Retirement Plan Summary Plan Description

Human Resources

 

 

 

Summary Plan Description

 

Prepared for

 

UCAR Retirement Plan


 INTRODUCTION

 

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) has restated the UCAR Retirement Plan (the “Plan”) to help you and other Employees save for retirement.


UCAR restated the Plan by signing a complex legal agreement – the Plan document - which contains all of the provisions that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires. The Plan document must follow certain federal laws and regulations that apply to retirement plans. The Plan document may change as new or revised laws or regulations take effect. UCAR also has the right to modify certain features of the Plan from time to time. You will be notified about changes affecting your rights under the Plan.

 

This Summary Plan Description (SPD) summarizes the important features of the Plan document, including your benefits and obligations under the Plan. If you want more detailed information regarding certain plan features or have questions about the information contained in this SPD, you should contact your UCAR. You may also examine a copy of the plan document by making arrangements with your UCAR. Certain terms in the SPD have a special meaning when used in the Plan. These terms are capitalized throughout the SPD and are defined in more detail in the DEFINITIONS section of the SPD. If any information in this SPD conflicts with the terms of the Plan document adopted by your UCAR, the terms of the Plan document – not this SPD - will govern.

 

All dollars contributed to the Plan will be invested either in annuity contracts or in mutual funds held in custodial accounts. The agreements constituting or governing the annuity contracts and custodial accounts (the “Individual Agreements”) explain your rights under the contracts and accounts and the unique rules that apply to each Plan investment which may, in some cases, limit your options under the Plan. For example, the Individual Agreement may contain a provision which prohibit loans, even if the Plan generally allows loans. If this is the case, you would not be able to take a loan from the accumulation in an investment option governed by that Individual Agreement. You should review the Individual Agreements along with this SPD to gain a full understanding of your rights and obligations under the Plan. Contact your UCAR or TIAA-CREF to obtain copies of the Individual Agreements or to receive more information regarding the investment options available under the Plan.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

ELIGIBILITY

Am I eligible to participate in the Plan?

What requirements do I have to meet before I am eligible to participate in the Plan and when can I enter the Plan?

What happens to my Plan eligibility if I terminate my employment and am later rehired?

 

CONTRIBUTIONS & VESTING

What amount can I contribute to the Plan?

How do I start making contributions?

What if I don't make a specific election to contribute some of my Compensation into the Plan?

Can I change my contribution rate or stop making deferrals after I start participating in the Plan?

What if I contribute too much to the Plan?

Will I ever be required to make contributions to the Plan?

Will UCAR make any additional contributions to the Plan?

If I have money in other retirement plans, can I combine them with my accumulation under this plan?

Are there any limits on how much can be contributed for me?

Will contributions be made for me if I am called into military service?

Will I be able to keep my Employer contributions if I terminate employment or am no longer eligible to participate in the Plan?

 

WITHDRAWING MONEY FROM THE PLAN (AND LOANS)

When can I take a distribution from the Plan?

How do I request a payout?

If I am married, does my spouse have to approve my distributions from the Plan?

How will my money be distributed to me if I request a payout from the Plan?

Do any penalties or restrictions apply to my payouts?

Can I take a loan from the Plan?

How do I apply for a loan?

What is the interest rate for my loan?

What if I don't repay my loan?

What if I die before receiving all of my money from the Plan?

How long can I leave the money in my Plan?

What if the Plan is terminated?

 

INVESTING YOUR PLAN ACCOUNT

What investments are permitted?

Who is responsible for selecting the investments for my contributions under the Plan?

How frequently can I change my investment election?

 

ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION & RIGHTS UNDER ERISA

Who established the Plan?

When did the Plan become Effective?

Who is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Plan?

Who pays the expenses associated with operating the Plan?

Does UCAR have the right to change the Plan?

Does participation in the Plan provide any legal rights regarding my employment?

Can creditors or other individuals request a payout from my Plan balance?

How do I file a claim?

What if my claim is denied?

May I appeal the decision of UCAR?

If I need to take legal action with respect to the Plan, who is the agent for service of legal process?

If the Plan terminates, does the federal government insure my benefits under the Plan?

What are my legal rights and protections with respect to the Plan?

 

DEFINITIONS

 

ELIGIBILITY

 

Am I eligible to participate in the Plan?

 

You will be eligible to participate in the Plan and receive contributions made by UCAR and be required to make Mandatory Employee Contributions after meeting certain requirements described below, unless you are excluded from the plan.  Retirees on temporary duty are the only category of excluded employees.

 

The Plan document is being amended or restated on to new Plan documents. If you were eligible to participate in the prior plan, you will continue to be eligible to participate in this Plan without satisfying any additional age or service requirements.

 

What requirements do I have to meet before I am eligible to participate in the Plan and when can I enter the Plan?

 

Employees who are regularly scheduled to work under an appointment of at least six months shall participate in Mandatory Contributions and Employer Contributions as of their Date of Employment.

 

Any other Employee shall participate on the first day of the month coinciding with or next following the date such Employee completes a Year of Service

 

What happens to my Plan eligibility if I terminate my employment and am later rehired?

 

Once you satisfy the eligibility requirements and enter the Plan, you will continue to participate while you are still employed by UCAR, even if you have a break in eligibility service. A break in service occurs when you do not work more than 500 hours. If you had not yet satisfied the eligibility requirements and had a break in eligibility service, periods before your break in service will not be taken into account and you will have to satisfy the eligibility requirements following your break in service. Periods during which you have a break in eligibility service will not count against you if you were absent because you were pregnant, had a child or adopted a child, were serving in the military, or provided service during a national emergency and re-employment is protected under federal or state law, and you return to employment within the time required by law.

