Plan Document

ARTICLE 3 – Eligibility, Vesting and Forfeitures

3.1 Initial Eligibility and Participation

An Employee, Associate Employee, former Employee, or former Associate Employee, who was covered under the Plan in effect on December 31, 1975, shall continue to be covered as a Participant on January 1, 1976, in accordance with the terms of this Plan. Any individual who becomes an Employee or Associate Employee after January 1, 1976, shall commence participation in the Plan beginning with the initial hour in which work is performed for which a contribution is required to the Plan and shall continue to be a Participant until such time that the Employee incurs a One-Year Break in Service or all benefits due under the Plan have been paid to the Employee or the Employee's beneficiaries. A Participant shall receive Future Service Credits toward retirement benefits as provided in Article 1.8, based upon his Hours of Service during the calendar year, and such Past Service Credits as are provided by Article 1.9 hereof. Sole proprietors and partners are not eligible to participate in the Plan.

3.2 Vesting and Forfeiture of Employee's Interest to Retirement Benefits

3.2.1 Vesting.

  1. Ten Year Vesting. When an Employee completes ten years of Credited Service with at least one year of Credited Future Service, the Employee's right to benefits under this Plan shall become vested and are not thereafter subject to forfeiture. Upon meeting the qualifications for a retirement benefit, the Employee shall be entitled to receive all of the benefits provided under this Plan, or if the Employee dies before retirement, such death benefits as are provided under the Plan for qualified designated beneficiaries of the Employee.
  2. Five Year Vesting. Effective January 1, 1988, when an Employee completes five (5) years of Credited Future Service in this Plan, all of which is earned in Plan Years commencing on or after January 1, 1985, the Employee's right to benefits under this Plan shall become vested and are not thereafter subject to forfeiture. Effective January 1, 1988, for Employees with Credited Future Service earned prior to January 1, 1985, which was not forfeited as a result of a Permanent Break in Service, when the Employee earns at least 750 Hours of Service in this Plan in any three (3) consecutive Plan Year period commencing on or after January 1, 1985, and completes five (5) years of Credited Future Service in this Plan, or has earned one (1) hour of service on or after January 1, 1999, and has not incurred a break in service as of January 1, 1999, the Employee's right to benefits under this Plan shall become vested and are not thereafter subject to forfeiture.

3.2.2 Forfeiture. An Employee who fails to qualify for vesting under Article 3.2.1 is non-vested. A non-vested Employee who incurs a Permanent Break in Service (Termination), as defined in Article 3.4, shall forfeit all previously accrued rights to benefits under this Retirement Plan.

3.3 One-Year Break in Service

A non-vested Employee who fails to complete 500 or more Hours of Service in a Plan Year shall have a One-Year Break in Service as to each such Plan Year unless the Employee is granted a Leave of Absence under Article 3.6 below. If an Employee incurs a One-Year Break in Service, all rights under this Plan shall be forfeited unless recovered pursuant to Article 3.5. If an Employee incurs his first One-Year Break in Service on or after January 1, 1994, the Employee shall be deemed to have received a $0 distribution, unless his rights have been recovered pursuant to Article 3.5.

3.4 Permanent Break in Service (Termination)

A non-vested Employee who incurs one or more One-Year Breaks in Service, whose accumulated Credited Future Service prior to the first One-Year Break in Service is not restored under the Rule of Parity or the Five-Year Rule of Article 3.5 or who is not granted a Leave of Absence (Article 3.6) will incur a Permanent Break in Service (Termination), and will forfeit permanently all previously accrued rights to benefits.

No Employee shall be deemed terminated from the Plan prior to January 1, 1989, if the Employee earned 750 Covered Hours of Service in each consecutive three (3) year period between commencement of participation and January 1, 1989, even though the Employee may have incurred a One-Year or Permanent Break in Service under Article 3.3 or 3.4.

3.5 Reinstating One-Year Breaks in Service

3.5.1 Rule of Parity. After December 31, 1975, if after incurring one or more One-Year Breaks in Service an Employee earns 500 or more Hours of Service during a subsequent Plan Year, the Employee's previously forfeited rights shall be recovered if the number of consecutive One-Year Breaks in Service are less than the previously forfeited Years of Credited Service (Rule of Parity); provided such credits shall not be reinstated until the first Plan Year after the Employee earns 500 or more Hours of Service in this Plan or a Related Plan. Reinstatement shall then be retroactive to the commencement of that calendar year.

3.5.2 Five Year Rule. Notwithstanding any other provision herein, if after incurring one or more One-Year Breaks in Service an Employee earns 500 or more Hours of Service during a subsequent Plan Year commencing after December 31, 1985, the Employee's previously forfeited rights shall be recovered if such Hours of Service are earned before the Employee incurs five (5) consecutive One-Year Breaks in Service; provided such credits shall not be reinstated until the first Plan Year after the Employee earns 500 or more Hours of Service in this Plan or a Related Plan. Reinstatement shall then be retroactive to the commencement of that calendar year. The five-year rule only applies to Participants who did not have a Permanent Break in Service as of December 31, 1985.

3.6 Leave of Absence

An Employee who is absent in one of the following categories for a period of six months or more may be allowed a Leave of Absence for one of the reasons listed below, but only for such period as stated below:

3.6.1 Absence due to service with the Armed Forces of the United States for such periods as required by applicable law. To the extent required by law, an Employee may also be granted a Leave of Absence when absent for a period of less than six months due to service with the Armed Forces of the United States;

3.6.2 Absence due to disability, for a two (2) year period, subject to further consideration after that time if the disabling condition continues, provided the Employee submits proof of such disability satisfactory to the Trustees;

3.6.3 Absence while serving as an Employee or official of the Union for up to three (3) years;

3.6.4 Absence while on each Maternity or Paternity Leave, as defined below, up to a maximum of 501 Hours of Service for each such leave. Employees on Maternity or Paternity Leave will be credited with Hours of Service toward vesting and to avoid a Break in Service, provided that to be credited with hours toward vesting, the Employee must return from Maternity or Paternity Leave and earn one-half year of Credited Future Service based upon Hours of Service under Article 1.5 prior to incurring a Permanent Break in Service. Employees will be credited with the Hours of Service for the specific period of absence except that all hours of service for a Maternity or Paternity Leave will be credited to the Plan Year in which the absence begins if necessary solely to avoid a One-Year Break in Service in that year; otherwise, they will be credited to the immediately following Plan Year. For purposes of this Article 3.6.4, an Employee shall be deemed to be on Maternity or Paternity Leave if the Employee is absent from work by reason of the pregnancy of the Employee, by reason of the birth of a child of the Employee, by reason of the placement of a child with the Employee in connection with the adoption of the child by such Employee, or for the purpose of caring for such child during the period immediately following such birth or placement;

3.6.5 Non-participation in this Plan by a non-vested Employee with at least one (1) previous year of service in this Plan during any time after June 1, 1986, when the Employee's employer was not required to make contributions to this Plan but did make contributions to the Carpenters Health and Security Trust of Western Washington on behalf of the Employee.