Bank of America Employee Retirement Plan

Document Sample
Bank of America Employee Retirement Plan Powered By Docstoc
					   SUMMARY PLAN DESCRIPTION
AIR LIQUIDE AMERICA CORPORATION
        RETIREMENT PLAN




           January 1, 2001
                    AIR LIQUIDE AMERICA CORPORATION
                            RETIREMENT PLAN

                       SUMMARY PLAN DESCRIPTION


                            TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section                                               Page

1.    INTRODUCTION                                      2

2.    DEFINITIONS                                       3

3.    BECOMING A MEMBER                                 6

4.    HOW SERVICE IS COUNTED                            7

5.    WHEN WILL YOU BE VESTED?                          9

6.    WHEN CAN YOU RETIRE?                             10

7.    HOW BENEFITS ARE CALCULATED                      11

8.    DISABILITY BENEFITS                              13

9.    WHAT IF YOU LEAVE BEFORE RETIREMENT?             15

10.   DEATH BENEFITS                                   17

11.   HOW WE FIGURE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS      19

12.   YOUR CHOICES ABOUT HOW YOU GET PAID              20

13.   TRANSFERS AND CHANGES IN UNION STATUS            23

14.   HOW TO FILE AND APPEAL A CLAIM                   24

15.   GENERAL INFORMATION                              26




                                   -2-
                       AIR LIQUIDE AMERICA CORPORATION
                               RETIREMENT PLAN



                             SECTION 1 – INTRODUCTION



       The Company adopted the Air Liquide America Corporation Retirement Plan on
January 1, 1994, as a merger of the Liquid Air Retirement Plan and Big Three Industries, Inc.
Pension Plan.


       The purpose of the Plan is to provide eligible employees with retirement income
benefits that, combined with Social Security benefits, will provide income during retirement.


       Benefits based on service with Liquid Air or Big Three Industries, Inc. before 1994 are
provided by this Plan. Benefits for service with companies acquired by or associated with
Liquid Air or Big Three Industries, Inc. may also be provided by this Plan. A partial list of
these companies is included in the Appendix.


       This booklet is a summary of the Plan. It is provided so you will know what you can
expect from the Plan. It is ONLY a summary. The actual Plan Document will determine your
rights to any benefits under the Plan. The complete Plan document is available to you through
the Human Resources Department. If you have any questions about the Plan, please contact
the Human Resources Department. (See page 32).




                                               -3-
                               SECTION 2 - DEFINITIONS


        We have included the following definitions to help you understand this summary plan
description. These definitions are simplified versions of the definitions in the Plan Document.
If you wish more detail, please ask the Human Resources Department for a copy of the Plan
Document. The terms of the Plan Document will govern if there is any difference between
this summary plan description and the Plan Document.


Company:
        Air Liquide America Corporation.


Early Retirement Date:
        Any date between age 55 and your Normal Retirement Date, on which you retire and
begin collecting pension benefits under this Plan. You must have at least 5 years of Vesting
Service to retire.


Early Retirement Income:
        The amount of the pension benefit you would receive at your Early Retirement Date.
(See Section 7 for more information.)


Employee Benefits Committee:
        The Committee in charge of administering this Plan and ruling on benefit claims under
this Plan.


ERISA:
        The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.             (See Section 15 for
information about your rights under ERISA.)




                                              -4-
Final Average Earnings:
       The highest average earnings over any 60 consecutive month period during your last
ten years of employment with a Participating Company. (See Section 7 for more information.)


Human Resources Department:
       The Human Resources Department of Air Liquide America Corporation.


Lump Sum:
       A single payment which represents the entire value of any benefits you may be owed
under this Plan (See Section 12 for more information.)


Normal Retirement Date:
       The first day of the month after you reach age 65, or, the fifth anniversary of the date
you became a Participant of the Plan, if later.


Normal Retirement Income:
       The amount of the pension benefit you would receive if you retired on your Normal
Retirement Date. (See Section 7 for more information.)


Participant:
       Any employee of a Participating Company who becomes covered by this Plan. (See
Section 3 for more information.)


Participating Company:
       Any company which is a member of the Air Liquide Group and which has adopted this
Plan with the written permission of the Board of Directors of the Air Liquide America
Corporation. (A partial list of Participating Companies may be found in the Appendix; for a
complete list, please contact the Human Resources Department.)




                                                  -5-
Plan:
        The Air Liquide America Corporation Retirement Plan.


Plan Administrator:
        The Employee Benefits Committee.


Plan Document:
        The written document which sets forth the terms and conditions of the Plan and which
has been officially adopted by the Board of Directors of Air Liquide America Corporation.


Social Security Benefit:
        The estimated amount you would receive under the US Social Security Act at your
Normal Retirement Date (or your actual retirement date, if later) based on certain assumptions
contained in the Plan Document. Any benefits you could receive under the Canadian Pension
Plan or the Quebec Pension Plan are also considered as part of your Social Security Benefit.
(Please see the Plan Document if you want to know more details about how this will be
calculated.)


