Claims and appeals
If you disagree about a benefit, the Plan allows you to file a written application for review of the issue with the Plan Administrator.
If a claim for benefits is denied in whole or in part, the Plan Administrator will give you written notice within 90 days after the Plan Administrator receives your claim, unless special circumstances outside the control of the Plan Administrator require an extension of the time limit. (The Plan Administrator will notify you of the need and reasons for any such extension, and the date by which the Plan expects to render a decision, before the end of the 90-day period.) The written notice will set forth:
- The specific reasons for denial of the claim;
- Reference to the particular provisions of the Plan on which denial of the claim is based;
- A statement as to any additional facts or information necessary to perfect the claim and an explanation as to why the same is required; and
- A reference to the procedures (described below) for review of the denial of the claim, including a statement of your right to bring a civil action under Section 502(a) of ERISA following a denial of a claim.
If your claim for benefits under the Plan is denied in whole or in part by the Plan Administrator, you have the right to request a review of such denial. The review will be granted upon written request, filed by you with the Plan Administrator within 60 days following receipt of written notice of the denial. A full and fair review will be conducted by the Company's Retirement Plan Committee. You will be permitted to submit written comments, records and other information relating to the claim and provided, upon request and free of charge, reasonable access to and copies of all documents, records, and other information relevant to the claim. The Retirement Plan Committee will consider all comments, documents and other information you submitted, without regard to whether that information was submitted or considered in the initial determination.
At any hearing by the Retirement Plan Committee, you will have reasonable notice and an opportunity to be present and be heard in person or by a duly authorized representative. The Retirement Plan Committee will decide the matter with reasonable promptness and in any event within 60 days following receipt of a request for review unless special circumstances exist which require an extension of such time limit. The Retirement Plan Committee will notify you of the need and reasons for such extension, and the date by which the Plan expects to render a decision, prior to the end of the 60 day period. Its decision will be provided to you in writing and will set forth its reasons for the decision; the provisions of the Plan on which the decision is based; a statement that you are entitled to receive, upon request and free of charge, reasonable access to, and copies of all documents, records and other information relevant to the claim; and a statement of your right to bring a civil action under Section 502(a) of ERISA.
The above appeal procedure applies not only to you but also to a beneficiary or other person who disagrees about a benefit.
If you wish to bring a civil action against the Plan following a denial of your claim on appeal, you must do so within one year of the Retirement Plan Committee's final decision on your claim.