This excerpt taken from the IBM 10-Q filed Apr 29, 2008.
of Time for Filing Claims in Court
Effective October 25, 2005, neither
(a) a claim or action to recover benefits allegedly due under the provisions of the Plan or by reason of any law, nor
(b) a claim or action to enforce rights under the Plan, nor
(c) a claim or action to clarify rights to future benefits under the Plan, nor
(d) any other claim or action that (I) relates to the Plan and (II) seeks a remedy, ruling, or judgment of any kind against the Plan, the Plan Administrator, a Plan fiduciary (within the meaning of Section 3(21) of ERISA), or a party in interest (within the meaning of Section 3(14) of ERISA) with respect to the Plan may be filed in any court
(i) Until the claimant has exhausted the administrative review procedure set forth in Section 11.05(a) or Section 5A.08; and
(ii) Unless such claim or action is filed in a court with jurisdiction over such claim or action no later than two years after:
(A) in the case of a claim or action to recover benefits, the date the first benefit payment was actually made or was allegedly due, whichever is earlier;
(B) in the case of a claim or action to enforce a right, the date the Plan Administrator or its delegate first denied the claimants request to exercise such right, regardless of whether such denial occurred during administrative review pursuant to Section 11.05(a) or 5A.08;
(C) in the case of a claim or action to clarify rights to future benefits, the date the Plan Administrator first repudiated its alleged obligation to provide such future benefits, regardless of whether such repudiation occurred during administrative review pursuant to Section 11.05(a) or 5A.08; or
(D) in the case of any other claim or action described in clause (d), above, the earliest date on which the claimant knew or should have known of the material facts on which such claim or action is based;
provided that if a request for administrative review pursuant to Section 11.05(a) or 5A.08 is pending before the claims administrator designated by the Plan Administrator to review such claims when the two-year period described in this paragraph (ii) expires, the deadline for filing such claim or action in a court with proper jurisdiction shall be extended to the date that is 60 calendar days after the final denial of the claim on administrative review.
The period described by paragraph (ii), above, is hereafter referred to as the Applicable Limitations Period. The Applicable Limitations Period replaces and supersedes any limitations period that might otherwise be deemed applicable under state or federal law in the absence of this Section 14.09. Except as provided in the following two sentences, a claim or action filed after the expiration of the Applicable Limitations Period shall be deemed time-barred. The Plan Administrator shall have discretion to extend the Applicable Limitations Period upon a showing of exceptional circumstances that, in the opinion of the Plan Administrator, provide good cause for an extension. The exercise of this discretion is committed solely to the Plan Administrator, and is not subject to review. Notwithstanding the foregoing, neither paragraph (ii), above, nor the Applicable Limitations Period shall apply to an action governed by Section 413 of ERISA.
14.10 Class Action Forum
(a) To the fullest extent permitted by law, any putative class action lawsuit brought in whole or in part under Section 502 of ERISA (or any successor provision) and relating to the Plan, the lawfulness of any Plan provision, the administration of the Plan, the management, investment, or handling of Plan assets, or the performance or non-performance of Plan fiduciaries or administrators shall be filed in one of the following jurisdictions: (i) the jurisdiction in which the Plan is principally administered, which is currently New York State, or (ii) the jurisdiction in which the largest number of putative class members resides (or if that jurisdiction cannot be determined, the jurisdiction in which the largest number of class members is reasonably believed to reside).
(b) If any putative class action within the scope of subsection (a) above is filed in a jurisdiction other than one of those described in subsection (a), or if any non-class
action filed in such a jurisdiction is subsequently amended or altered to include class action allegations, then the Plan, all parties to such action that are related to the Plan (such as a Plan fiduciary, administrator, or party in interest), and all alleged Plan participants and beneficiaries shall take all necessary steps to have the action removed to, transferred to, or re-filed in a jurisdiction described in subsection (a). Such steps may include, but are not limited to, (i) a joint motion to transfer the action, or (ii) a joint motion to dismiss the action without prejudice to its re-filing in a jurisdiction described in subsection (a), with any applicable time limits or statutes of limitations applied as if the suit or class action allegation had originally been filed or asserted in a jurisdiction described in subsection (a) at the same time that it was filed or asserted in a jurisdiction not described therein.
(c) This forum selection provision is waived if no party invokes it within 120 days of the filing of a putative class action or the assertion of class action allegations.
(d) This provision does not relieve any putative class member from any obligation existing under the Plan or by law to exhaust administrative remedies before initiating litigation.