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Pension Plan – Rights and Protections

ERISA Rights


As a Participant in this Plan, you are entitled to certain rights and protections under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

ERISA provides that all Plan Participants shall be entitled to:

  • Examine, without charge, at the Fund Office and at other specified locations, such as worksites and union halls, all Plan documents, including 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 Plan descriptions. Copies of all Plan documents and other Plan information may also be obtained upon written requests to the Fund Office; a reasonable charge may be made for the copies.
  • Receive a summary of the Plan’s annual financial report. The Board of Trustees is required by law to furnish each Participant with a copy of this summary annual report.

Insofar as required by applicable government regulations you may also obtain a statement telling you whether you have a right to receive benefits at Normal Retirement Age (65) if you stop working under the Plan now. This statement must be requested in writing and is not required to be given more than once a year. The Plan must provide the statement free of charge.

In addition to creating rights for Plan Participants, ERISA imposes duties upon the people who are responsible for operation of this 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 your employer, your union, or any other person may fire you or otherwise discriminate against you in any way to prevent you from obtaining an annuity benefit or exercising your rights under ERISA. If your claim for benefits is denied, in whole or in part, you must receive a written explanation of the reason for the denial and you have the right to have the Plan review and reconsider your claim, as described elsewhere in this booklet.

Under ERISA, there are steps you can take to enforce the above rights. For instance, if you request certain materials required to be furnished by 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 that you be provided with the materials and paid up to $110 a day until you receive them, unless the materials were not sent because of reasons beyond the Board’s control. 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 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 may 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, for example, if it finds your claim is frivolous.

If you have any questions about your Plan, you should contact the Plan Administrator. If you have any questions about this statement or about your rights under ERISA, you should contact the nearest office of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), 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, or visit the EBSA website at You may also obtain certain publications about your rights and responsibilities under ERISA by calling the publications hotline of the EBSA.

USERRA of 1994

General Rule

It is the intent of this Plan to comply with the reemployment rights of members of the Uniformed Services as specified in 38 United States Code Chapter 43 (“USERRA”) and Internal Revenue Code section 414(u). Therefore, notwithstanding any provision of this Plan to the contrary, contributions, benefits and service credit with respect to Qualified Military Service will be provided in accordance with Section 414(u) of the Internal Revenue Code.


  1. Qualified Military Service means any service in the Uniformed Services of the United States by any individual if such individual is entitled to reemployment rights with respect to such service under USERRA.
  2. Uniformed Services means:
    1. the Armed Forces;
    2. the Army National Guard and the Air National Guard when engaged in active duty for training, inactive duty for training, or full-time National Guard duty;
    3. the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service; and
    4. any other category of persons designated by the President of the United States in time of war or emergency.

Benefit Accruals.

Each period of Qualified Military Service served by an individual, is upon reemployment by an employer under USERRA, deemed to constitute service with that Employer for purposes of determining the accrual of benefits under the Plan as follows:

  1. only periods during which the Employer was a party to a collective bargaining agreement pursuant to which the Plan was maintained will be counted;
  2. the returning employee will be considered to have been in the same category of employment during Qualified Military Service as the category in which he was employed immediately before such Service;
  3. the amount of benefit accrued shall be computed,
    1. at the rate the employee would have received but for the period of Qualified Military Service, or
    2. if the determination of such rate is not reasonably certain, on the basis of the employee’s average pay rate, hours, or compensation during the 12-month period immediately preceding such Service (or, if shorter, the period of employment immediately preceding such Service); and
    3. in the same manner and to the same extent that benefits were accrued for other employees during the period of Qualified Military Service.

In order to qualify for credits under USERRA, you must provide advance notice to your Employer prior to leaving to enter Qualified Military Service. Upon the conclusion of your Qualified Military Service, your discharge from military service must be under honorable conditions and you must return to Covered Service within the reemployment period prescribed by federal law (see chart below).

Length of Military Service Return to Covered Service Deadline
Less than 31 days Within 1 day after discharge (allowing travel time plus 8 hours)
31 through 180 days Within 14 days after discharge
181 days or more Within 90 days after discharge


The cost of any additional benefits earned by a person during Qualified Military Service shall be paid for as provided in the reemploying Employer’s collective bargaining agreement, provided that if the Employer is required to pay the cost, that payment must be completed within one year of reemployment. In the absence of any specific provision in such agreement, the cost shall be borne by the Plan.


If a Participant dies while performing Qualified Military Service, the survivors of the Participant are entitled to any additional benefits (other than benefit accruals relating to the period of Qualified Military Service) provided under the Plan had the Participant resumed and then immediately terminated employment on account of death.

PPA of 2006


Pension Protection Act: An Overview (File size – 248 K)
Check the current status of the Automotive Industries Pension Fund on the Plan Documents & Forms page.

WRERA of 2008

Check the current status of the Automotive Industries Pension Fund on the Plan Documents and Forms page.