 

If you terminate employment and are later rehired, you will be able to defer a portion of your Compensation as a Deferral as soon as administratively feasible after being rehired. If you had met the eligibility requirements for Employer Contributions or making Mandatory Employee Contributions and were a Participant in the Plan before terminating employment or having a break in eligibility service, and are later rehired, you will enter the Plan immediately. If you were not a Participant before the break in eligibility service, and are rehired, you will need to again satisfy the Plan’s eligibility requirements for Employer Contributions or making Mandatory Employee Contributions.

 

CONTRIBUTIONS & VESTING


What amount can I contribute to the Plan?

 

Deferrals

You will be able to contribute a portion of your Compensation as a pre-tax Deferral. The maximum dollar amount that you can contribute to the Plan each year is $18,000 for 2015 and includes contributions you make to certain other deferral plans (e.g., other 401(k) plans, salary deferral SEP plans, and 403(b) tax-sheltered annuity plans). This amount will increase as the cost of living increases. Deferrals (and the related earnings) are always fully vested and cannot be forfeited. So if you were to leave UCAR, you would be entitled to the full Deferral balance (plus earnings).

 

The amount of your Compensation that you decide to defer into the Plan generally will be contributed on a pre-tax basis. That means that, unlike the compensation that you actually receive, the pre-tax contribution (and all of the earnings accumulated while it is invested in the Plan) will not be taxed at the time it is paid by UCAR. Instead, it will be taxable to you when you take a payout from the Plan. These contributions will reduce your taxable income each year that you make a contribution but will be treated as compensation for Social Security taxes.

 

EXAMPLE: Assume your Compensation is $25,000 per year. You decide to contribute five percent of your Compensation into the Plan. UCAR will pay you $23,750 as gross taxable income and will deposit $1,250 (five percent) into the Plan. You will not pay federal income taxes on the $1,250 (plus earnings on the $1,250) until you withdraw it from the Plan.

 

Catch-up Contributions

Age 50 Catch-up Contributions - If you are eligible to make Deferrals and you turn age 50 before the end of any calendar year, you may defer up to an extra $6,000 each year (for 2015) into the Plan as a pre-tax contribution once you meet certain Plan limits. The maximum catch-up amount may increase as the cost of living increases.

 

How do I start making contributions?

 

To begin deferring a portion of your Compensation into the Plan, you must follow the procedures established by UCAR.

 

What if I don't make a specific election to contribute some of my Compensation into the Plan?

 

You are not required to defer a portion of your Compensation into the Plan. If you elect 0% or you simply fail to follow the procedures established by UCAR for making a Deferral election, you will not be enrolled in the Plan as a deferring Participant (i.e., 0% of your Compensation will be deferred into the Plan).

 

Can I change my contribution rate or stop making Deferrals after I start participating in the Plan?

 

You may change the amount you are deferring into the Plan or stop making Deferrals altogether.  

 

What if I contribute too much to the Plan?

 

If you contribute too much to the Plan as a Deferral, you must take the excess amount (plus any earnings on the excess) out of the Plan by April 15 of the year following the year the money was contributed to the Plan. You must notify UCAR, in writing, of the excess amount by March 1 and request that it be removed. The excess amount is taxable to you in the year you contributed it to the Plan. If you do not remove it by the deadline, additional taxes will apply.

 

Will I ever be required to make contributions to the Plan?

 

Mandatory Employee Contributions

You will be required to make Mandatory Employee Contributions in the amount of 5% of Compensation as a condition of continued employment once you have satisfied the eligibility requirements for receiving Employer Contributions and are not in an excluded class of employees, if any.

 

The amount of your Compensation that is contributed to the Plan as a Mandatory Employee Contribution will be contributed on a pre-tax basis. That means that, unlike the compensation that you actually receive, the amount of the Mandatory Employee Contribution (and all of the earnings accumulated while it is invested in the Plan) will not be taxed in the year it is contributed to the Plan. Instead, it will be taxable to you when you take a payout from the Plan. The Mandatory Employee Contributions will reduce your federal taxable income each year that you make a contribution but will be treated as compensation for Social Security taxes.

 

EXAMPLE: Assume your Compensation is $25,000 per year. You are required to contribute five percent of your Compensation into the Plan as a Mandatory Employee Contribution. UCAR will pay you $23,750 as gross taxable income and will deposit $1,250 (five percent) into the Plan. You will not pay taxes on the $1,250 (plus earnings on the $1,250) until you withdraw it from the Plan.

 

Mandatory Employee Contributions (and the related earnings) are always fully vested and cannot be forfeited. So if you were to leave UCAR, you would be entitled to the full Mandatory Employee Contribution balance (plus earnings).

 

Will UCAR make any additional contributions to the Plan?

 

UCAR will make Employer Contributions to the Plan each year.

 

UCAR Contributions made by UCAR to the Plan will be allocated using a pro rata formula. Under this formula, each eligible Participant will receive an Employer Contribution equal to 10% of their Compensation.

 

If you are on a paid leave of absence from UCAR, you will still be eligible to receive an Employer Contribution based on the Compensation received during the leave.

 

If I have money in other retirement plans, can I combine them with my accumulation under this Plan?