Vesting Service:
        The period of your employment used to determine your eligibility for benefits under
this Plan. (See Section 4 for more information.)




                                             -6-
                          SECTION 3 - BECOMING A MEMBER


       You automatically became a Participant of this Plan, on January 1, 1994 if you were a
Participant in the Big Three Industries, Inc. Pension Plan or the Liquid Air Retirement Plan as
of December 31, 1993. That is because this Plan is a continuation of those two plans.

       If you are employed by a Participating Company of the Air Liquide Group, you
become a Participant of the Plan on the first day of the month as soon as you complete one
year of Vesting Service, or on your 21st birthday if later.


       If you are covered by a collective bargaining agreement you will NOT be covered by
this Plan unless that agreement provides otherwise.


       Your participation in this Plan as an active employee will end when you terminate
employment, retire or die.


       If you are rehired by the company and you were a Participant before you left, you will
become a Participant again on the date you are rehired.


       Participation in this Plan is automatic. You don't need to do anything to become a
Participant. If you are eligible you will automatically be enrolled.


       No eligible employee can refuse to participate in the Plan.




                                                -7-
                    SECTION 4 - HOW SERVICE IS CALCULATED



       There are two types of service that are used by this Plan: Benefit Service and Vesting
Service. Vesting Service is used to determine your eligibility for benefits. Benefit Service is
used to determine the amount of your benefit (if any).


       In general you will receive credit for all your service beginning on your date of
employment and ending on your date of termination. This credit counts toward both Benefit
Service and Vesting Service.


       There are exceptions to this rule, however. You will NOT earn Benefit Service while
you are working for a company that has not adopted this Plan. You will NOT receive any
Benefit Service for work performed for a company before the date it adopted this Plan, unless
it has been authorized by the Board of Directors of the Company. A list of such companies
and dates is included in the Appendix.


       You will lose your Benefit Service if you terminate employment before you are vested
and you are gone longer than 5 years. You will also lose your Benefit Service if you receive a
Lump Sum payment covering that service, unless you repay it within 5 years of your re-
employment.


       There are exceptions to the rule when counting your Vesting Service too. If you are
absent from employment for less than 12 consecutive months, that period will count towards
Vesting Service even though you are gone.


       You will lose your Vesting Service if you terminate employment before you are vested
and you are gone longer than 5 years.


       The rules for counting Benefit Service and Vesting Service are complicated. The
complete Plan Document explains those rules in detail. If you want more information on
those rules, please ask the Human Resources Department for a copy of the Plan.


                                              -8-
       You should also see Section 8, "Disability Benefits," and Section 13, "Transfers and
Changes in Union Status," because these sections discuss special rules concerning Benefit and
Vesting Service.




                                             -9-
                     SECTION 5 - WHEN WILL YOU BE VESTED?


       Being "vested" means that you will get some kind of benefit from the Plan. The only
exception is if you die and you are unmarried, or you have been married less than a year.


       You will become vested once you have 5 years of Vesting Service under the Plan.
Section 4 explains how Vesting Service is counted.


       You will also become vested when you reach your Normal Retirement Date.


       Once you are vested, you will get some benefit from the Plan, regardless of whether
you retire, terminate employment, or become disabled. If you have been married for at least
one year and you die, your spouse will be eligible for a benefit.




                                              -10-
                        SECTION 6 - WHEN CAN YOU RETIRE?


       You can retire at your Normal Retirement Date, your Early Retirement Date or any
delayed retirement date.


       Your Normal Retirement Date is the first of the month following your 65th birthday,
unless you were over age 59 when hired. In that case your Normal Retirement Date will be
the first of the month following your 5th anniversary of the date you become a Participant.


       You can retire early once you have turned age 55 and have completed 5 years of
Vesting Service. Your Early Retirement Date must be the first day of a month. If you retire
early, your retirement benefit will be reduced because it will be paid for a longer period than if
you had waited until your Normal Retirement Date. Section 7 "How Benefits are Calculated"
explains how that will work.


       If you continue to work past your Normal Retirement Date, you can retire on the first
of any month. Your compensation and your Benefit Service performed after your Normal
Retirement Date will count towards calculating your retirement benefit.




                                              -11-
                  SECTION 7 - HOW BENEFITS ARE CALCULATED


       Your Normal Retirement Income will be equal to:
                        50% of your Final Average Earnings
                               minus
                        50% of your Social Security Benefit,
                               times
                        Your Benefit Service divided by 30.
       Only 30 years of Benefit Service will be counted.


       Your Final Average Earnings are the highest average monthly earnings for any 60
consecutive month period in the last 10 years of your employment with a Participating
Company. Prior to January 1, 1999, these earnings included base salary, shift differentials,
overtime pay, commissions, bonuses, and for drivers of company trucks, mileage, delivery and
trip termination pay.

