FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What You Need to Know About Your Annuity Certificate Packet
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Q

Why do I need to reference Group Annuity Contract Number GA-300 when I contact Prudential?

GA-300 is the unique identifier assigned to the Group Annuity Contract that covers the annuity that was purchased for you. Whenever you contact Prudential by phone or mail please reference this Group Annuity Contract Number because it helps us locate your records on our administrative systems and enables us to be more responsive to you.

Q

Why am I getting an Annuity Certificate? (Prudential only certificate)

You are getting an Annuity Certificate because the annuity payments you were promised are guaranteed under a Group Annuity Contract. When an insurance company has assumed liability under a Group Annuity Contract, the insurer issues a legal document called an annuity certificate to each person who has a guaranteed annuity under the contract to describe the terms of the annuity.

Q

Why am I getting multiple Annuity Certificates? (Multi insurer certificates)

You are getting Annuity Certificates because the annuity payments you were promised are guaranteed under separate Group Annuity Contracts from three insurance companies: Prudential, Aetna, and MetLife. When an insurance company has assumed liability under a Group Annuity Contract, the insurer issues a legal document called an annuity certificate to each person who has a guaranteed annuity under the contract to describe the terms of the annuity. It is important to note that Prudential has assumed the role of Lead Administrator for the other insurance companies. See the next question for more details.  

Q

Multi Insurer - Why am I also getting Aetna and MetLife Annuity Certificates from Prudential?

Your Pre-1985 Part B Primary Benefit related to your employee contributions made to the GM SRP prior to 1985 is guaranteed by Prudential and two other insurance companies—Aetna and MetLife—under separate group annuity contracts.

According to agreements made with Aetna and MetLife, Prudential is the payer and Lead Administrator for your entire insurer-provided monthly annuity payment. This is being done for administrative efficiency. We are including your Aetna and MetLife certificates in this packet because we are the Lead Administrator. These Annuity Certificates document the portions of the Pre-1985 Part B Primary Benefit that are guaranteed by Aetna and by MetLife.

The portion of the Pre-1985 Part B Primary Benefit payment that is covered by the Group Annuity Contract with Prudential is included in the Annuity Certificate issued to you by Prudential. Your Prudential Annuity Certificate also describes the other features that are included in the annuity purchased for you and irrevocably guaranteed to you by Prudential under the Prudential Group Annuity Contract.

Please note: the monthly annuity benefit amounts guaranteed by Aetna and by MetLife are solely their obligations and are not guaranteed by Prudential.

Q

What is the Annuity Certificate Number?

To protect your privacy, Prudential does not use your Social Security Number (SSN) in any correspondence we send you. Instead, Prudential creates a unique Customer Identification Number (CIN) for every person with an annuity as an identifier to be used in place of your SSN. The CIN is a nine-digit, alpha-numeric number that starts with a letter—for example, A12345678. Prudential uses your CIN as your Annuity Certificate Number.

Q

This is not the original benefit election I made when I retired. Why was it changed?

Even though you may have been receiving benefits prior to the Annuity Commencement Date, your Annuity Certificate reflects only the annuity that was purchased for you under the Group Annuity Contract and reflects the payment circumstances as of January 1, 2013, the date your Prudential guarantee began, not your original benefit when you retired under the GM SRP.

For example, if you originally elected a Joint & Survivor form of payment, but your designated Contingent Life predeceased you prior to the Annuity Commencement Date shown on your Annuity Certificate, your form of annuity will be listed as a Single Life Annuity on your Annuity Certificate. The only person that was eligible to receive the survivor benefit after your death was the Contingent Life you originally named. Since this person is no longer living, there are no survivor benefits payable after your death.

