This excerpt taken from the EQR 10-Q filed Nov 6, 2008.
The Plan constitutes a mere promise by the Employers to make payments in accordance with the terms of the Plan and Participants and beneficiaries shall have the status of general unsecured creditors of the Employers. Nothing in the Plan will be construed to give any employee or any other person rights to any specific assets of an Employer or of any other person. In all events, it is the intent of the Employers that the Plan be treated as unfunded for tax purposes and for purposes of Title I of ERISA. Subject to the foregoing, EQR shall have the authority to establish and maintain a grantor trust for the purpose of providing benefits under the terms of the Plan.
None of the benefits, payments, proceeds or claims of any Participant or beneficiary shall be subject to any claim of any creditor of any Participant or beneficiary and, in particular, the same shall not be subject to attachment or garnishment or other legal process by any creditor of such Participant or beneficiary, nor shall any Participant or beneficiary have any right to alienate, anticipate, commute, pledge, encumber or assign any of the benefits or payments or proceeds which he or she may expect to receive, contingently or otherwise under the Plan.
Nothing contained in the Plan shall confer upon any person a right to be employed or to continue in the employ of an Employer or on the Board of Trustees of EQR, or interfere in any way with the right of an Employer to terminate the employment of a Participant in the Plan at any time, with or without cause.
Any action with respect to the Plan taken by the Plan Administrator or the Funding Trustee or any action authorized by or taken at the direction of the Plan Administrator, an Employer or the Funding Trustee shall be conclusive upon all Participants and beneficiaries entitled to benefits under the Plan.
Any payment to any Participant or beneficiary in accordance with the provisions of the Plan shall, to the extent thereof, be in full satisfaction of all claims against the Employers, the Plan Administrator and the Funding Trustee under the Plan, and the Plan Administrator may require such Participant or beneficiary, as a condition precedent to such payment, to execute a receipt and release to such effect. If any Participant or beneficiary is determined by the Plan Administrator to be incompetent by reason of physical or mental disability (including minority) to give a valid receipt and release, the Plan Administrator may cause the payment or payments becoming due to such person to be made to another person for his or her benefit without responsibility on the part of the Plan Administrator, the Employers or the Funding Trustee to follow the application of such funds.
The Plan shall be construed, administered, and governed in all respects under and by the laws of the State of Illinois to the extent not superseded by federal law. If any provision shall be held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable, the remaining provisions hereof shall continue to be fully effective.
Headings and subheadings in this Plan are inserted for convenience only and are not to be considered in the construction of the provisions hereof.
EXECUTED, on behalf of EQR, this 1st day of November, 2008.