       Earnings did NOT include relocation pay, expense reimbursements, severance pay,
Employer contributions to the company's Cafeteria Plan or any other employee benefit
program, car allowances, taxable income related to use of a company-owned vehicle, or
taxable income related to company paid life insurance.


       Beginning January 1, 1999, earnings include all taxable earnings as reported in your
IRS Form W2 plus any deferred employee contributions to an Air Liquide sponsored Section
125 Cafeteria Plan or 401(k) Plan.

       Special rules apply to Participants whose annual earnings exceed federally determined
limits which may, in turn, limit their Final Average Earnings under this Plan. This limit,
which is adjusted annually, is $170,000 in the year 2000. There are also special limits on
maximum benefits that may be paid by the Plan, under federal law. These are explained in the
Plan Document.




                                              -12-
        Example: John retires on the 1st of the month following his 65th birthday. He has 24
years of Benefit Service. His monthly Social Security Benefit is $ 900. His last 10 years of
earnings are:
                       $ 25,000
                         26,000
                         31,000
                         29,500
                         29,500
                         32,000
                         32,500        His highest consecutive 60 months
                         34,000        of earnings average to:
                         35,500        $ 170,000  60 = $ 2,833.33
                         36,000


        His Normal Retirement Income is [(50% x $ 2,833.33) - (50% x $ 900)] x 24/30 =
$ 773.33/mo.

        Your Early Retirement Income is calculated in the same way as your Normal
Retirement Income, except it is reduced ¼% for each month before your Normal Retirement
Date. This is because the benefit will be paid longer than if you had waited until your Normal
Retirement Date.

        Example: Mary retires on March 1, 1996, the first of the month following her 55th
birthday. She has 25 years of Benefit Service. Her Final Average Earnings is $ 2,000 per
month, and her Social Security Benefit is $ 750 per month.

        Since she is retiring 120 months before her Normal Retirement Date, her benefit will
be reduced by 30%, or ¼% x 120 months. Therefore, she will be entitled to collect an early
retirement benefit equal to 70% of her Normal Retirement Income. Her early retirement
benefit is equal to:

        70% x ((50% x $2,000) - (50% x $750)) x 25/30 = $ 364.58/month




                                            -13-
                           SECTION 8 - DISABILITY BENEFITS


        If you are a Participant in this Plan, and you have 10 years of Vesting Service, the Plan
provides you with special disability protection.             If you become disabled under these
circumstances, you will be credited with Benefit Service and Vesting Service as long as you
are disabled, up until your Normal Retirement Date.

        For purposes of calculating your retirement benefit, you will be treated as if you had
continued to receive the same monthly earnings you received in the calendar year before you
become disabled.

        Example: George was hired on January 1, 1985. He became disabled on April 15,
1995. He remained disabled until his Normal Retirement Date, September 1, 2015. His
earnings history to his date of disability was:

                                       1990              $       33,000
                                       1991                      34,500
                                       1992                      36,000
                                       1993                      38,000
                                       1994                      40,000
                                       1995                      11,666

        George's rate of monthly earnings in 1994 was $ 3,333.33.

        He is treated as receiving this rate of earnings during his period of disability, until
September 1, 2015. His monthly Social Security Benefit is estimated to be $ 933.33 at age 65.
George is credited with 30 years of Benefit Service, from January 1, 1985 to September 1,
2015.


        His Normal Retirement Income is calculated as follows:
               [(50% x $ 3,333.33) - (50% x $ 933.33)] x 30/30 = $ 1200.00




                                                  -14-
       In order to qualify for disability benefits under this Plan, you must be eligible to
receive disability benefits under the Company’s long-term disability plan.        This will be
considered proof of your disability for this Plan. Otherwise, you may be examined at the
Company’s expense by a physician selected by the Employee Benefits Committee.


       Suppose George didn't qualify for disability benefits under the Company’s long-term
disability plan. Then George would not be eligible for any disability benefit service under the
Air Liquide America Corporation Retirement Plan. He would only have 10 years, 3½ months
of Benefit Service for use in calculating his retirement benefit, not 30 years.




                                               -15-
           SECTION 9 - WHAT IF YOU LEAVE BEFORE RETIREMENT?



     If you leave before you are vested you will NOT get any benefits under the Plan. You
MUST be vested to receive anything.

       If you leave employment after you are vested but before reaching age 55, you will still
be eligible to receive a retirement benefit at your Normal Retirement Date. Your benefit
would be determined under the formula shown in Section 7: (50% of your Final Average
Earnings - 50% of your Social Security Benefit) x Your Benefit Service  30. No more than
30 years of Benefit Service will be used to determine your benefit.

       You could also choose to start your benefit on the first of any month between age 55
and your Normal Retirement Date. If you decide to do this your benefit will be reduced, by
multiplying it by the factor shown in the chart below:
                               Age When
                              Payments Begin                 Factor

                                         65                 1.0000

                                         64                 .9063
                                         63                 .8233
                                         62                 .7496
                                         61                 .6840
                                         60                 .6253

                                         59                 .5727
                                         58                 .5255
                                         57                 .4829
                                         56                 .4444
                                         55                 .4095

      For ages in between those shown, the factor will be interpolated according to the
number of months.

