Chapter 3.96
DEFERRED COMPENSATION

Sections:

3.96.010    Introduction.

3.96.020    Definitions.

3.96.030    Eligibility and Enrollment.

3.96.040    Deferral of Compensation.

3.96.050    Time of Benefit Payment.

3.96.060    Form of Benefit Payment.

3.96.070    Beneficiaries.

3.96.080    Plan Administration.

3.96.090    Amendment and Termination.

3.96.100    Miscellaneous.

3.96.010 Introduction.

The Deferred Compensation Plan (hereinafter referred to as the "Plan" and known as the Pierce County Deferred Compensation Plan) first adopted by the Pierce County Executive on January 1, 1984, pursuant to Resolution R83-89 of the Pierce County Council, and amended by Order of the Pierce County Executive dated January 4, 1987, as amended and restated herein is adopted and ratified effective December 1, 1990, for Pierce County (hereinafter "Employer").

The Employer established this Plan effective January 1, 1984, to enable employees who become covered under the Plan to enhance their retirement security by permitting them to enter into agreements with the Employer to defer compensation and receive benefits at retirement, death, severance from employment, and for financial hardships due to unforeseeable emergencies.

The Plan shall be maintained for the exclusive benefit of covered employees, and is intended to comply with the eligible deferred compensation plan requirements of Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and regulations thereunder, and other applicable law.

(Ord. 2004-122 § 1 (part), 2004; Ord. 90-138 § 1 (part), 1990)

3.96.020 Definitions.

A.    "Administrator" means the committee appointed by the Employer pursuant to 3.96.080 A. to administer the Plan and perform administrative functions for the Plan as specified by the Employer.

B.    "Alternate Payee" means any spouse, child or other dependent of a Participant who is recognized by a domestic relations order as having a right to receive all, or a portion of, the benefits payable under the Plan with respect to such Participant.

C.    "Beneficiary" means the person(s) or estate entitled to receive benefits under this Plan upon the death of a Participant.

D.    "Code" means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and any regulations promulgated thereunder.

E.    "Committee" means the Deferred Compensation Committee appointed by the Employer to administer the Plan.

F.    "Compensation" means the total remuneration earned by an employee for personal services rendered to the Employer for the calendar year including amounts deferred under this Plan and any other Eligible Deferred Compensation Plan, without regard to community property laws.

G.    "Deferral" means the annual amount of compensation not yet earned that a Participant elects to defer under a Voluntary Salary Deferral Agreement.

H.    "Eligible Rollover Plan" means a governmental 457(b) plan, a Traditional IRA, a Code Section 401(a) or (k) plan, a 403(b) program or a simplified employee pension ("SEP") to and from which amounts may be rolled.

I.    "Eligible Deferred Compensation Plan" or "Eligible Plan" means any plan which meets the requirements of Section 457(b) of the Code and includes this Plan among others.

J.    "Employer" means Pierce County.

K.    "Includable Compensation" means Compensation for services performed for the Employer which is currently includable in gross income as reported on an employee’s Federal Income Tax withholding statement (W-2 Form). In other words, it means Compensation reduced by the following amounts, to the extent such amounts are excludable from gross income:

1.    amounts deferred under this Plan,

2.    amounts deferred under any other Eligible Deferred Compensation Plan,

3.    contributions to a tax-sheltered annuity plan qualified under Section 403(b) of the Code, and

4.    employee contributions to the Washington Public Employees Retirement System or to other public retirement systems that have been "picked up" by the Employer pursuant to Code Section 414(h).

A Participant’s Includable Compensation for a taxable year shall be determined without regard to any community property laws.

L.    "Normal Retirement Age" means age 70½ or other earlier age specified by the Participant. In no event shall Normal Retirement Age be earlier than the earliest date at which one may retire under the State of Washington Public Employee Retirement System without incurring an actuarial or similar reduction benefit.

