Claim Procedures

Claims regarding Plan Eligibility, Participation, Contributions, or other Plan Functions

Requests for information or claims concerning eligibility, participation, contributions, or other aspects of the operation of the Plan should be in writing and directed to the Plan Administrator.  The Plan Administrator will generally notify you of its decision within 90 days after it receives your claim.

However, if the Plan Administrator determines that special circumstances require an extension of time to decide your claim, the Plan Administrator may obtain an additional 90 days to decide the claim.  Before obtaining this extension, the Plan Administrator will notify you, in writing and before the end of the initial 90-day period, of the special circumstances requiring the extension and the date by which the Plan Administrator expects to render a decision.

If your claim is denied in whole or in part, the Plan Administrator will provide you with a written or electronic notice that explains the reason or reasons for the decision, including specific references to Plan provisions upon which the decision is based, a description of any additional material or information that might be helpful to decide the claim (including an explanation of why that information may be necessary), a description of the appeals procedures and applicable filing deadlines and your right to bring an action under Section 502(a) of ERISA.

If you disagree with the decision reached by the Plan Administrator, you may submit a written appeal to the Plan Administrator requesting a review of the decision.  Your written appeal must be submitted within 60 days of receiving the Plan Administrator’s decision and should clearly state why you disagree with the Plan Administrator’s decision.  You may submit written comments, documents, records and other information relating to the claim even if such information was not submitted in connection with the initial claim for benefits.  Additionally, upon request and free of charge, you may have reasonable access to and copies of all documents, records and other information relevant to the claim.

The Plan Administrator will generally decide your appeal within 60 days after it is received.  However, if the Plan Administrator determines that special circumstances require an extension of time to decide the claim, it may obtain an additional 60 days to decide the claim.  Before obtaining this extension, the Plan Administrator will notify you, in writing and before the end of the initial 60-day period, of the special circumstances requiring the extension and the date by which it expects to render a decision.

The Plan Administrator will provide you with written or electronic notice of its decision.  In the case of an adverse decision, the notice will explain the reason or reasons for the decision, include specific references to Plan provisions upon which the decision is based, and indicate that you are entitled to, upon request and free of charge, reasonable access to and copies of documents, records, and other information relevant to the claim.  Additionally, the notice will include a statement regarding your right to bring an action under Section 502(a) of ERISA.  Generally, you must exhaust your internal administrative appeal rights before you can bring a legal action against the Plan.  The Plan Administrator has full discretionary power to construe and interpret the Plan and its decisions are final and binding on all parties.

Claims regarding the Terms and Conditions of Annuity Contracts and Custodial Account Agreements

Claims and review of claims for benefits under a particular annuity contract or custodial account agreement (including claims relating to the terms, conditions, and interpretations thereof) should be sent to the applicable Record Keeper, which will determine the claim under procedures similar to those set forth above except that the Record Keeper is responsible for deciding the claim.  The Record Keeper will have full discretionary authority to construe and interpret the terms of its investment and funding contracts and its decisions are final and binding on all parties.

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