       When you leave employment, if your benefit has a Lump Sum value of $ 7,500 or less,
you may choose to be fully paid out in a Lump Sum, as described in Section 11, "Your
Choices About How You Get Paid."




                                              -16-
         Finally, if your benefit has a Lump Sum value of $ 5,000 or less when you leave
employment, you will automatically be paid out in a Lump Sum.            Neither you nor the
Company have any choice in this matter.


         If you receive a Lump Sum you will lose all Benefit Service you have earned up to that
point.




                                              -17-
                              SECTION 10 - DEATH BENEFITS



       Your spouse will receive a benefit for life if:
               - You die after completing 5 years of Vesting Service,
               - You haven't begun receiving a retirement benefit yet
               - You have been married to your spouse for at least one year, and
               - Your spouse is alive when you die

       If you are eligible to retire early when you die, your spouse will receive 50% of the
Early Retirement Income you would have received if you had retired the day before your
death. This benefit will begin the first of the month following your death, and will be paid as
long as your spouse is alive.

       Example: David is age 60 and has 30 years of Benefit Service. He dies before
                   retiring and has a surviving spouse.      His Final Average Earnings are
                   $ 4,000/month and his estimated Social Security Benefit is $ 1,000/month.
                   If he had retired the day before he died, his Early Retirement Income would
                   have been 85% of his Normal Retirement Income, because there were 60
                   months left until his Normal Retirement Date. (85% = 100% - ¼% x 60
                   months).


       His wife's benefit would be equal to:
       50% x 85% x ((50% x $4,000) - (50% x $1,000)) x 30/30 = $ 637.50/month
       Payment would begin on the first of the month after David's death.

       However, if you are NOT yet eligible to retire early when you die, then your spouse
will receive 50% of the benefit you would have received if you had terminated employment
on the day before you died, lived to age 55, begun receiving benefits and died the next day. In
this case, the benefit to your spouse will not begin until the first of the month after you would
have turned age 55.




                                               -18-
       Example: Jane is age 50 and has 15 years of Benefit Service. She dies and has a
                   surviving spouse. Her Final Average Earnings are $ 3,000/month and her
                   estimated Social Security Benefit is $ 700/month. If she had terminated
                   employment the day before she died, survived to age 55 and begun
                   receiving benefits, her benefit would have been 40.95% of her Normal
                   Retirement Income. (See the table in Section 9.)

       Her husband's benefit would be:
       50% x 40.95% x ((50% x $ 3,000) - (50% x $ 700)) x 15/30 = $ 117.73/month

       Payment would begin in five years, on the first of the month following the date Jane
would have turned 55, regardless of how old her husband would be then.


       If you die AFTER you have begun to receive retirement benefits, the benefit payable to
your beneficiary will be determined by the choice you made about how your benefit would be
paid. (See Section 12 for more information.)




                                               -19-
      SECTION 11 - HOW WE FIGURE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS



       We need to estimate your Social Security Benefit payable at age 65 (or your actual
retirement date, if later) in order to calculate your retirement benefit under this Plan. In order
to do this, we need to make assumptions about your income, both in the past and in the future.


       We will reconstruct your past earnings back to age 21 on the assumption that you
received a 6% increase in pay on January 1 of each past year. If you wish, you may provide
documentation of your actual salary history and we will use that instead. This could be to
your advantage if you had long periods during which you were not employed.


       For the future, we assume that you will have NO further income after you leave the
Company. This will produce a lower estimated Social Security Benefit than if you do have
future income. A lower estimated Social Security Benefit means a higher retirement benefit
under this Plan. So this assumption is in your favor.


       If necessary, we will also estimate the benefit you may receive under the Canadian
Pension Plan or the Quebec Pension Plan, according to the terms of those plans.




                                              -20-
           SECTION 12 - YOUR CHOICES ABOUT HOW YOU GET PAID



       If you are eligible to receive monthly payments, you will have the following choices.
There are 5 types of monthly pension benefit payments to choose from. All options pay you
benefits for as long as you live; some provide payments to a beneficiary after your death. The
amount of the monthly benefit depends on which option you choose, your age when payments
begin, and, if you have a beneficiary, his or her age when payments begin. Some choices
reduce retirement benefits more than others.

The choices are:

1.   Single life
             You will receive monthly payments for as long as you live. There are no
     payments to a beneficiary after you die. NOTE: ALL EXAMPLES of pension benefits
     presented in this Summary Plan Description have been calculated as single life pensions.

2.   Half joint and survivor
             You will receive somewhat reduced monthly payments for as long as you live.
     When you die, your beneficiary receives monthly payments that are half the amount you
     received.

3.   Three-quarters joint and survivor
             You will receive reduced monthly payments for as long as you live. When you
     die your beneficiary receives monthly payments that are three-quarters of the amount
     you received. If your beneficiary is not your spouse, and is 20 years or more younger
     than you, you cannot choose this option.

