The Plan was established as the result of collective bargaining agreements, and its purpose is to improve the financial security and well-being of the employees and their beneficiaries. The Trustees, the Employer, and the Union want you, as a Participant in the Plan, to enjoy its benefits. This booklet describes the Plan and tells you and your beneficiary how to get more information. The description of the claims and appeals procedure tells you how to apply for benefits and how to follow up, if necessary.

The following is a summary of the rights and protection to which every Participant in the Plan is entitled under the law (ERISA).

ERISA provides that you, as a Plan Participant, are entitled to the following:

Examine, without charge, at the Contract Administrator's Office, all plan documents, including insurance contracts, collective bargaining agreements and copies of all documents filed by the Plan with the U.S. Department of Labor such as detailed annual reports and description of the Plan. (If it is not practical to examine these documents at the Contract Administrator's Office, arrangements will be made for examination at a Union office, or if necessary, at the Employer's Office.).

Obtain copies of all plan documents and other plan information upon written request to the Contract Administrator's Office. The Contract Administrator may make a reasonable charge for the copies.

Receive a summary of the Plan's annual financial report.
You are entitled to a statement once a year of the balance in your account, consisting of employer contributions and net investment income. The Plan will provide this statement free of charge. The Plan will provide this information to the extent it is able, based on available records.

The Trustees, and anyone else with responsibility for managing or operating the Plan, have certain obligations under the law. These "fiduciaries" must operate the plan prudently and in the interests of you and other Plan Participants and Beneficiaries. You have a right to get your benefits under the provisions of the Plan and to exercise your rights under the Plan and under ERISA. No one, whether Employer, Union, or anyone else, can discriminate against you because you pursue your rights.

If your claim for a pension benefit is denied in whole or in part, you must receive a written explanation of the reason for the denial. You have the right to have the Trustees review and reconsider your claim.

Under ERISA, there are steps you can take to enforce your rights. For instance, if you request materials 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 Trustees 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 Trustees. 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. If 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.

If you have any questions about the Plan, or your rights, or this statement, please contact the Contract Administrator's Office. You may also direct any such questions to the nearest Office of the Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor.