When you retire, the Plan will provide you a written explanation of your benefit options, generally within 15 days of your request to the Plan Office for your retirement packet. Your pension start date must fall (except as provided in Section 8.3), and you must return the completed forms, within 180 days of the date you are provided the explanation of your benefit options, or the process will need to be repeated with an updated explanation and forms. We strongly suggest that you return the completed election forms to the Plan Office at least 120 days before your proposed pension start date to reduce the chance that your benefits will be delayed.
Your pension cannot start until your completed pension application is submitted to the Plan Office. To the extent your pension is delayed for no more than 180 days from the date you were provided a description of your benefit options, the Plan will pay you 5% annual interest on your late payments.
If you wish to elect a form of pension other than a default single life annuity (for an unmarried Participant) or a default joint and 50% survivor annuity (for a married Participant), you must waive the default form of benefit and, if you are married, your spouse must consent to the waiver. A spouse's consent to a Participant's waiver is effective only if the consent is witnessed by a Plan representative or notary public. If you are married you may not designate a nonspouse beneficiary unless your spouse consents.
One-Year of Marriage Rule. When you begin your pension, the Plan will recognize an individual as your spouse even if you have been married for less than one year. However, if, after you begin your pension, you either die or divorce your spouse before the one-year anniversary of your marriage, the Plan will not increase your monthly benefit after your divorce, and will pay no survivor benefits to your spouse after your death. If, however, your spouse should predecease you before the first anniversary of your marriage, the pop-up rule described in Section 7.3 will apply to increase your pension.
If you are a married Participant and you wish to change a beneficiary designation to a (or another) nonspouse beneficiary, your spouse must consent to such change in beneficiary.
Once the first payment has been made on your single or joint life annuity form of distribution, the distribution form is irrevocable. You may not later change the distribution form and elect some other form, perhaps because you divorce your spouse or your spouse dies.