4.   Full joint and survivor
             You will receive reduced monthly payments for as long as you live. When you
     die, your beneficiary receives monthly payments that are the same amount you received.
      If your beneficiary is not your spouse, and is more than 10 years younger than you, you
     cannot choose this option.



                                               -21-
5.   5-year certain and life
             You receive slightly reduced monthly payments for as long as you live, but if you
     die before you have received benefits for 5 years, your beneficiary will receive monthly
     payments that are the same amount you received, for the remainder of the 5 years. If you
     die after you received benefits for at least 5 years, there are no payments to your
     beneficiary.


       If you are married at retirement, you cannot choose a single life or a 5-year certain and
life payment type without your spouse's approval. This approval must be in writing, and your
spouse's signature must be witnessed by a notary public.


       You can get the forms necessary to choose the type of payment you want from the
Human Resources Department. You must choose during the 90 day period preceding your
retirement date or your choice is not valid. If you do not make any choice during this time,
you will automatically receive the half joint and survivor type of payment if you are married,
or the single life type of payment if you aren't.


       At the time you leave the Company we will also calculate the Lump Sum value of any
benefits you are entitled to. This calculation is complicated, and the basis for it is described in
the Plan Document.


       If the Lump Sum value is $ 7,500 or less you may choose to be fully paid out in a
Lump Sum. The Plan will not owe you anything more if you choose this type of payment.

       If the Lump Sum value is $ 5,000 or less, you MUST be paid out in a Lump Sum.
Neither you nor the Company have any choice in the matter since the Plan requires that such a
payment must be made. The Plan will not owe you anything more if you are paid this way.




                                                -22-
        If you receive a Lump Sum payment, you may choose to have all of it or a portion of it
paid directly to an IRA or to another retirement plan (if that plan accepts rollover
distributions). This is called a "direct transfer".

        According to federal law, the Company must withhold 20% of whatever part of your
Lump Sum isn't paid by "direct transfer". The Company will pay this 20% to the IRS and it
will be credited against your income taxes as income taxes withheld for the year in which you
received your Lump Sum.

        If you have questions about your choices for type of payment, please contact the
Human Resources Department.

        One important thing to remember is that if you are rehired by the Company after you
retire, your pension benefits will stop at the time you are rehired and will NOT be paid as long
as you remain employed by the Company.




                                                -23-
           SECTION 13 - TRANSFERS AND CHANGES IN UNION STATUS

       If you transfer from employment with another company at least 50% owned by the
Air Liquide Group to a company that has adopted this Plan, we will count your period of
employment with that prior company as Vesting Service and Benefit Service under this Plan.
Any retirement income or other benefit payable under this Plan shall be offset by any benefits
payable due to your employment with such prior company.


       If you transfer from a company that has adopted this Plan to employment with a non-
participating company (owned by the Air Liquide Group) you will continue to earn Vesting
Service under this Plan for such employment, however, Benefit Service will NOT be credited
under this Plan for such employment after the date of transfer. When you retire, terminate
employment or die, you will be treated as if you had retired, terminated employment or died,
while covered by this Plan. Your benefit will be determined, based on your years of Benefit
Service, your Final Average Earnings, and your Social Security Benefit as of your date of
transfer, using the benefit formula in effect under the Plan on your date of transfer.


       If you were covered by an Air Liquide Group collectively bargained agreement which
did not provide for participation in this Plan, and you later become eligible to participate in
this Plan, we will count your period of employment prior to your participation as Vesting
Service and Benefit Service under this Plan. Any retirement income or other benefit payable
under this Plan shall be offset by your benefits under any union plan(s) that are due to the
Company's contributions on your behalf.


       If you become covered by an Air Liquide Group collectively bargained agreement
which does not provide for participation in this Plan, you will continue to earn Vesting
Service under this Plan during your subsequent employment, however Benefit Service will
NOT be credited to you under this Plan during such employment. When you retire, terminate
employment or die, you will be treated as if you had retired, terminated employment or died,
while covered by this Plan. Your benefit will be determined, based on your years of Benefit
Service, your Final Average Earnings, and your Social Security Benefit as of the date you
became covered by the collectively bargained agreement, using the benefit formula in effect
under the Plan at the date of such coverage.



                                               -24-
                SECTION 14 - HOW TO FILE AND APPEAL A CLAIM

       All applications for benefits must be submitted to the Company in writing. An
application for benefits must be submitted on the proper form (which may be obtained from
the Human Resources Department) signed by you or, in the case of a benefit payable after
your death, by your spouse or legal representative.