M.    "Open Enrollment Period" means any of the following time periods: January 1 through December 31.

N.    "Participant" means an employee or former employee who is or has enrolled in the Plan and retains rights to benefits under the Plan.

O.    "Plan" means this Pierce County Deferred Compensation Plan effective January 1, 1984, either in its present form or as amended.

P.    "Plan Year" means the 12-month period beginning January 1 and ending December 31.

Q.    "Rollover Contribution" means a contribution made to a plan by an Employee directly or indirectly (i.e., within 60 days of receipt) attributable to a distribution from an Eligible Rollover Plan.

R.    "Voluntary Salary Deferral Agreement" means the agreement between a Participant and the Employer to defer receipt by the Participant of Compensation not yet earned. Such agreement shall state the Deferral amount to be withheld from a Participant’s paycheck and shall become effective no earlier than the first day of any pay period after it is executed by the Participant and accepted by the Committee.

(Ord. 2004-122 § 1 (part), 2004; Ord. 90-138 § 1 (part), 1990)

3.96.030 Eligibility and Enrollment.

A.    Eligibility. The following persons are eligible to be participants in this plan:

1.    Any person elected or appointed to a term of office with the Employer beginning with the time such person assumes office.

2.    Any employee rendering personal services to the Employer on a full-time permanent employee basis, where the term permanent employment excludes part-time, casual, emergency, or intermittent employment.

3.    Persons described above shall be eligible to participate on the first Open Enrollment Period following employment with the Employer.

B.    Enrollment. An eligible employee may become a Participant by completing a Voluntary Salary Deferral Agreement and submitting it to the Employer during an Open Enrollment Period, subject to the approval of the Employer. Deferrals may commence no sooner than the first day of the month immediately following acceptance by the Employer of the Voluntary Salary Deferral Agreement. Enrollment during an Open Enrollment Period shall be effective on the date specified in Section 3.96.020 M. for such period.

(Ord. 2004-122 § 1 (part), 2004; Ord. 90-138 § 1 (part), 1990)

3.96.040 Deferral of Compensation.

A.    Types of Contributions:

1.    Annual Deferrals. The plan allows Participants to defer a portion of their compensation to the plan on a pre-tax basis. These contributions made to the plan are known as Annual Deferrals subject to the limitations discussed below. Annual Deferrals also include contributions made under the age 50 catch-up provision.

2.    Rollover Contribution. The plan allows Participants to make contributions to the plan when such contributions are attributable to a distribution from an Eligible Rollover Plan.

3.    Transfers. If permitted by a plan, a Participant may make tax-free exchange from another eligible 457(b) plan of a governmental employer, which allow such transfers, as long as the amount transferred is not actually received by the participant prior to the transfer.

B.    Deferral Procedure. Pursuant to a Voluntary Salary Deferral Agreement, each Participant’s Deferral amount shall be deducted from his or her paychecks in approximately equal increments throughout the year. The Deferral amount shall not be included as gross income on a Participant’s Federal Income Tax withholding statement (W-2 Form).

C.    Maximum Deferral.

1.    Primary Limitation. The maximum amount of Annual Deferrals that may be made to the plan for a Participant’s taxable year in most situations is the lesser of:

a.    100 percent of Includible Compensation or:

b.    • $11,000 in 2002

• $12,000 in 2003

• $13,000 in 2004

• $14,000 in 2005

• $15,000 in 2006

After 2006, the contributions limit will be indexed annually for inflation in $500 increments.