 

UCAR will allow you to roll over dollars you have saved in other retirement arrangements into this Plan after you become eligible to participate in the Plan. UCAR will provide you with the documents or other information you need to determine whether your prior plan balance is qualified to be rolled into this Plan.

 

The Plan will accept amounts rolled over from the prior plan to this Plan if the prior plan was a:

 

            Qualified retirement plan (e.g., 401(k) plan, profit sharing plan, money purchase pension plan, target benefit plan)

            403(b) tax-sheltered annuity plan

            Government 457(b) plan

            Traditional IRA

 

Participants and/or beneficiaries who received 2009 RMDs and extended RMDs distributed for 2009 were allowed to roll those distributions over into this plan in accordance with the rollover contributions rules listed above.

 

Plan to Plan Transfers

UCAR will allow you to transfer dollars you have saved in other 403(b) retirement arrangements into this Plan if you are currently working for UCAR. UCAR will establish certain procedures that you must follow if you are making a plan to plan transfer. Limits on the timing of distribution that existed in the prior plan will continue to apply to the assets that you transfer to this Plan.

 

Rollover and Transfer contributions are always 100 percent vested and nonforfeitable.

 

Are there any limits on how much can be contributed for me?

 

In addition to the Deferral limit described previously, you may not have total contributions (including Deferrals) of more than $53,000, plus any age 50 catch-up contributions, in 2015 or an amount equal to 100% of your Compensation, whichever is less, allocated to the Plan for your benefit each year. The $53,000 limit will be increased as the cost of living increases, and is the total amount that can be contributed across all retirement plans sponsored by UCAR.

 

Will contributions be made for me if I am called to military service?

 

If you are reemployed by UCAR after completing military service, you may be entitled to receive certain make-up contributions from UCAR. If your Plan permits Deferrals or Nondeductible Employee Contributions, you may also have the option of making up missed employee contributions and receiving a Matching Contribution, if applicable, on these contributions.

 

If you are reemployed after military service, contact your Plan Administrator for more information about your options under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).

 

Will I be able to keep my Employer contributions if I terminate employment or am no longer eligible to participate in the Plan?

 

Contributions that you receive from UCAR will always be fully vested and cannot be forfeited, even if you terminate employment or become ineligible to participate in the Plan.


WITHDRAWING MONEY FROM THE PLAN (AND LOANS)

 

When can I take a distribution from the plan?

 

You may always request a distribution of contributions you have received from UCAR upon termination of employment after reaching age 59½ and on part time status.

 

You may request a distribution of Deferrals at the times listed below.

 

            You terminate employment

            You become disabled

            When you reach age 59½ and are part time

            On account of hardship

 

You may request a distribution of the contributions you receive from UCAR at the times listed below, if they are invested in annuity contracts.

 

            You terminate employment

            You become disabled

            When you reach age 59½ and are part time

 

You may request a distribution of the contributions you receive from UCAR at the times listed below, if they are invested in custodial accounts.

 

 

            You terminate employment

            You become Disabled

            When you reach age 59½ and are part time

 

Your Mandatory Employee Contributions will also be available to you at the times listed above for contributions you receive from UCAR, if permitted under the terms of the Individual Agreements.

 

Your transfer contributions will also be available to you at the times listed above for contributions you receive from UCAR, if permitted under the terms of the Individual Agreements.

 

You may elect a distribution of your rollover contributions at any time subject to the restrictions in the Individual Agreements.

 

With regard to transfer contributions, distribution restrictions that applied in the plan that held the transferred amount before you moved it to this Plan may limit your payout options. If the distribution options were more limited under the prior plan, the transferred amount will remain subject to those more restrictive distribution rules.

 

Hardship

 

If you experience a financial hardship, you may take a distribution from the Deferrals you have contributed to the Plan, unless restricted under the terms of the Individual Agreements.

 

The following events qualify as a hardship distribution under the Plan:

 

            Medical expenses for you, your spouse or your dependents, or your beneficiary,

            Payment to purchase your principal residence,

            Tuition and education-related expenses for you, your spouse or your dependents, or your beneficiary

            Payments to prevent eviction from your principal residence,

            Funeral expenses for you, your spouse or your dependents, or your beneficiary,

            Payments to repair your principal residence that would qualify for a casualty loss deduction.

 

Before you take a hardship distribution, you must take all other distributions and all nontaxable loans available to you under the Plan. If you take a hardship distribution of Deferrals, you may not be eligible to make Deferrals for the next six months. If you are under age 59½, the amount you take out of the Plan as a hardship distribution may be subject to a 10 percent penalty tax.  This is only required under the safe harbor method of determining hardship.

 

You may be able to take a penalty-free distribution from your Deferrals if you were called to active military duty after September 11, 2001. In order to qualify for these penalty-free distributions, you must have been ordered or called to active duty for a period of at least 180 days or an indefinite period and your distribution must have been taken after you were called to duty and before your active duty ended.

 

Effective 01/01/2009, if you are on active duty in the uniformed services for a period of more than 30 days, you may elect to take a distribution of your Deferrals from the Plan without severing from employment with UCAR. However, if you choose to take distributions under this provision, you will not be permitted to make Deferrals, Nondeductible Contributions and/or Mandatory Employee Contributions to the Plan during the six-month period beginning on the date of the distribution.