Q

Multi Insurer - How does the gross monthly benefit amount on the Prudential Welcome Kit Pension Benefit Fact Sheet relate to the dollar amounts

The gross monthly benefit amount on the Prudential Pension Benefit Fact Sheet includes:

- The amount of your annuity payment guaranteed by Prudential under the group annuity contract purchased in 2012. This amount includes the Prudential portion of your Pre-1985 Part B Primary Benefit as well as the other features of your benefit that were purchased under the Prudential Group Annuity Contract, plus

- The portions of your Pre-1985 Part B Primary Benefit payment guaranteed by Aetna and by MetLife under separate insurance contracts.  

- Each insurer's certificate shows the amount of the monthly annuity payment that it guarantees.  

Please refer to the Guide to Understanding Your Certificates in your packet for more information about your monthly annuity amount.

Q

Multi Insurer - Why should I contact Prudential if I have a question about my retirement annuity?

Prudential is the Lead Administrator for your entire insurer-provided monthly annuity benefit, including the annuities guaranteed by Aetna and MetLife, and is administering your annuity payments on their behalf. Information you provide to Prudential is necessary to ensure uninterrupted annuity payments and will be tracked by Prudential. Similarly, any correction you wish to request to information contained in your annuity certificates should be directed to Prudential who will review, and make appropriate modifications and will also inform Aetna and MetLife of your request (see FAQ on certificate errors.)

Q

Multi Insurer - Why do the Prudential, Aetna and MetLife Annuity Certificates look so different?

The Annuity Certificates have different format and appearance because each insurer's annuity certificate was written to be consistent with the terms, terminology, and guarantees provided under that insurer's Group Annuity Contract. In general:

- The Aetna and MetLife Annuity Certificates cover only the guarantees related to the Pre-1985 Primary Part B benefit that was purchased under each insurer's Group Annuity Contract.

- Prudential's Annuity Certificate covers the guarantees related to the Pre-1985 Part B benefit as well as all the other features of the plan benefit that were purchased under the Prudential Group Annuity Contract in 2012.

Here are some examples of terminology that may differ among the three Annuity Certificates but have the same meaning:

Meaning: Prudential Annuity Certificate Terminology: Aetna Annuity Certificate Terminology: MetLife Annuity Certificate Terminology:
The primary payee named on the Annuity Certificate who has a guaranteed benefit under the Group Annuity Contract "Covered Life" "Annuitant" "Annuitant"
Unique Customer Identifier "Annuity Certificate Number" "Aetna Number" "Certificate No.".
Date the insurer's guarantee begins "Annuity Commencement Date" "Benefit Guarantee Date" "Annuity Commencement Date"
Person designated by the primary payee to receive annuity payments after the primary payee’s death "Contingent Life" "Joint Annuitant" "Survivor Annuitant"
Q

Multi Insurer - Why does each insurer use a unique customer identifier on its certificate instead of my social security number?

To protect your privacy, Prudential, Aetna and MetLife do not use your Social Security Number (SSN) in any correspondence that is sent to you. Instead:

- Prudential creates a unique Customer Identification Number (CIN) for every person with an annuity as an identifier to be used in place of your SSN. The CIN is a nine-digit, alpha-numeric number that starts with a letter—for example, A12345678. Prudential uses your CIN as your Annuity Certificate Number.

- Aetna and MetLife mask the first five digits of your SSN to create a unique identifier and shows the last four digits only—for example xxx-xx-1234.

Q

Multi Insurer - Does my annuity have a feature that provides for the payment of a death benefit payable to a beneficiary upon my death, other than

If your annuity provides for this type of death benefit, it will be indicated on each insurer's annuity certificate as follows:

- Prudential Annuity Certificate—In the Table of Information you will see a "Refund Death Benefit Rider" and there will be a box labeled "Total Plan Refund Death Benefit."

- Aetna Annuity Certificate—There will be an amount shown in the box labeled "Guaranteed Return."

- MetLife Annuity Certificate—There will be an amount shown in the box on the first page labeled "Minimum Return as of January 1, 2013."