2.    Catch-up Limitation.

a.    For each one of a Participant’s last three consecutive taxable years ending before she/he attains "normal retirement age" (NRA) pursuant to 3.96.020 L, the maximum amount that may be deferred in a Plan Year will be the lesser of:

(1)    Twice the amount of the maximum contribution limit; or

(2)    The sum of the maximum deferral permitted for the current tax year (determined without regard to any catch-up provision), and as much of the applicable deferral limit in prior years, before (beginning after January 1, 1984) the current tax year that had not previously been used ("underutilized amount").

b.    A Participant may elect to use the catch-up provision only once while employed by the Employer sponsoring the Plan, even if the Participant uses the catch-up provision in less than all of the three consecutive eligible years.

c.    In applying the underutilized limitation for Includible Compensation for years prior to 2002, the limitation is 33-1/3 percent of the Participant’s Includible Compensation. To the extent an Employer did not offer a 457(b) plan to a Participant in a prior given year, no underutilized limitation is available to the Participant for that prior year, even if s/he subsequently becomes eligible to participate in the 457(b) plan of the Employer. Note that for purposes of the special 457(b) catch-up deferral, a Participant’s election of a NRA is irrevocable once deferrals have been made to the 457(b) plan utilizing the catch-up provision. The plan defines NRA as the earlier of:

(1)    age 65, or

(2)    the age at which a Participant could receive immediate unreduced retirement benefits from the sponsor’s defined benefit plan

(3)    or, no later than age 70½.

d.    Catch-up Contribution for Participants age 50 and over. The Plan is amended to allow a Participant who has attained age 50 before the close of any taxable year to make catch-up contributions in accordance with, and subject to the limitations of, Code Section 414(v), as follows: $1,000 in 2002, $2,000 in 2003, $3,000 in 2004, $4,000 in 2005, $5,000 in 2006. These amounts are indexed for inflation (in $500 increments) beginning in 2007. Catch-up contributions may not be made under this section in any year where the catch-up provision under the Catch-up Contributions for the Last Three Years is being used.

3.    Veterans Make-Up Contributions. Veterans returning to employment from certain military service are entitled to have that military service be considered service with the Employer for purposes of plan contributions. Make-up contributions on behalf of re-employed veterans are neither subject to plan contribution limitations for the year made, nor are they considered in applying the limits to any other contributions made during the year. However, the make-up contributions are subject to the applicable limitations (including any previous cost-of-living adjustments that were in effect) with respect to the year the contribution relates. In calculating the amount of any make-up contributions, compensation used for such calculation is the compensation the Participant would have earned had the Participant not engaged in military service.

D.    Minimum Deferral. A Participant must comply with any minimum monthly deferral requirements which may be set by the Employer from time to time on a non-discriminatory basis.

E.    Changing the Amount of Deferrals. Participants may change or cancel Deferrals with respect to Compensation not yet earned, only during Open Enrollment Periods or within 30 days of receiving notice of a Plan amendment, by executing a new Voluntary Salary Deferral Agreement or written notice of cancellation. The change or cancellation shall be effective no earlier than the first day of the month following an Open Enrollment Period as specified in Section 3.96.020 M., or the first day of the pay period following notice to the Employer.

F.    Temporary Suspension of Deferrals.

1.    A Participant may suspend Deferrals without withdrawing from the Plan, by giving the Employer written notice. Deferrals shall automatically be suspended for any month in which there are insufficient monies available to make the entire deduction agreed upon.

2.    If Deferrals are suspended by request or automatically, a Participant may reinstate Deferrals only during Open Enrollment Periods by executing a new Voluntary Salary Deferral Agreement and delivering it to the Employer. Reinstatement shall be effective on the date specified in Section 3.96.020 M., following the Open Enrollment Period.

(Ord. 2004-122 § 1 (part), 2004; Ord. 90-138 § 1 (part), 1990)

3.96.050 Time of Benefit Payment.

A.    Distribution. Payment from the plan will not be distributed to a participant until she/he has a distributable event. A distributable event under the plan includes a Participant’s:

1.    severance from employment, or

2.    death.

3.    In addition, the following in-service withdrawals will be permitted:

a.    unforeseeable emergency,

b.    attainment of age 70½, and

c.    small amount cashouts.