 

The Individual Agreements governing the investment options that you selected for your Plan contributions may contain additional limits on when you can take a distribution, the form of distribution that may be available as well as your right to transfer among approved investment options. Please review both the following information in this Summary Plan Description and the terms of your annuity contracts or custodial agreements before requesting a distribution. Contact UCAR or TIAA-CREF if you have questions regarding your distribution options.

 

How do I request a payout?

 

You must complete a payout request form provided or approved by UCAR or follow other procedures established by UCAR for processing distributions.

 

If you are taking a hardship distribution, you must provide documents to verify that you have a hardship event that qualifies for a Plan distribution.

 

If you die, become Disabled, or reach age 59½ and are part time, and you qualify for and request a distribution, your distribution will begin as soon as administratively feasible after the date you (or your beneficiary in the case of your death) request a distribution.

 

If you terminate your employment and you qualify for and request a distribution, your distribution will begin as soon as administratively feasible after the date you (or your beneficiary in the case of your death) request a distribution.


If I am married, does my spouse have to approve my distributions from the Plan?


You are not required to get consent from your spouse in order to take a payout or loan from the Plan unless required in the Individual Agreements. Your spouse’s consent is needed if you want to name someone other than your spouse as your beneficiary.


How will my money be distributed to me if I request a payout from the Plan?


You may choose from the following options for your payout.

 

            Lump sum

            Partial payments

            Installment payments

            Annuity contract (other than a life annuity)

 

The Individual Agreements governing the investment options that you selected for your contributions may further restrict your payout options.  Please review the annuity contracts or custodial agreements before requesting a distribution and contact UCAR or the TIAA-CREF if you have questions regarding your distribution options.

 

If your distribution is eligible to be rolled over, you may choose to have your distribution paid to another eligible retirement arrangement. Contact UCAR for information regarding rollover procedures.

 

Do any penalties or restrictions apply to my payouts?

 

Generally, if you take a payout from the Plan before you are age 59½, a 10 percent early distribution penalty will apply to the taxable portion of your payout. There are some exceptions to the 10 percent penalty. Your tax adviser can assist you in determining whether you qualify for a penalty exception.

 

If your payout is eligible to be rolled over, 20 percent of the taxable portion of your payout will be withheld and remitted to the IRS as a credit toward the taxes you will owe on the payout amount unless you do a direct rollover.

 

EXAMPLE: You request a $10,000 payout from the pre-tax portion of your Plan balance. If the amount is eligible to be rolled over to another plan, but you choose not to roll it over directly, you will receive $8,000 and $2,000 will be remitted to the IRS.

 

Can I take a loan from the Plan?

 

Although the Plan is designed primarily to help you save for retirement, you may take a loan from the Plan as outlined below, subject to the terms and restrictions in the Individual Agreements. Please review your annuity contracts or custodial agreements before requesting a loan. Contact UCAR or the TIAA-CREF if you have questions regarding your loan options.

 

The Individual Agreements governing the investment options that you selected for your Plan contributions may contain additional limits on when you can take a loan. Please review both the following information in this Summary Plan Description and your annuity contracts or custodial agreements before requesting a loan. Contact UCAR or the TIAA-CREF if you have questions regarding your loan options.

 

Generally the minimum loan amount that you may take is $1,000 and the maximum loan amount is $50,000. The maximum amount you can borrow may be less, however, depending on two factors: 1) the amount of your accumulation under the Plan, and 2) whether you have taken other loans from any of this Employer’s plans within the last year. If you have not had a plan loan in the previous year, your maximum loan cannot be greater than one-half of your vested account balance or $50,000, whichever is less. If you have had another loan, the $50,000 maximum will be reduced by the highest outstanding loan balance in the 12 month period prior to the new loan.

 

If your loan is being taken from a TIAA-CREF Annuity, your maximum loan amount is further limited to

 

1) 45% of your combined TIAA and CREF accumulation attributable to participation under this Plan; or

 2) 90% or your CREF and TIAA Real Estate accumulation attributable to participation under this Plan for Retirement Loan (RL) loans or

3) 90% of your TIAA Annuity accumulation attributable to participation under this Plan for a Group Supplemental Retirement Annuity (GSRA) loan.

 

If you default on a loan, your right to a future loan may be restricted. Further, the maximum amount that you can borrow from the Plan will be reduced by the amount in default (plus interest) until the defaulted amount can be deducted from your Plan accumulation. If more than one employer contributed to your TIAA-CREF Annuities, you can only take loans based on the amount you accumulated under this Employer’s plan. You should check with your other employers for the rules that apply to loans from the amounts you accumulated while working for the other employers.

 

If your loan is based on amounts invested in your TIAA-CREF mutual funds, you may not have more than three loans at any one time (from all plans of all employers).

 

You will be permitted to have an unlimited number of loans outstanding at any time, unless further limited by investments as noted above.

 

If your loan is used to purchase a primary residence, you must repay it within ten years. Other loans must be repaid within one to five years.

 

How do I apply for a loan?

 

To apply for a loan you must complete the loan application provided (or approved) by UCAR and pay any applicable loan fees.

 

What is the interest rate for my loan?

 

The interest rate for your loan will vary, as described below, depending upon how your retirement balance is invested.

 

           Group Supplemental Retirement Unit-Annuity (GSRA) contract - The interest rate is variable and can increase or decrease every three months. The interest rate you pay initially will be the higher of 1) the Moody’s Corporate Bond Yield Average for the calendar month ending two months before your loan is issued; or 2) the interest rate credited before your annuity starting date, as stated in the applicable rate schedule, plus 1 percent. Thereafter, the rate may change quarterly, but only if the new rate differs from your current rate by at least ½ percent.