       If your application for benefits is denied the Company will notify you, in writing, of
the denial and of your right to a review of the denial. The written notice shall explain specific
reasons for the denial and specific references to the provisions of the Plan on which the denial
is based. It will also tell you what additional information or material is necessary for you to
perfect your application, explain why the material is necessary, and explain the review
procedure under the Plan, the time limits applicable to those procedures, and your right to
bring a civil action under ERISA if your appeal is denied. The written notice shall be given to
you within a reasonable period of time (not more than 90 days) after the Company receives
your application, unless special circumstances require further time for processing. You will
be notified of any extension and the reason for the extension prior to the end of the initial 90-
day period. Such extension may not exceed 90 days. In the event of an extension, written
notice of the Company’s determination of your claim will be given to you within 180 days
after the Company receives your application.

       If your application for benefits is denied, you or your authorized representative may
appeal the denial by submitting a request for a review of the application, to the Employee
Benefits Committee. This must be done within sixty (60) days after you receive written notice
of the denial from the Company. The Company shall give you or your representative an
opportunity to submit written comments, documents, records and other information relating to
your claim for benefits, and upon request and free of charge, to review and obtain copies of all
documents, records and other information relating to your claim for benefits. The request for
a review must be in writing and must be addressed to the Employee Benefits Committee. The
request for a review shall set forth all of the grounds on which it is based, all facts in support
of the request, and any other matters that you think apply. The Employee Benefits Committee
may require you to submit any additional facts, documents or other material as it believes are
necessary or appropriate in making its review.

                                               -25-
       The Employee Benefits Committee shall act on your request for a review within 60
days, unless special circumstances require further time for processing and you are informed of
the extension before the initial 60 days expires, and the reason for the extension. In no event
shall the decision on your request be made more than 120 days after the Employee Benefits
Committee receives the request for a review. The Employee Benefits Committee shall give
prompt written notice of its decision to you.       In the event that the Employee Benefits
Committee confirms the denial of your application for benefits, the notice shall explain the
specific reasons for the decision, make specific references to the provisions of the Plan on
which the decision is based, state that you may receive, upon request and free of charge,
reasonable access to and copies of all documents, records and other information relevant to
your claim for benefits, and provide a statement of your right to bring a civil action under
Section 502(a) of ERISA.




                                             -26-
                        SECTION 15 – GENERAL INFORMATION


Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

        In the event the Company terminates the Plan, your benefits are insured by the Pension
Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), an insurance agency run by the federal government.
The PBGC generally guarantees most vested normal retirement benefits, early retirement
benefits, and certain disability and survivors' benefits.      The PBGC, however, does not
guarantee all types of benefits under covered plans and has certain limits on the amount of
benefit protection.

        If the Company terminates the Plan, the PBGC guarantees your vested benefits at the
level in effect on the date the Plan terminated. If, however, benefits increased within the 5
years before the Company terminates the Plan, the PBGC may not guarantee the whole
amount of the Plan's vested benefits or the benefits increase. The PBGC also limits the
amount of monthly benefits it guarantees. The PBGC periodically adjusts this amount.

        For more information about the PBGC insurance protection and its limitations, contact
the Human Resources Department, or the PBGC:

                        Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
                        1200 K Street, N.W.
                        Washington, D.C. 20005-4026
                        (202) 326-4000 ( This is not a toll-free number.)

YOUR ERISA RIGHTS

        As a participant in the 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 Plan Administrator’s office and at other specified
            locations, all documents governing the Plan, (including 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 Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration.


                                              -27-
          Obtain, upon written request to the Plan Administrator, copies of documents
           concerning the operation of the Plan (including collective bargaining agreements),
           and copies of the latest annual report (Form 5500 Series) and updated summary
           plan descriptions. The administrator may make a reasonable charge for the copies.


          Receive a summary of the Plan’s annual financial report. The Plan Administrator
           is required by law to furnish each participant with a copy of the summary annual
           report.


          Obtain a statement telling you whether you have a right to receive a pension at
           Normal Retirement Age (age 65) and if so, what your benefits would be at Normal
           Retirement Age if you stop working under the Plan now. If you do not have a right
           to a pension, the statement will tell you how many more years you have to wait to
           get a right to a pension. The statement must be requested in writing and is not
           required to be given more than once every twelve (12) months. 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 the operation of the employee benefit Plan. The people who
operate your Plan are called “fiduciaries” of the Plan, and 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 in
any way to prevent you from obtaining any pension benefit, or exercising any rights under
ERISA.




                                             -28-
Steps you can take to enforce your rights

       If your claim for a pension 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 can 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 the Plan Administrator 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 Administrator. 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, you may file suit in federal court.


       If it should happen that the 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, for example, it finds your claim is frivolous.


       If you should have any questions about your Plan, you may contact the Plan
Administrator. If you have any questions about this statement or about your rights under
ERISA, or if you need assistance in obtaining documents from the Plan Administrator, you
should contact the nearest office of the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, U.S.
Department of Labor, listed in your telephone directory or the Division of Technical
Assistance and Inquiries, Pension and Welfare Benefits 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 Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration.
                                                -29-
If you have any questions

      If you have any questions about the Plan, contact the Plan Administrator:

                            Employee Benefits Committee
                            c/o Manager of Employee Benefits
                            Air Liquide America Corp.
                            12800 West Little York Road
                            Houston, Texas 77041
                            (713) 896-2313

      If you have any questions about this statement or your rights under ERISA which the
Plan Administrator cannot explain, contact the nearest area office of the U.S. Labor-
Management Services Administration, Department of Labor.




