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Pension Plan
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Vested Status

When a Participant is "vested," his or her retirement benefits cannot be taken away even if the Participant stops working in employment covered by this Plan and never returns before retiring.

Effective January 1, 1998, a Participant is vested when he or she has accrued five Qualified Years; provided, however, that Qualified Years forfeited prior to 1998 due to a Permanent Break in Service shall not count. Participants who have fewer than five Qualified Years will be vested if they reach their Normal Retirement Date Normal Retirement Date is the first day of the month following the date the Participant has both reached age 65 and completed the required participation in the Plan. .

Normal Retirement Date is based on two factors: the Participant's age and the number of years he or she has participated in the Plan. A Participant's Normal Retirement Date is the first of the month coinciding with or next following the month in which he or she meets all of the following requirements:

  1. Age 65 or older; and
  2. Either:
    1. Vested; or
    2. If not Vested, five years have elapsed since the Participant commenced his or her last period of participation in the Plan (disregarding participation prior to January 1, 1988); or
    3. If not Vested but the Participant has a Qualified Year A Plan Year in which the Participant earned at least eight Credited Weeks. during or after the year the Participant attains age 60, four years have elapsed since participation in the Plan began (effective January 1, 2003 after ignoring participation before January 1, 1999); or
    4. If the participant began participating prior to January 1, 1988 and has not experienced 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. , ten years have elapsed since participation in the Plan began.

The Break in Service rules continue to apply after January 1, 1998 for purposes of determining periods of participation for item (b.) above.

Example 1:

Walt Writer turns 65 on January 19, 1992. He began participating in the Plan in 1982 and earned eight Qualified Years without Permanent Break in Service. Since he participated in the Plan for ten years (1982 through 1991), his Normal Retirement Date Normal Retirement Date is the first day of the month following the date the Participant has both reached age 65 and completed the required participation in the Plan. is February 1, 1992: the first of the month following the date he has both reached age 65 and participated in the Plan for ten years, without a Permanent Break in Service.

Example 2:

Sally Screenwriter turns 65 on March 12, 2007. She began participating in the Plan in 2008 and earned three Qualified Years without a Break in Service. She is not vested but four years have elapsed since she began participation including a Qualified Year after age 60, her Normal Retirement Date is January 1, 2012: the first of the month following the later of the fourth anniversary of her participation in the plan and attainment of age 65.

See the next section "Break in Service" for more examples. Remember, Qualified Years or years of participation a Participant earned prior to a Permanent Break in Service that occurred before 1998 are not counted in determining vested status under the Plan. For example, if a Participant first worked in covered employment in 1992 and then did not work in covered employment from 1993 through 1997, the Participant would incur 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. (see page 8) and the participation in the Plan would stop. If a Participant later returns to work in covered employment, he or she would be considered a new Participant and none of the years of participation in the Plan before the Permanent Break in Service would be counted in determining his or her Normal Retirement Date.

If a Participant's employment is terminated before vesting, benefits under the Plan may be lost. This happens when the Permanent Break in Service is prior to 1998 and the Participant does not return to employment covered by the Plan within a certain period of time. The Break in Service rules are explained in the following section.

Continuous Employment with the Same Employer

Periods of non-covered employment for a contributing employer which are contiguous to (immediately before or after) a period of covered employment for the same contributing employer may also be counted toward vesting. For example, if a Participant performs as an actor in the production of a pilot (non-covered employment), and then writes a script (covered employment) for a pilot for a television network for the same network immediately after (contiguous to) the work as an actor, then the acting work for the pilot may be considered for vesting purposes only.