BURLINGTON NORTHERN SANTA
INVESTMENT AND RETIREMENT PLAN
Notes to Financial Statements
As of December 31, 2019 and 2018 and for the
Year Ended December 31, 2019
NOTE 1 - DESCRIPTION OF PLAN
The following description of the Burlington
Northern Santa Fe Investment and Retirement Plan (the Plan)
provides only general information. Participants should refer to the
Plan document for a more complete description of the Plan’s
The purpose of the Plan, which is subject to the
provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
(ERISA), is to offer eligible employees of Burlington Northern
Santa Fe, LLC and certain affiliated companies (collectively, BNSF)
an opportunity to invest a portion of their income on a regular
basis through payroll deductions. These amounts, supplemented by
BNSF’s matching contributions, may be invested at the participant’s
direction in various investment funds.
The Plan is administered by BNSF’s Vice President
and Chief Human Resources Officer (the Plan Administrator).
Vanguard Fiduciary Trust Company (the Trustee) is responsible for
the custody and management of the Plan’s assets, and an affiliate
of the Trustee provides recordkeeping services to the Plan. BNSF’s
Employee Benefits Committee is responsible for appointing and
removing the Trustee, specifying the investment options available
under the Plan (if not otherwise mandated by the Plan), and
reviewing benefit claims appeals.
The Plan participates in the BNSF 401(k) Plans
Master Trust (the Master Trust) and, along with the BNSF Railway
Employees 401(k) Retirement Plan (the Non-Salaried Plan), owns a percentage
of the assets in the Master Trust.
Effective October 1, 2015, any salaried
employee regularly assigned to a salaried position, except a
non-resident alien, of BNSF
who is not subject to a collective bargaining agreement, is
eligible to participate in the Plan immediately upon hire.
Also effective October 1, 2015, the Plan
provides for the automatic enrollment of employees who become newly
eligible to participate in the Plan at a rate of six percent of
their base salary. For employees already eligible, they may become
participants in the Plan by authorizing regular payroll deductions
and designating an allocation method for such deductions.
Compensation, as generally defined under the Plan,
is the total of base salary, commissions and Incentive Compensation
Plan bonuses. The Plan provides that the annual compensation of
each employee taken into account under the Plan for any year may
not exceed a limitation pursuant to requirements of the Internal
Revenue Code (IRC). During 2019, the limitation was
The maximum limitation on combined total
before-tax and after-tax employee contributions (other
contributions) is 25% of a participant’s base salary, commissions
and Incentive Compensation Plan bonus award with separate elections
for each, not to exceed certain limits as described in the Plan
document. All employee-elected contributions are made by means of
regular payroll deductions.
BNSF matches 75% of the first 6% of
contributions and/or Roth contributions for each pay period. BNSF
matching contributions are made in cash, as soon as practicable
after the end of each pay period.