Statement of ERISA Rights:
Eligible Employees have certain rights and protections under ERISA:
They may examine (without charge) all Policy documents, including any amendments and copies of all documents filed with the U.S. Department of Labor, such as the Policys annual report (Internal Revenue Service Form 5500). These documents are available for review in the Companys Human Resources Department.
They may obtain copies of all Policy documents and other Policy information upon written request to the Plan Administrator. A reasonable charge may be made for such copies.
In addition to creating rights for Eligible Employees, ERISA imposes duties upon the people who are responsible for the operation of the Policy. The people who operate the Policy (called fiduciaries) have a duty to do so prudently and in the interests of Eligible Employees. No one, including the Company or any other person, may fire or otherwise discriminate against an Eligible Employee in any way to prevent them from obtaining a benefit under the Policy or exercising rights under ERISA. If an Eligible Employees claim for a severance benefit is denied, in whole or in part, they must receive a written explanation of the reason for the denial. An Eligible Employee has the right to have the denial of their claim reviewed. (The claim review procedure is explained above.)
Under ERISA, there are steps Eligible Employees can take to enforce the above rights. For instance, if an Eligible Employee requests materials and does not receive them within 30 days, they may file suit in a federal court. In such a case, the court may require the Administrator to provide the materials and to pay the Eligible Employee up to $110 a day until they receive the materials, unless the materials were not sent because of reasons beyond the control of the Plan Administrator. If an Eligible Employee has a claim which is denied or ignored, in whole or in part, he or she may file suit in a state or federal court. If it should happen that an Eligible Employee is discriminated against for asserting their rights, he or she may seek assistance from the U.S. Department of Labor, or may file suit in a federal court.
In any case, the court will decide who will pay court costs and legal fees. If the Eligible Employee is successful, the court may order the person sued to pay these costs and fees. If the Eligible Employee loses, the court may order the Eligible Employee to pay these costs and fees, for example, if it finds that the claim is frivolous.
If an Eligible Employee has any questions regarding the Policy, please contact the Plan Administrator. If an Eligible Employee has any questions about this statement or about their rights under ERISA, they may contact the nearest area office of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (formerly the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration), U.S. Department of Labor, listed in the 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. An Eligible Employee may also obtain certain publications about their rights and responsibilities under ERISA by calling the publications hotline of the Employee Benefits Security Administration.