4.    Rollover Contributions may be distributed at any time regardless of whether the Participant has a distributable event. If a Participant or Beneficiary made an irrevocable benefit election prior to 2002, the plan permits those individuals to revise these elections. However, if an individual chose to annuitize under a fixed annuity, the election may not be revised. Payments from the Plan will be made only upon Separation from Service, or an Employer approved financial hardship that results from an unforeseeable emergency.

B.    Latest Commencement Date – Age 70½. Notwithstanding any other Plan provision to the contrary, benefits for a Participant or Beneficiary shall commence no later than April 1 following the later of the calendar year in which the Participant attains age 70½, or the calendar year in which the Participant has a Severance from Employment.

C.    Severance from Employment. The plan may allow a Participant who has a severance from employment with the Employer to receive his or her account balance upon such severance in accordance with the plan rules.

D.    Death.

1.    Upon the death of a Participant, distributions are made to a designated Beneficiary. A Participant in the plan is not required to designate a spouse as a Beneficiary. However, a spouse may be entitled to a death benefit even if she/he is not a designated Beneficiary under a Participant’s account(s). Assets under the plan generally are community property to the extent the contributions were made while the Participant and his or her spouse were married and domiciled in a community property jurisdiction.

2.    The plan provides for distribution options upon the death of a Participant and may require the immediate distribution of death benefits. Regulations require death benefits to be distributed within a certain period of time. The time frame depends upon whether the Beneficiary is a spouse or non-spouse. If Minimum Distribution Requirement ("MDR") payments have not begun upon a Participant’s death, payments must be distributed to a designated Beneficiary no later than:

a.    Designated Beneficiary Rule: Payment of the deceased Participant’s account balance must begin no later than December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year of the Participant’s death, payable over a period not to exceed the life expectancy of the Beneficiary.

b.    Designated Beneficiary is Surviving Spouse: If the designated Beneficiary is the surviving spouse, the payments to the spouse must begin by the later of:

(1)    December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the Employee dies, or

(2)    December 31 of the calendar year in which the Employee would have attained age 70½.

3.    The payments to the surviving spouse must be made over a period not to exceed the spouse’s life expectancy. In the alternative, a spouse or non-spouse Beneficiary may elect to have death benefits paid under the five-year rule.

a.    Five-year rule: The deceased Participant’s entire account balance must be distributed to a designated Beneficiary no later than the December 31 of the calendar year containing the fifth anniversary of the Participant’s death.

b.    If MDR payments have begun to be made to a Participant prior to death, payments of the deceased Participant’s account balance must begin to be made to a Beneficiary (regardless of whether the Beneficiary is a spouse or non-spouse) beginning no later than December 31 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year of the Participant’s death and must be paid over the Beneficiary’s life expectancy.

c.    MDR payments made over a Beneficiary’s life expectancy, whether a Participant dies before or after MDR payments have begun, are made as follows:

(1)    Non-spouse Beneficiary: for years after the year of the Participant’s death, the distribution period is generally the remaining life expectancy of the designated Beneficiary. The Beneficiary’s remaining life expectancy is calculated using the age of the Beneficiary in the year following the year of the Participant’s death, reducing the life expectancy factor by one for each subsequent year.

(2)    Spousal Beneficiary: for years after the year of the Participant’s death, the distribution period during the surviving spouse’s life is the spouse’s single life expectancy. For years after the year of the surviving spouse’s death, the distribution period is the spouse’s life expectancy calculated in the year of death, reducing the life expectancy factor by one for each subsequent year.

(3)    No designated Beneficiary (e.g., Participant’s estate or a trust that is not being "looked through" is the Beneficiary): as of the end of the year after the Participant’s death there is no life expectancy on which to base the payments and therefore, the distribution period is the Participant’s life expectancy calculated in the year of death, reduced by one for each subsequent year.