                                           -30-
OTHER INFORMATION


Collective bargaining agreements


       If you are represented by a union and covered by a collective bargaining agreement,
you are not eligible to participate in this Plan unless your collective bargaining agreement
allows you to participate.

       You can obtain a list of participating unions and/or a copy of the applicable collective
bargaining agreement from the Human Resources Department.


No right to employment

       The Plan is not an employment contract and none of the Plan provisions guarantee
your employment with the Company or affect the right of the Company to terminate your
employment at any time, with or without cause. This booklet is not intended to imply any
promise of continued employment with the Company. Employment with the Company may
be ended with or without cause, and with or without notice, at any time, by either the
Company or you, unless provided otherwise by a valid collective bargaining agreement, or
other valid written agreement.

       Nobody other than the president of the Company may enter into any agreement with
an employee that guarantees his or her employment. If there is an agreement by the president
of the Company implying a promise of continued employment with the Company, the
agreement must be in writing and signed by the president.

No right to other claims


       Neither you, your dependents, your beneficiary or anyone else has the right or claim to
benefits under the Plan other than those described in the Plan. Either you or your beneficiary
may request a copy of the Plan’s “Qualified Domestic Relations Order” (QDRO) procedures
from the Plan Administrator. This will be provided without any charge.



                                             -31-
FUTURE of the PLAN


        Although the Company intends and expects to continue the Plan indefinitely, it has
the right to change any aspect of the Plan, to discontinue contributions to the Plan, and to end
the Plan. If the Company or any of its subsidiaries terminate participation in the Plan, your
benefits are fully vested. If the monies in the pension trust fund fall short of covering all
vested benefits, the PBGC guarantees your pension benefits, up to certain limits. (See page
26).

       The Company has the right to curtail or discontinue any of its benefits and the benefits
payable under this Plan at any time. If a benefit plan is curtailed or discontinued, the
Company may not use the plan's assets for its own benefit, until all liabilities have been paid.




                                              -32-
                        PLAN ADMINISTRATION


Plan Sponsor & Employer     Air Liquide America Corporation
                            2700 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 1800
                            Houston, TX 77056

Plan Name                   Air Liquide America Corporation Retirement Plan

Type of Plan                Defined Benefit Plan

Funding Medium              Trust and Unallocated Insurance Contracts

Source of Funds             The Plan is funded through assets held by the Trustee.
                            The Plan funding policy requires the Company to make
                            periodic payments to the Plan trust to fund current and
                            expected future benefits as they are earned by Plan
                            members. Company contributions are based on a report
                            of an enrolled actuary and are made from the Company's
                            general assets.

Effective Date              January 1, 1994 (The merger of the Liquide Air
                            Retirement Plan and the Big Three Industries, Inc.
                            Pension Plan)

Plan #                      001

Employer Identification #   58-0939059

Benefits Office             Human Resources Department
                            Air Liquide America Corporation
                            12800 West Little York Road
                            Houston, TX 77041
                            (713) 896-2313

Plan Administrator          Employee Benefits Committee
                            c/o Manager of Employee Benefits
                            Air Liquide America Corporation
                            12800 West Little York Road
                            Houston, TX 77041
                            (713) 896-2313

Employee Benefits
 Committee                  A list of Employee Benefits Committee members is
                            available from the Human Resources Department


                                   -33-
                                                 PLAN ADMINISTRATION



           Trustee                                   Mellon Bank
                                                     One Mellon Bank Center
                                                     Pittsburgh, PA 15258


           Agent for Service                         Employee Benefits Committee
           of Legal Process                          c/o Manager of Employee Benefits
                                                     Air Liquide America Corporation
                                                     12800 West Little York Road
                                                     Houston, TX 77041
                                                     (713) 896-2313




           Plan Year End                             December 31




K:\AIR LIQUIDE\PLANDOC&SPD\SALARIEDSPD2000\SPD.DOC




                                                            -34-
                           APPENDIX OF PARTICIPATING COMPANIES
                                                          Vesting Serv.        Benefit Serv.
    Liquid Air Inc. (American Cryogenics, Inc.)          Orig. Hire Date     Orig Elig Serv Dte
    (a) Industrial Air Products Co.                      Orig. Hire Date        Jan. 1, 1971
    (b) Dye Oxygen Company                               Orig. Hire Date        Jan. 1, 1974
    (c) Gulf Oxygen Industries, Inc.                     Orig. Hire Date        Jan. 1, 1973
    (d) Gas-Ice Corporation                              Orig. Hire Date        Jan 1, 1974

    Liquid Air Corporation of North America              Orig. Hire Date      Orig. Hire Date