 

           Retirement Loan (RL) contract - For all Employers except those located in Arkansas, Hawaii, or New Jersey, the interest rate you pay initially will be the higher of 1) the Moody’s Corporate Bond Yield Average for the calendar month ending two months before your loan is issued; or 2) the interest credited before your annuity starting date, as stated in the applicable rate schedule, plus 1 percent. Thereafter the rate will change annually, but only if the Moody’s Corporate Bond Yield Average for the calendar month ending two months before the anniversary of your loan differs from your current rate by at least a half percent. If the latest average differs by less, your interest rate will remain the same for the next year. For Employers located in Arkansas, Hawaii, or New Jersey, the interest rate will be a fixed rate of 8 percent.

 

           TIAA-CREF mutual funds - The interest rate for loans from TIAA-CREF mutual funds will be fixed for the term of the loan and will be equal to the Federal Reserve Board Bank prime loan rate plus 1 percent at the time of the loan origination.

 

What if I don’t repay my loan?

 

You will be required to repay the loan amount (plus interest) to the Plan. If you default on the loan, you will be taxed on the amount of the outstanding loan balance and will be subject to a 10 percent penalty if you are under age 59½. In addition, UCAR has the right to foreclose its security interest in the portion of your vested account under the Plan that you pledged as security for the loan, when an event allowing a Plan distribution occurs. The following events will cause a loan default:

 

            Not repaying your loan as set forth in your loan agreement.

            Breaching any of your obligations under your loan agreement.

            Severing your employment (for loans from mutual funds in custodial accounts)

 

If your loan is defaulted, UCAR has the right to foreclose the security interest in your vested account balance pledged for repayment, when an event which triggers a distribution of your benefits occurs. In addition, the loan administrator will report the loan default to the IRS and the outstanding loan amount and accrued interest will be treated as a taxable distribution. If you are under age 59½, this could result in a 10 percent penalty on the taxable portion of the default.

 

What if I die before receiving all of my money from the Plan?

 

If you die before taking all of your assets from the Plan, the remaining balance will be paid to your designated beneficiary. To designate your beneficiary, you must follow the procedures established by UCAR. If you are married and decide to name someone other than your spouse as your beneficiary, your spouse must consent in writing to your designation. It is important to review your designation from time to time and update it if your circumstances change (e.g., a divorce, death of a named beneficiary).

 

If you do not name a beneficiary, 50% of your balance will be paid to your spouse and 50% will be paid to your estate. If you do not name a beneficiary and have no surviving spouse, your remaining balance in the Plan will be paid to your estate, unless a different alternative is provided in the Individual Agreement.

 

Your beneficiary will generally have the same options regarding the form of the distribution that are available to you as a Participant. Your beneficiary may also have the option of rolling their distribution into an IRA. The Individual Agreements governing the investment options that you selected for your contributions may further restrict your beneficiary’s options regarding the manner in which the dollars will be distributed.

 

If you die after beginning age 70½ distributions, as described in the following question, your beneficiary must continue taking distributions from the plan at least annually. If you die before beginning age 70½ payments, your beneficiary may have the option of (1) taking annual payments beginning the year following your death (or the year you would have reached age 70½, if your spouse is your beneficiary), or (2) delaying their distribution until the year containing the fifth anniversary of your death, provided they take the entire amount remaining during that fifth year.

 

Effective beginning 2009, if you are a beneficiary using the five-year rule for distributions of your benefits, 2009 does not count toward determining the end of the five-year period. For example, if the participant died in 2007, you will have until December 31, 2013, instead of December 31, 2012, to deplete your account under the Plan.

 

How long can I leave the money in my Plan?

 

When you terminate from employment, your balance will generally not be paid out of the Plan until you request a payout from UCAR.

 

Age 70½ Required Distributions

When you reach age 70½ you will generally need to begin taking a distribution each year based on your balance in the Plan. However, unless you own more than 5% of UCAR, you can delay required distributions until you actually separate from service. Contributions for periods before 1987 (excluding earnings on those contributions) will generally not be subject to the required distribution rules until you reach age 75. You may also have the option to satisfy your required minimum distribution from the Plan by aggregating all your 403(b) plans and taking the required minimum distribution from any one or more of the individual 403(b) plans.

 

Effective for 2009, you may have chosen whether or not to take your required minimum distribution for 2009. If you did not make that choice, UCAR retained that amount within the Plan.

 

Effective for 2009, you may have chosen to roll over your 2009 and/or extended 2009 required minimum distribution to another eligible retirement arrangement.

 

What if the Plan is terminated?

 

If the Plan is terminated, your entire account balance will be distributed from the Plan. To the extent you are invested in an annuity contract, you will receive a distribution of the contract.


INVESTING YOUR PLAN ACCOUNT

 

What investments are permitted?

 

UCAR (or someone appointed by UCAR) will select the investment vendors and investment options that will be available under the Plan. The investment options will be limited to annuity contracts and mutual funds purchased through a custodial account. The list of approved investment options and vendors may change from time to time as UCAR considers appropriate. UCAR may restrict the list of vendors who may accept new contributions to the Plan and it may be different from the list of vendors and investment options available once the contributions have been made to the Plan through a contract exchange. You should carefully review the Individual Agreements governing the annuity contracts and custodial accounts, the prospectus, or other available information before making investment decisions. 

