes certain limitations on the annual pension benefits the Plan may pay to a Participant and the compensation used to determine those benefits. The limit on compensation is applied on an "employer by employer" basis which means that the limits are applied separately to each Employer (along with its affiliated Employers) for whom the Participant has worked. However, the limit on annual benefits is currently applied on a total plan basis. Prior to 2008, the annual benefit limit was applied on an employer-by-employer basis.

Limitation on Compensation

Beginning in 1989, the law imposes a limit (on an "employer-by-employer" basis) on the amount off
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. in any Plan Year The term Plan Year means the calendar year., that the Plan may recognize for purposes of calculating a Participant's accrued retirement and/or death benefits. The limit, which started at $200,000 for the 1989 Plan Year, was indexed to the cost of living each year. The 1996 limit was $254,080.

However, effective January 1, 1997, the limit on compensation was reduced by law to $160,000. The limit is indexed to the cost of living. For the years 1998 and 1999 the limit was $160,000. For the years 2000 thru 2003, the Plan set the limit at $170,000, which is no longer indexed to the cost of living. For the years 2004 thru 2006, the Plan set the limit at $205,000, which is no longer indexed to the cost of living. Beginning January 1, 2007, the annual compensation limit set forth in the Plan was $225,000, which will not be indexed for cost of living adjustments, where it has remained to date.

Remember, this limit is applied separately to each Employer (together with its affiliated employers) so in 1999, for example, the Plan will recognize up to $160,000 in compensation from each Employer for whom a Participant works. If a Participant earns more than $160,000 from one Employer in 1999, no pension benefits or death benefits will be paid on the contributions attributable to those excess earnings. On the other hand, if a Participant earns $145,000 from each of two different unaffiliated Employers, the Plan will recognize $290,000 in compensation for the year.

PLEASE NOTE: This maximum is different from the maximum on Covered Earnings described here.

Limitation on Annual Benefits

The Plan is also required to limit the amount of the annual benefit payable to Participants. Prior to 2008, this limit was on an "employer-by-employer" basis meaning that the limits are applied separately to the benefits earned due to service with each Employer (together with its affiliates) for whom the Participant worked. Beginning January 1, 2008, the annual benefit limits is on a "Plan-wide basis." The Plan will pay the greater of (a) the accrued benefit of a Participant as of December 31, 2007 limited on an employer-by-employer basis; or (b) the accrued benefit of a Participant after December 31, 2007 limited on a Plan-wide basis. The annual maximum dollar limit payable is reduced if benefits start earlier than the Social Security retirement age (age 66 if a Participant was born between 1938 and 1954 and age 67 if Participant was born after 1954) or if the benefit is paid in a form other than a Five-Year Certain and Life Annuity or a Joint and Survivor Annuity (if married). The maximum dollar limit is increased if the benefits start later than the Social Security retirement age. For the year 2012, the Plan annual limit is $ 166,492 at age 65 for someone with an age 66 Social Security retirement age. The Plan annual benefit limits will not be indexed to the cost of living.

If the annual retirement benefit exceeds the maximum benefit permitted, the Participant's benefit will be reduced accordingly. Prior to 2008, this limitation is also applied to each Employer (along with its affiliated employers) separately. Prior to January 1, 2000, benefits paid from terminated pension and profit sharing plans of a Participant's Employers (including a loan-out company) were aggregated with benefits from the Plan for this purpose. When a Participant retires, he or she will be required to certify as to benefits provided by other defined benefit plans of his or her Employers.

Federal Income Tax Withholding on Benefits

The tax laws require that the Plan withhold federal income tax from certain benefit payments unless a Pensioner elects, in writing on the appropriate Form W-4P, not to have the tax withheld. The amount withheld will depend on the type of distribution and for period payments the filing status and the number of exemptions claimed.

The form of the benefit generally determines whether or not automatic withholding applies. However, if a Pensioner lives outside the United States or are a non-resident alien, different withholding rules may apply.

If benefits are paid in a lump sum or in fixed installments over a period of less than ten years, a Participant, a spouse, 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 may elect to directly transfer payment(s) into a traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA), Roth IRA or another qualified retirement plan. If the payments are not so directly transferred, the Plan is required to withhold 20% of the payment for taxes, even if the payment is subsequently rolled over to an IRA, Roth IRA or another qualified retirement plan. If the payment is to 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. who is not a spouse, different withholding and rollover rules may apply.

At the time a payment will be made, a Participant or Beneficiary will be given complete and detailed information about federal income tax withholding on benefits. This is an important decision and we encourage a Participant or Beneficiary to seek advice from a tax or financial advisor at his or her own expense.

In addition, if a Participant is under age 59½ when a distribution is received, he or she may also be subject to an IRS tax penalty of 10%. Contact the Administrative Office of the Plan for the forms to transfer eligible benefits to an IRA, Roth IRA or another qualified retirement plan to avoid taxes upon receiving a pension distribution from the Plan. However, tax information furnished by the Plan is not an adequate substitute for consultation with a tax advisor.