E.    Unforeseeable Emergency Withdrawals.

1.    A plan may permit a Participant to receive in-service withdrawals in the case of an "unforeseeable emergency." Unforeseeable emergency is a severe financial hardship of the Participant, the Participant’s spouse or the Participant’s dependents resulting from an illness or accident, loss of the Participant’s property due to casualty, or other similar extraordinary and unforeseeable circumstances arising as a result of events beyond the control of the Participant.

2.    The circumstances that will constitute an unforeseeable emergency will depend upon the facts of each situation, but, in any event, payment may not be made to the extent that such hardship is or may be relieved:

a.    Through reimbursement or compensation by insurance or through another manner,

b.    By liquidation of the Participant’s assets, to the extent the liquidation of these assets would not itself cause severe financial hardship, or

c.    By cessation of deferrals under the plan. Withdrawals of amounts because of an unforeseeable emergency can only be permitted to the extent reasonably needed to satisfy the emergency need (including any amounts necessary to pay taxes or penalties).

Examples of what are not considered to be unforeseeable emergencies include the need to send a Participant’s child to college or the desire to purchase a home.

3.    Procedure.

a.    The Participant must submit to the Committee a written request for withdrawal accompanied by evidence that his or her financial condition warrants an advance release of funds and results from events beyond the Participant’s control. The committee shall review the request and determine whether payment of any amount is justified. If payment is justified, the amount shall be limited to an amount reasonably needed to meet the emergency. The Committee shall determine the amount and form of payment. Any amount remaining in the account after an unforeseeable emergency withdrawal shall be distributed in accordance with the provisions of this Plan.

b.    The Committee may delegate review and determination responsibilities to a hearing officer. If the Employer appoints a hearing officer, and the Participant disagrees with the hearing officer’s determination, he or she may appeal that decision to the Committee within ten days after receiving notice of the hearing officer’s decision.

4.    Unforeseeable Emergency Withdrawals After Commencement of Benefit Payments. Once regular installment payments to a Participant have commenced under the Plan, the Participant may request payment acceleration if the Participant suffers an unforeseeable emergency as defined in Section 3.96.050 E.1. An accelerated payment may be made in accordance with Section 3.96.050 E.3.a. and the amount of such payment shall not exceed the amount needed to meet the emergency. Any amount remaining in the account after such accelerated payment shall be distributed in accordance with the provisions of this Plan.

F.    Small Amount Cashouts. If the value of a Participant’s accounts under the plan is $5,000 or less and the Participant has not made a Deferral Contribution to the plan in the previous two Plan Years, a plan may permit the Participant to elect to receive a distribution of his or her accounts, payable in a lump sum, before the Participant has a severance from employment. In determining the $5,000 amount, the plan may choose to disregard any Rollover Contributions made by the Participant. A Participant may only take one such distribution while employed by the Employer.

G.    Purchasing Service Credits Under a State or Local Retirement System. A Participant may direct the Administrator to transfer amounts under his or her Participant Account tax-free under the Plan in accordance with Code Section 457(e)(17) to the fiduciary of a state or local retirement system in order to enable the Participant to purchase years of service credits under the system or repay amounts previously cashed out under the system even if the Participant is not eligible for a distribution under 3.96.050 A. The Administrator shall take such reasonable measures as required to ensure that the intended recipient plan will accept such transferred amounts.

H.    Distribution for Minor Beneficiary or Incompetent. In the event a distribution is to be made to a minor, then the Administrator may direct that such distribution be paid to the legal guardian, or if none, to a parent of such Beneficiary or to the custodian for such Beneficiary under the Uniform Gift [Transfers] to Minors Act, if such is permitted by the laws of the state in which the Beneficiary resides. Such a payment to the legal guardian, parent or guardian of a minor Beneficiary shall fully discharge the Provider, any other providers of the Plan, Administrator, Employer, and Plan from further liability on account thereof. In the event a distribution is to be made to an incompetent, then the Administrator may direct that such distribution be paid to the duly appointed and currently acting conservator of the incompetent or to other such individual who is legally responsible for the incompetent as permitted by the laws of the state in which the incompetent resides. Such a payment to the conservator or other such individual who is legally responsible for the incompetent shall fully discharge the Provider, any other providers of the Plan, Administrator, Employer, and Plan from further liability on account thereof.