 

Who is responsible for selecting the investments for my contributions under the Plan?

 

You have the right to decide how your Plan balance will be invested. UCAR will establish administrative procedures that you must follow to select your investments. UCAR will designate a list of vendors and investment options that you may select for new contributions to the Plan. You will have the ability to transfer your Plan balance among these vendors and investment options, to the extent permitted by the Individual Agreements. Contact UCAR if you are not certain whether a particular vendor or investment option is permitted under the Plan. If you do not select investments for your Plan account, UCAR will determine how your account will be invested.

UCAR intends to operate this Plan in compliance with Section 404(c) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations Section 2550.404c-1. This means that UCAR and others in charge of the Plan will not be responsible for any losses that result from investment instructions given by you or your beneficiary.

 

How frequently can I change my investment elections?

 

You may change your initial investment selections as frequently as permitted under the Individual Agreements.

 


ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION AND RIGHTS UNDER ERISA

 

Who established the Plan?

 

The official name of the Plan is UCAR Retirement Plan

UCAR who adopted the Plan is:

 

     UNIVERSITY CORPORATION FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH

     3090 CENTER GREEN DRIVE

     Boulder, CO  80301

     303-497-8702

     Federal Tax Identification Number: 840412668

     Fiscal Year End: 09/30

 

UCAR has assigned Number 001 to the Plan.

 

The Plan is a 403(b) defined contribution plan, which means that contributions to the Plan made on your behalf (and earnings) will be separately accounted for within the Plan.

 

When did the Plan become effective?


UCAR has amended and restated the UCAR Retirement Plan which was originally adopted 01/01/1960. The effective date of this amended Plan is 01/01/2013.

 

Who is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Plan?

 

UCAR is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Plan. To assist in operating the Plan efficiently and accurately, UCAR may appoint others to act on its behalf or to perform certain functions.

 

Who pays the expenses associated with operating the Plan?

 

All reasonable Plan administration expenses including those involved in retaining necessary professional assistance may be paid from the assets of the Plan, to the extent permitted by the Individual Agreements. These expenses may be allocated among you and all other Plan participants or, for expenses directly related to you, charged against your account balance. Examples of expenses that may be directly related to you include: general recordkeeping fees and expenses related to processing your distributions or loans (if applicable), qualified domestic relations orders, and your ability to direct the investment of your Plan balance, if applicable. Finally, UCAR may, in its discretion, pay any or all of these expenses. For example, UCAR may pay expenses for current employees, but may deduct the expenses of former employees directly from their accounts. UCAR will provide you with a summary of all Plan expenses and the method of payment of the expenses upon request.

 

Does the UCAR have the right to change the Plan?

 

The Plan will be amended from time to time to incorporate changes required by the law and regulations governing retirement plans. UCAR also has the right to amend the Plan to add new features or to change or eliminate various provisions. UCAR cannot amend the Plan to take away or reduce protected benefits under the Plan (e.g., UCAR cannot reduce the vesting percentage that applies to your current balance in the Plan).

 

Does participation in the Plan provide any legal rights regarding my employment?

 

The Plan does not intend to, and does not provide, any additional rights to employment or constitute a contract for employment. The purpose of the Summary Plan Description is to help you understand how the Plan operates and the benefits available to you under the Plan. The Plan document is the controlling legal document with respect to the operation of and rights granted under the Plan and if there are any inconsistencies between this Summary Plan Description and the Plan document, the Plan document will be followed.

 

Can creditors or other individuals request a payout from my Plan balance?

 

Creditors (other than the IRS) and others generally may not request a distribution from your Plan balance. One major exception to this rule is that UCAR may distribute or reallocate your benefits in response to a qualified domestic relations order. A qualified domestic relations order is an order or decree issued by a court that requires you to pay child support or alimony or to give a portion of your Plan account to an ex-spouse or legally separated spouse. UCAR will review the order to ensure that it meets certain criteria before any money is paid from your account. You (or your beneficiary) may obtain, at no charge, a copy of the procedures UCAR will use for reviewing and qualifying domestic relations orders.

 

How do I file a claim?

 

To claim a benefit that you are entitled to under the Plan, you must file a written request with UCAR. The claim must set forth the reasons you believe you are eligible to receive benefits and you must authorize UCAR to conduct any necessary examinations and take the steps to evaluate the claim.

 

What if my claim is denied?

 

Except as described below, if your claim is denied, UCAR will provide you (or your beneficiary) with a written notice of the denial within 90 days of the date your claim was filed. This notice will give you the specific reasons for the denial, the specific provisions of the Plan upon which the denial is based, and an explanation of the procedures for appeal.

 

In the case of a claim for disability benefits, if UCAR is making a determination of whether you are Disabled, you will be notified of a denial of your claim within a reasonable amount of time, but not later than 45 days after the Plan receives your claim. The 45-day time period may be extended by the Plan for up to 30 days if UCAR determines that an extension is necessary due to matters beyond the control of the Plan. UCAR will notify you, before the end of the 45-day period, of the reason(s) for the extension and the date by which the Plan expects to make a decision regarding your claim.

 

If, before the end of the 30-day extension, UCAR determines that, due to matters beyond the control of the Plan, a decision regarding your claim cannot be made within the 30-day extension, the period for making the decision may be extended for an additional 30 days, provided that UCAR notifies you, before the end of the first 30-day extension, of the circumstances requiring the additional extension and the date as of which the Plan expects to make a decision. The notice will specifically explain the standards on which the approval of your claim will be based, the unresolved issues that prevent a decision on your claim, and the additional information needed to resolve those issues. You will have at least 45 days within which to provide the specified information.