The amount shown on the Prudential certificate is the total death benefit as of January 1, 2013 for the three insurer annuities and includes the Aetna and MetLife death benefit amounts. The amount shown has not yet been reduced by your January 1, 2013 annuity payment. To determine the amount of the death benefit applicable to only the Prudential annuity, subtract the sum of the Aetna and MetLife death benefit amounts.

Q

Multi Insurer - Is my guaranteed MetLife annuity secure if MetLife has financial difficulties?

Your Metropolitan Life Insurance Company annuity is backed by the General Account of, and guaranteed by, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 200 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10166. The Company's capital position is managed to maintain its financial strength and credit ratings and is supported by the ability to generate strong cash flow at the operating companies, borrow funds at competitive rates and raise additional capital to meet its operating and growth needs. As of September 30, 2012, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company had total capital and surplus of $15.2 billion.

In addition, MetLife has established a separate account to hold certain assets to provide support for its payment obligations under the Group Annuity Contract issued by MetLife. MetLife established the separate account and incorporated terms referring to it in the Group Annuity Contract with the intent that its assets would not be subject to the claims of either General Account contract holders nor to the claims of general creditors in the event of the insolvency of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company's financial strength and claims-paying ability is currently rated "Superior," "Excellent," or "Very Strong" by the major rating agencies.

Rating Agency Assessments: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC)*

An A.M. Best's Financial Strength Rating is an independent opinion, based on a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative evaluation, of a company's balance sheet strength, operating performance and business profile. The A+ rating is the second highest rating on this 16-step scale and indicates that the company has superior ability to meet their ongoing obligations to policyholders. Ratings explanations can be found at: www.ambest.com.

A Moody's Insurance Financial Strength Rating is an opinion of the ability of insurance companies to repay punctually senior policyholder claims and obligations. The Aa3 rating is the fourth highest rating on this 21-step scale, and indicates that the company offers excellent financial security. Ratings explanations can be found at: www.moodys.com.

A Standard & Poor's Insurer Financial Strength Rating is a current opinion of the financial security characteristics of an insurance organization with respect to its ability to pay under its insurance policies and contracts in accordance with their terms. This opinion is not specific to any particular policy or contract, nor does it address the suitability of a particular policy or contract for a specific purpose or purchaser. The AA- rating is the fourth highest rating on this 21-step scale and indicates that the insurer has very strong financial security characteristics, differing only slightly from those rated higher.  Ratings explanations can be found at: www.standardandpoors.com.

A Fitch's Insurer Financial Strength Rating provides an assessment of the financial strength of an insurance organization.  The rating is assigned to the company's policyholder obligations, including assumed reinsurance obligations and contract holder obligations, such as guaranteed investment contracts. The AA- rating is the fourth highest rating on this 21-step scale and indicates a very strong capacity to meet policyholder and contract obligations on a timely basis. Ratings explanations can be found at: www.fitchratings.com. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company takes no position on the criteria and methodologies employed by the rating agencies in arriving at their ratings or the conclusions of their analyses, and providing this information should not be construed as an endorsement thereof.

*Ratings apply to Metropolitan Life Insurance Company's financial strength and claims-paying ability and not the performance of any of its products. Ratings are current. Ratings last required modification May 2, 2012. Additional ratings information can be found at www.investor.metlife.com. The above statements are included on MetLife's behalf, at their request.

Q

Multi Insurer - Is my guaranteed Aetna annuity secure if Aetna has financial difficulties?

Aetna and the GM SRP have agreed that assets backing Aetna's guarantee to you will be retained in an Aetna Life Insurance Company statutory Separate Account. This means that the assets backing Aetna's guarantee to you will not be subject to the claims of Aetna's general creditors. In the unlikely event that the assets of that Separate Account are exhausted, Aetna Life Insurance Company is obligated to pay out its guarantee to you using its general account assets. Currently Aetna's financial strength rating is A+ (Standard and Poor's), AA- (Fitch), A (A.M. Best) and A1 (Moody's). More detailed information about these ratings is available at each rating agencies website. Finally, regulations regarding company solvency which apply to Prudential and MetLife as a state regulated insurance company are similar to regulations which apply to Aetna Life Insurance Company. The previous statements are included on Aetna's behalf, at their request.