I.    Location of Participant or Beneficiary Unknown. In the event that all, or any portion, of the distribution payable to a Participant, Former Participant, Alternate Payee or Beneficiary hereunder shall, at the Participant’s or Former Participant’s Severance from Employment, remain unpaid solely by reason of the inability of the Administrator, after sending a registered letter, return receipt requested, to the last known address, and after further diligent effort, to ascertain the whereabouts of such Participant, Former Participant, Alternate Payee or Beneficiary, the amount so distributable shall be held within the Investment Product, with investment direction provided by the Administrator, under the Plan. In the event a Participant, Former Participant, Alternate Payee or Beneficiary is located subsequent to his benefit being held in such account, such benefit shall be restored, including any applicable interest, and paid, to the Participant, Former Participant, Alternate Payee or Beneficiary, in accordance with this Chapter.

(Ord. 2004-122 § 1 (part), 2004; Ord. 90-138 § 1 (part), 1990)

3.96.060 Form of Benefit Payment.

A.    Minimum Distribution Requirement ("MDR"). A plan may allow a terminated Participant to defer the distribution of his account balance until a later date. The Code requires that payment of benefits must begin no later than the April 1 of the calendar year following the later of the year in which the Participant reaches age 70½ or retires.

The amount of the MDR is based on the Participant’s account balance (as of the previous December 31) divided by the applicable life expectancy. Generally, there is a single table that is used to determine a Participant’s applicable life expectancy that does not take into account a Participant’s designated Beneficiary unless the Participant’s sole primary beneficiary is a spouse whose age difference is more than 10 years of the age of the Participant. In this case, the applicable life expectancy is the Participant’s and spouse’s joint and last survivor life expectancy. Life expectancies are determined under tables provided by the IRS.

B.    Available Forms of Payment. A Participant or Beneficiary may elect payment in one of the following forms:

1.    Lump sum distribution

2.    Rollover to another Eligible Rollover Plan

3.    Immediate or deferred annuity

4.    Direct transfer to another 457(b) plan

5.    Deferred distribution

6.    Periodic payments from the plan

7.    Combination of these options

In addition, a plan may allow Participants to delay receiving payments until a later date subject to the MDR rules.

(Ord. 2004-122 § 1 (part), 2004; Ord. 90-138 § 1 (part), 1990)

3.96.070 Beneficiaries.

A.    Designation. A Participant shall have the right to designate a Beneficiary, and amend or revoke such designation at any time, in writing. Such designation, amendment or revocation shall be effective upon receipt by the Committee. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Participant may not change his or her joint annuitant after payment under a joint and survivor annuity commences.

B.    Failure to Designate a Beneficiary. If no designated Beneficiary survives the Participant and benefits are payable following the Participant’s death, the Committee may direct that payment of benefits be made to the person or persons in the first of the following classes of successive preference Beneficiaries. The Participant’s:

1.    spouse,

2.    descendants, per stirpes,

3.    parents,

4.    estate.

(Ord. 90-138 § 1 (part), 1990)

3.96.080 Plan Administration.

A.    Plan Administrator. The Plan shall be administered by a Committee selected by the Employer and composed of a Committee of not less than three persons and an alternate. The Employer shall have responsibility for the operation and administration of the Plan and shall direct payment of Plan benefits. The Committee shall have the power and authority to adopt, interpret, alter, amend or revoke rules and regulations necessary to administer the Plan and to delegate ministerial duties and employ such outside professionals as may be required for prudent administration of the Plan. The members of the Committee, if otherwise eligible, may participate in the Plan, but shall not be entitled to make decisions on behalf of the Employer with respect to his or her own participation.