 

The period of time within which approval or denial of your claim is required to be made generally begins at the time your claim is filed. If the period of time is extended because you fail to submit information necessary to decide your claim, the period for approving or denying your claim will not include the period of time between the date on which the notification of the extension is sent to you and the date on which you provide the additional information.

 

UCAR will provide you with written or electronic notification if your claim is denied. The notification will provide the following:

 

i. The specific reason or reasons for the denial;

ii. Reference to the specific section of the Plan on which the denial is based;

iii. A description of any additional information that you must provide before the claim may continue to be processed and an explanation of why such information is necessary;

iv. A description of the Plan’s review procedures and the time limits applicable to such procedures, including a statement of your right to bring a civil action under Section 502(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) following a claim denial on review; and

v. In the case of a Plan providing disability benefits, if UCAR used an internal rule or guideline in denying your claim, either 1) the specific rule or guideline, or a statement that the rule or guideline was relied upon in denying your claim, and that 2) a copy of the rule or guideline will be provided free of charge to you upon request.

 

If the claim denial is based on a medical necessity, experimental treatment, or similar situation, either an explanation of the scientific or clinical basis for the denial, applying the terms of the Plan to your medical circumstances, or a statement that an explanation will be provided free of charge upon request.

 

May I appeal the decision of UCAR?


You or your beneficiary will have 60 days from the date you receive the notice of claim denial in which to appeal UCAR’s decision. You may request that the review be in the nature of a hearing and an attorney may represent you.

 

However, in the case of a claim for disability benefits, if UCAR is deciding whether you are disabled under the terms of the Plan, you will have at least 180 days following receipt of notification of a claim denial within which to appeal UCAR’s decision.

 

You may submit written comments, documents, records, and other information relating to your claim. In addition, you will be provided, upon request and free of charge, reasonable access to, and copies of, all documents, records, and other information pertaining to your claim.

 

Your appeal will take into account all comments, documents, records, and other information submitted by you relating to the claim, even if the information was not included originally.

 

If the claim is for disability benefits:

 

i. Your claim will be reviewed independent of your original claim and will be conducted by a named fiduciary of the Plan other than the individual who denied your original claim or any of his or her employees. 

ii. In deciding an appeal of a claim denial that is based in whole or in part on a medical judgment, the appropriate named fiduciary will consult with a health care professional who has appropriate training and experience in the field of medicine involved in the medical judgment; 

iii. UCAR will provide you with the name(s) of the health care professional(s) who was consulted in connection with your original claim, even if the claim denial was not based on his or her advice. The health care professional consulted for purposes of your appeal will not be the same person or any of his or her employees. 

iv. You will be notified of the outcome of your appeal no later than 45 days after receipt of your request for the appeal, unless UCAR determines that special circumstances require an extension of time for processing the claim. If UCAR determines that an extension is required, written notice of the extension will be provided to you before the end of the initial 45-day period. The notice will identify the special circumstances requiring an extension and the date by which the Plan expects to make a decision regarding your claim.

 

UCAR will provide you with written or electronic notification of the final outcome of your claim. The notification will include:

 

i. A statement that you are entitled to receive, upon request and free of charge, reasonable access to, and copies of, all documents, records, and other information relevant to your claim;

ii. A statement describing any additional voluntary appeal procedures offered by the Plan, your right to obtain the information about such procedures, and a statement of your right to bring an action under Section 502(a) of ERISA; and

iii. If UCAR used an internal rule or guideline in denying your claim, either 1) the specific rule or guideline, or a statement that the rule or guideline was relied upon in denying your claim, and 2) that a copy of the rule or guideline will be provided free of charge to you upon request.

 

If the claim denial is based on a medical necessity, experimental treatment, or similar situation, either an explanation of the scientific or clinical basis for the denial, applying the terms of the Plan to your medical circumstances, or a statement that an explanation will be provided free of charge upon request.

 

If I need to take legal action with respect to the Plan, who is the agent for service of legal process?

 

UCAR is the agent to be served with legal papers regarding the Plan.

 

If the Plan terminates, does the federal government insure my benefits under the plan?

 

If the Plan terminates, you will become fully vested in your entire balance under the Plan, even though you would not otherwise have a sufficient number of years of vesting service to be 100 percent vested in your balance. You will be entitled to take your entire balance from the Plan following termination.

 

The type of plan in which you participate is not insured by the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporate, the government agency that insures certain pension plan benefits upon plan termination.

 

What are my legal rights and protections with respect to the Plan?

 

As a Participant in this Plan, you are entitled to certain rights and protections under ERISA. ERISA provides that all Plan Participants shall be entitled to do the following.

 

Receive Information About Your Plan and Benefits

1. Examine, without charge, at UCAR’s office and at other specified locations, such as worksites and union halls, all Plan 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.

2. Obtain, upon request to UCAR, copies of documents governing the operations of the Plan, including insurance contracts and collective bargaining agreements, and copies of the latest annual report (Form 5500 Series) and updated Summary Plan Description (SPD). UCAR may charge a reasonable fee for the copies.

3. Receive a summary of the Plan’s annual financial report. UCAR is required by law to furnish each Participant with a copy of this Summary Annual Report.

