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RETIREMENT EQUITY FUND - Frequently Asked Questions

What does the plan provide?

The Plan provides two things:

Retirement income based upon accumulated account balance, in accordance with the option which you elect when you retire.

Group term life insurance, with a waiver of premium in the event of total and permanent disability, from time of entry until you reach age 65 or withdraw from the Plan. The amount of insurance coverage is updated from time to time. The current coverage and premiums are listed with a contribution schedule provided to each participant and employer.

Who is eligible to participate?

You are eligible to participate in the Plan if you are an ordained minister or a permanent full-time employee of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church or any congregation or organization of the church.

Ministers shall be eligible upon ordination. Non-ministerial employees shall be eligible upon being declared a "permanent employee" by their employer.

How do I enter the Plan?

Plan entry is made by application to the Committee on Pensions, 886 Belmont Avenue, Suite 1, North Haledon, New Jersey 07508-2566. An application form will be provided upon request.

You may enter the Plan 30 days after becoming eligible. You must enter the Plan within 61 days after becoming eligible in order to be enrolled without medical examination. Enrollment shall be effective upon approval of the application by the Committee on Pensions and payment of contribution for the next quarter. Life insurance coverage shall commence as of that date.

How is the Plan funded?

The Plan is funded by quarterly contributions by participants and employers. A portion of these contributions is for the group term life insurance. The balance, for pensions, is paid into the Retirement Equity Fund and is supplemented by income from investments, gifts to the Plan, and capital appreciation, if any.

What is the Retirement Equity Fund?

It is the repository for the pension contributions made by participants and employers, and for the investment of such funds. Each participant's interest in the Fund is adjusted periodically to reflect the contributions made by and for him, and to apply to his account a proportionate share of the investment experience (gains or losses) of the Fund. A participant's pension benefits are paid from his account in the Fund. The Fund is invested by a Trustee selected by the Committee on Pensions.

How much does it cost?

Contributions for new participants are made according to a schedule which is based upon the participant's age at time of entry. Normally one-third of the contribution is made by the participant and two-thirds by his employer. The current schedule of contributions is provided to each participant and employer as needed.

Contributions shall be made quarterly to the Committee on Pensions by the participant and/or his employer on or before the last day of March, June, September, and December.

Contributions in addition to the amounts specified in the schedule may be made to a participant's account by him and/or his employer from time to time. They shall be regarded as fully vested from the time they are received by the Committee, and shall be subject to the Plan's withdrawal provisions.

Do MY contributions in their entirety go into the Retirement Equity Fund?

Yes, they do. The premium for your term life insurance policy, and your share of the costs of administration of the Plan, are paid out of your employer's share of the contributions unless they are insufficient.

Can I know, from time to time, how much my portion of the Fund amounts to?

Yes. The committee will provide you with an annual statement of the exact amount paid into your account and the value of your account to date.

When may I retire?

Your normal retirement date is the first day of the month following your 65th birthday. (The retirement date is not mandatory; you and/or your employer may continue contributions until retirement.)

How much do I receive at retirement?

Your retirement benefits will be based on the amount of your equity in the Retirement Equity Fund at the time of your retirement and on the income option which you elect. Your equity is determined by the total amount paid into the Fund by you and your employer, together with the investment experience of the Fund. Current projections, based on assumed percentages of growth and income are available from the Committee on Pensions.

The pension benefits are supplementary to Social Security benefits.

You have these options:

What if I leave the OPC or my covered employment?

During your participation in the Plan, the contributions to your account build up an equity in the Fund for you.

If you leave the Plan before the seven anniversary of your participation, you will receive a percentage of your total equity in the Fund corresponding to the share of the total contributions made to the Fund by your employer and 100% of your own contributions made to the Fund. This is your "vested interest" in the Fund.

If you were in the predecessor Pension Plan, your years in the Plan are counted toward your participation in this Plan.

What happens --

If I die before retirement?

Your insurance will be paid to the person(s) you have named as beneficiary(ies); and

If your named beneficiary(ies) are your spouse or dependent children or parents, your entire interest in the Fund, whether or not vested, will be available to them, either under the same options as would have been available to you upon retirement or on such other arrangements as may be agreeable to the Committee on Pensions. If you named beneficiary is other than your spouse, dependent children, or parents, your vested interest will be paid to him in one lump payment.

If I die after retirement?

The remaining portion of your equity in the Fund will be used to provide continuing benefits to your surviving spouse. If your spouse has predeceased you, you may designate a beneficiary for your remaining equity on a form provided by the Committee on Pensions and filed with the Committee during your lifetime.

If I fail to designate a beneficiary, or if all the designated beneficiaries have predeceased me?

The Committee on Pensions will pay your remaining equity, at its discretion, to any one or more of your relatives by blood or marriage or to your estate.

What if I become permanently and totally disabled before retirement?

Two things occur:

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