Your rights under ERISA

Your rights under ERISA for the Family Adjustment, Family Income and Contributory Group Life Insurance Plans

As a participant in the ExxonMobil Life Insurance Program, you have certain rights and protections under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). ERISA provides that as a plan participant, you shall be entitled to:

Receive information about your plan and benefits

Examine, without charge, at the office of the Administrator-Benefits and at other specified locations, such as worksites and union halls, all documents governing the ExxonMobil Life Insurance Program, including collective bargaining agreements, and a copy of the latest annual report (Form 5500 Series) filed by the ExxonMobil Life Insurance Program with the U.S. Department of Labor and available at the Public Disclosure Room of the Employee Benefits Security Administration.

  • Obtain, upon written request to the Administrator-Benefits, copies of documents governing the operation of the ExxonMobil Life Insurance Program, including collective bargaining agreements, and copies of the latest annual report (Form 5500 Series) and updated Summary Plan Description. The administrator may require a reasonable charge for the copies.
  • Receive a summary of the ExxonMobil Life Insurance Program's annual financial report. The Administrator-Benefits is required by law to furnish each participant with a copy of this Summary Annual Report.

In addition to creating rights for participants, ERISA imposes duties upon the people who are responsible for the operation of the employee benefit plan. The people who operate your Life Insurance Program, called "fiduciaries" of the Life Insurance Program, have a duty to do so prudently and in the interest of you and other Life Insurance Program participants and beneficiaries. No one, including your employer, your union, or any other person, may fire you or otherwise discriminate against you in any way to prevent you from obtaining a plan benefit or exercising your rights under ERISA.

Enforce your rights

  • If your claim for a benefit is denied or ignored, in whole or in part, you have a right to know why this was done, to obtain copies of documents relating to the decision without charge, and to appeal any denial, all within certain time schedules.
  • Under ERISA, there are steps you can take to enforce the above rights. For instance, if you request a copy of Plan documents or the latest Summary Annual Report and do not receive them within 30 days, you may file suit in a Federal court.  Such lawsuit must be filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston, Texas, or in the United States District Court for the federal judicial district where the employee currently works.  If a retiree or terminee, the suit must be filed in the last location worked prior to termination of employment.  Beneficiaries must also file in the same federal judicial district that the employee or retiree would be required to file.   In such a case, the court may require the Administrator-Benefits to provide the materials and pay you up to $110 a day until you receive the materials, unless the materials were not sent because of reasons beyond the control of the administrator.
  • If you have elected the death benefit option, and if you have a claim and an appeal for benefits, which are denied or ignored, in whole or in part, you may file suit in a state or Federal court. Any such lawsuit must be brought within one year of the date on which an appeal was denied. Such lawsuit must be filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston, Texas, or in the United States District Court for the federal judicial district where the employee currently works.  If a retiree or terminee, the suit must be filed in the last location worked prior to termination of employment.  Beneficiaries must also file in the same federal judicial district that the employee or retiree would be required to file.   The court will decide who should pay court costs and legal fees. If you are successful, the court may order the person you have sued to pay these costs and fees. If you lose, the court may order you to pay these costs and fees, for example, if it finds your claim is frivolous.

Assistance with your questions

If you have any questions about your benefits, you should contact Benefits Administration. If you have any questions about this statement or about your rights under ERISA, or if you need assistance in obtaining documents from the Administrator-Benefits, you should contact the nearest office of the Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, listed in your telephone directory or the Division of Technical Assistance and Inquiries, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. You may also obtain certain publications about your rights and responsibilities under ERISA by calling the publications hotline of the Employee Benefits Security Administration.