B.    Plan-to-Plan Transfers. Notwithstanding any other Plan provision, distribution of amounts deferred by a former Participant of this Plan shall not commence upon Severance from Employment, but instead shall be automatically transferred to another Eligible Deferred Compensation Plan in which the former Participant has become a Participant, if:

1.    the Eligible Plan receiving such amounts provides for their acceptance, and

2.    the former Participant Severed from Employment with the Employer in order to accept employment with the employer which maintains the other Eligible Plan.

This Plan will accept the transfer of amounts previously deferred by a Participant under another Eligible Deferred Compensation Plan.

C.    Accounts. The Employer shall establish and maintain accounts on behalf of each Participant. Accounts shall be valued at least once each Plan Year and each Participant shall receive written notice of his or her account balance following such valuation. Account balances shall reflect the Deferral amount, any earnings attributable to such amount and shall be reduced by administrative, investment and other fees, in such amounts and at such times as the Committee deems necessary for the maintenance of this Plan.

D.    Investments. A Participant or Beneficiary may request that Deferrals be allocated among available investment options established by the Employer. The initial allocation request may be made at the time of enrollment. Investment allocation requests shall remain effective with regard to all subsequent Deferrals, until changed in accordance with the provisions of this Section. A Participant may change his or her allocation request during an Open Enrollment Period or other period approved by the Committee by notifying the Committee in writing. Such changes shall become effective as soon as administratively feasible. While the Employer intends to invest Deferrals according to Participant requests, it reserves the right to invest Deferrals without regard to such requests.

(Ord. 2004-122 § 1 (part), 2004; Ord. 90-138 § 1 (part), 1990)

3.96.090 Amendment and Termination.

A.    Amendment. The Employer shall have the right to amend this Plan, at any time and from time to time, in whole or in part. The Employer shall notify each Participant in writing of any Plan amendment.

B.    Termination. Although the Employer has established this Plan with a bona fide intention and expectation to maintain the Plan indefinitely, the Employer may terminate or discontinue the Plan in whole or in part at any time without any liability for such termination and discontinuance. Upon Plan termination, all Deferrals shall cease and each Participant or Beneficiary shall be given the opportunity to elect a benefit commencement date and form of payment in accordance with Articles V and VI. The Employer shall retain all Deferrals until each Participant terminates or incurs a hardship and benefits commence under Sections 3.96.050 A.2. or 3.96.050 B.

(Ord. 90-138 § 1 (part), 1990)

3.96.100 Miscellaneous.

A.    Limitation of Rights; Employment Relationship. Neither the establishment of this Plan nor any modification thereof, nor the creation of any fund or account, nor the payment of any benefits, shall be construed as giving a Participant or other person any legal or equitable right against the Employer except as provided in the Plan. In no event shall the terms of employment of any Employee be modified or in any way affected by the Plan.

B.    Limitation on Assignment. Except to the extent required under a final judgment, decree, or order (including approval of a property settlement agreement) made pursuant to a state domestic relations law, no Participant or Beneficiary shall have any right to commute, sell, assign, pledge, transfer or otherwise convey or encumber the right to receive any payments hereunder, which payments and rights are expressly declared to be non-assignable and non-transferable.

C.    Representations. The Employer does not represent or guarantee that any particular federal or state income, payroll, personal property or other tax consequence will result from participation in this Plan. A Participant should consult with professional tax advisors to determine the tax consequences of his or her participation. Further, the Employer does not represent or guarantee successful investment of Plan funds and assets, and shall not be required to repay any loss which may result from such investment or lack of investment.

D.    Severability. If a court of competent jurisdiction holds any provisions of this Plan invalid or unenforceable, the remaining provisions of the Plan shall continue to be fully effective.

E.    Applicable Law. This Plan shall be construed in accordance with applicable federal law and, to the extent otherwise applicable, the laws of the State of Washington.

(Ord. 94-140 § 1, 1994; Ord. 90-138 § 1 (part), 1990)