    Air Liquide America*                                 Orig. Hire Date      Orig. Hire Date
    AL Welding Products, Inc.                            Orig. Hire Date      Orig. Hire Date
    AL Compressed Gases, Inc.                            Orig. Hire Date      Orig. Hire Date
    AL E&C, Ltd.                                         Orig. Hire Date      Orig. Hire Date
    Liquid Air Engineering Corp.                         Orig. Hire Date      Orig. Hire Date
    AL America Holdings, Inc.                            Orig. Hire Date      Orig. Hire Date
    American Air Liquide                                 Orig. Hire Date        Jan. 1, 1971
    Big Three Industries, Inc.                           Orig. Hire Date      Orig. Hire Date
    Vital Air Corp.                                      Orig. Hire Date      Orig. Hire Date
    The Dia-Log Company                                  Orig. Hire Date      Orig. Hire Date
    U.S. D. Corp.
     (a) Bodyguard Division                              Orig. Hire Date       Jan 1, 1973
     (b) All Other Divisions                             Orig. Hire Date      Orig. Hire Date
     (c) U.S. Divers Co., Inc.                           Orig. Hire Date      Orig. Hire Date


    Lund Oxygen                                          Orig. Hire Date        Oct. 1, 1976
    Service Oxygen                                        May 1, 1976          May 1, 1976
    Nunn's Inc.                                          Orig. Hire Date        Oct. 1, 1975
    Gardner Welding Supply                              Orig Elig Serv Dte      Jan. 1, 1977
    Spokane Welders Supply                              Orig Elig Serv Dte     Sept. 1, 1976
    Acetylene Welding Supply                              Feb. 1, 1977          Feb. 1, 1977
    Idaho Welding Supply                                  Feb. 1, 1977          Feb. 1, 1977

    NCG Industrial Gases Division                       Orig Elig Serv Dte   Orig Elig Serv Dte
    Cardox Corp.                                        Orig Elig Serv Dte   Orig Elig Serv Dte

*         U.S. employees only (including Canadian transfers)




                                                    1
                       APPENDIX OF PARTICIPATING COMPANIES
                                     (Continued)
                                                     Vesting Serv.      Benefit Serv.
Silver States (Division)                               Oct. 1, 1975     Oct. 1, 1975
Cascade Welding Supply Co. Inc.                        Jan. 1, 1976     Jan. 1, 1976
Whatcom Welding Supply, Inc.                           May 1, 1976      May 1, 1976
Shira Welding Supply Co., Inc.                         June 1, 1976     June 1, 1976
Verden Welding Supply, Inc.                            July 1, 1976     July 1, 1976
Pacific Engine & Machine Works, Inc.                   July 1, 1976     July 1, 1976
Southwest Cryogenics, Inc. (Division)                  Nov. 1, 1976     Nov. 1, 1976
S&D Welding (Division)                                 Oct. 1, 1976     Oct. 1, 1976
Cal-Air Welding Supply, Inc.                           Dec. 1, 1976     Dec. 1, 1976
Temple Welding Supply, Inc.                            Dec. 1, 1976     Dec. 1, 1976
Evergreen Oxygen Sales, Inc.                          July 1, 1977      July 1, 1977
Health Tech Respiratory Care, Inc.                   Orig. Hire Date    June 21, 1988
Tampa Oxygen and Welding Supply, Inc.             Orig Elig Serv Date   Acq Date
Mid Florida Corporation                           Orig Elig Serv Date   Aug. 18, 1988
Welding and Supply Companies, Inc.                Orig Elig Serv Date   Sept. 4, 1988
National Compressed Gases                            Orig. Hire Date    Jan. 1, 1992
Savage Welding                                       Orig. Hire Date    Apr. 1, 1985
Ideal Gas                                            Orig. Hire Date    Sept. 1, 1984
Mountain Medigas/Val Med Co.                         Orig. Hire Date    June 1, 1985
Hopper                                               Orig. Hire Date    Nov. 1, 1989



      Special Provisions applicable only to former Employees of the Dye Oxygen

      Company who participated in the Dye Oxygen Company Retirement Plan are set

      forth in Appendix A of the Plan Document.




                                         2
         Special Provisions applicable only to former Employees of the U.S. Divers company

         who participated in the U.S. Divers' Incentive Retirement Plan are set forth in

         Appendix B of the Plan Document.



         Special Provisions applicable only to former Employees of NCG Industrial Gases

         Division who participated in the NCG Industrial Gases Division Retirement Plan for

         Salaried Employees are set forth in Appendix C of the Plan Document.



         Information concerning Original Eligibility Service Dates of employees of Gardner

         Welding Supply Co. and Spokane Welders Supply Co. Inc. is set forth in

         Appendix D of the Plan Document.



         Special provisions applicable only to former Participants in the Hopper Retirement

         Plan are set forth in Appendix E of the Plan Document.




K:\AIR LIQUIDE\PLANDOC&SPD\SALARIEDSPD2000\APPENDIXSALARIED2000




                                                         3

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Bank of America Employee Retirement Plan document sample