4. Obtain, once a year, a statement of the total pension benefits accrued and the vested pension benefits (if any) or the earliest date on which benefits will become vested. The Plan may require a written request for this statement, but it 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 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 UCAR, 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 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 may 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 UCAR 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 UCAR. 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. In addition, if you disagree with the Plan’s decision or lack thereof concerning the qualified status of a domestic relations order or a medical child support 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 the costs and fees. If you lose, the court may order you to pay these costs and fees, for example, if the court finds your claim is frivolous.

 

 

Assistance with Your Questions

If you have any questions about your Plan, you should contact UCAR. If you have any questions about this statement or about your rights under ERISA, or if you need assistance in obtaining documents from UCAR, you should contact the nearest area 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. You may also obtain certain publications about your rights and responsibilities under ERISA by calling the publications hotline of the Employee Benefits Security Administration.

 

Further, if this Plan is maintained by more than one Employer, you may obtain a complete list of all such Employers by making a written request to UCAR.

 

DEFINITIONS

 

Compensation – The definition of Compensation under the Plan can vary depending upon the purpose (e.g., allocations, nondiscrimination testing, tax deductions).

In general, the amount of your earnings from UCAR taken into account under the Plan is all earnings reported to you on Form W-2. Compensation will include amounts that are not included in your taxable income that were deferred under a cafeteria plan, a 401(k) plan, a salary deferral SEP plan, a 403(b) tax-sheltered annuity plan, a 457(b) deferred compensation plan of a state or local government or tax-exempt employer, or transportation fringe benefits that you receive.

 

The definition of Compensation used under the Plan has been further adjusted to exclude the following amounts.

 

All lump sum payments including bonuses that you receive will not be considered Compensation.

            Overtime pay will not be included in the Compensation.

Amounts deemed to be compensation that relate to an automatic enrollment cafeteria plan where you fail to provide proof of insurance will be excluded when determining your Compensation.

 

Effective January 1, 2009, or, if later, the Effective Date of the Plan, if UCAR chooses to provide differential pay to you while you are on active duty with the uniformed services for a period of more than 30 days, the pay will be considered additional Compensation paid to you for purposes of determining Plan contributions. See your Plan Administrator to determine if UCAR provides differential pay.

 

The measuring period for Compensation will be the Plan Year.

 

The maximum amount of Compensation that will be taken into account under the Plan is $265,000 (for 2015). This amount increases as the cost of living rises.

 

Deferrals – Deferrals are the dollars you choose to contribute to the Plan through payroll deduction on pre-tax basis.

 

Disabled – You will be considered disabled if you cannot engage in any substantial, gainful activity because of a medically determined physical or mental impairment that is expected to last at least 12 months.

 

Early Retirement Age – There is no Early Retirement Age designated under the Plan.

 

Employer – The Employer is UNIVERSITY CORPORATION FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH. UCAR will also serve as the Plan Administrator, as defined in ERISA, who is responsible for the day to day operations and decisions regarding the Plan, unless a separate Plan Administrator is appointed for all or some of the plan responsibilities. The term Employer, as used in this Summary Plan Description, will also mean Plan Administrator, as that term is used in ERISA.

 

Employer Contributions - UCAR may choose to make Employer Contributions for Participants who meet the certain eligibility requirements. Your eligibility to receive Employer Contributions is not dependent upon whether you make Deferrals and/or Mandatory Employee Contributions.

 

Highly Compensated Employee – A Highly Compensated Employee is any employee who

1) was a five percent owner at any time during the year or the previous year, or

2) for the previous year had Compensation from UCAR greater than $120,000 (for 2015).

 

The $120,000 threshold is increased as the cost of living rises.

 

Hour of Service – An Hour of Service, for purposes of determining Plan eligibility, vesting and eligibility to receive Employer contributions will be based on actual hours for which you are entitled to pay.

 

If UCAR continues a plan from a prior employer, you will receive credit for time that you worked for the predecessor employer.

 

Individual Agreements - All contributions to the Plan will be invested either in annuity contracts or in mutual funds held in custodial accounts. The agreements between the vendor and UCAR or you that constitute or govern the annuity contracts and custodial accounts are referred to as Individual Agreements. The Individual Agreements explain the unique rules that apply to each Plan investment and may, in some cases, limit your options under the Plan, including your transfer and distribution rights.

 

Mandatory Employee Contributions – Mandatory Employee Contributions are pre-tax contributions that you are required to make to the Plan as a condition of employment.

 

Normal Retirement Age – Age 59½ is considered the Normal Retirement Age under the Plan.

 

Participant – An employee of UCAR who has satisfied the eligibility requirements and entered the Plan is referred to as a Participant.

 

Plan – The UCAR Retirement Plan is the Plan described in this Summary Plan Description.

 

Plan Administrator – UCAR is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Plan. To assist in operating the Plan efficiently and accurately, UCAR may appoint others to act on its behalf or to perform certain functions.

 

Plan Year – The calendar year will serve as the Plan Year.

 

Qualified Nonelective Contribution – UCAR may make Qualified Nonelective Contributions to satisfy certain nondiscrimination tests that apply to the Plan. These contributions are discretionary and are 100 percent vested when made.

 

Taxable Wage Base – The Social Security Administration sets a contribution and benefit base level each year which is referred to as the Taxable Wage Base.

 

Year of Service – A 12 consecutive month period that coincides with an Eligibility Computation Period during which an employee completes at least 1,000 hours of service.



Last updated by lcarr on January 5, 2015 - 3:09pm.
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