Q

Will you provide me with information about the guaranty fund coverage for my annuity?

A guaranty fund notice is included in your certificate packet only if it is required by your state of residence. Thirty-one state guaranty associations require insurers to distribute a disclosure notifying policyholders of the existence of and potential coverage by the guaranty association in the event of insolvency of the insurance company. The content of the disclosure, commonly referred to as a "summary document," is created by each state and cannot be altered in any manner. Some states promulgated separate disclosures based on the type of contract and whether coverage is available. Summary documents provide a general description of the guaranty association and coverage limits. Notices of Non-Coverage are used in a handful of states and are required to be sent with contract and certificates not covered by the association.

Q

I was not a participant in the pension plan. Why did I get a certificate?   

If you were not a plan participant, you may have received an Annuity Certificate for one of the following reasons:

- You are the designated Contingent Life of a participant who died prior to retirement; or

- You are the designated Contingent Life of a retiree of the plan who retired with a joint and survivor annuity or life annuity with a period certain, and died prior to the Annuity Commencement Date; or

- You are the Alternate Payee of a retiree under a qualified domestic relations order. As a result, you received an Annuity Certificate detailing the annuity purchased for you under the Group Annuity Contract.

Q

Why did I receive more than one certificate packet?

A separate certificate packet was provided for each payment you receive from Prudential. Here are some examples of why you may be receiving multiple payments:

- You are a GM SRP retiree and the beneficiary of another GM SRP retiree

- You are a GM SRP retiree and an Alternate Payee of another GM SRP retiree

- You are the beneficiary and an Alternate Payee of a GM SRP retiree

- You are the beneficiary of two different GM SRP retirees

- You are a GM SRP retiree with two distinct retirement benefits

If any of these circumstances apply to you, you received a separate certificate packet for each payment you receive from Prudential. Otherwise, you received one certificate packet.

Q

Can I change my Contingent Life to another person?

The election of the Joint and Survivor Annuity option and the person you designated to receive annuity payments after your death are irrevocable, and therefore cannot be changed. However, a Conversion Option may apply under the Prudential contract (see FAQ on Conversion Option).

Q

My designated Contingent Life is deceased. Can I choose someone else?

Your benefit amount was, in part, calculated based on the age of the person you designated to receive annuity payments after your death. Electing another Contingent Life is not permitted. However, a Conversion Option may apply under the Prudential contract (see FAQ on Conversion Option), it is important that you notify Prudential of this death by contacting us so that our records are accurate.

Q

What is an Annuity Rider?

An Annuity Rider is a special feature of your annuity. If you are eligible for an Annuity rider, it will be listed in the Table of Information and explained in the Annuity Certificate.

Q

What is a Conversion Option?

A Conversion Option is a right to convert to another annuity form. If you are eligible for a Conversion Option, it will be listed in the Table of Information and explained in the Annuity Certificate.

Q

Why doesn't the Number of Guaranteed Monthly Payments on the Annuity Certificate reflect the number of payments guaranteed to me as of my actual retirement date?

The Number of Guaranteed Monthly Payments indicated on your Annuity Certificate reflects the Number of Guaranteed Monthly Payments remaining as of the Annuity Commencement Date.

Q

Why does my Annuity Certificate show a higher amount than I receive each month, with the notation that the benefit is "subject to a QDRO?"

If your annuity benefit payment is subject to a shared interest Qualified Domestic Relations Order ("QDRO"), the guaranteed monthly amount shown on your Annuity Certificate reflects the full amount purchased for you by the GM SRP under GA-300. The amount you receive is subject to the individual terms of your QDRO, which may decrease the amount actually payable to you. The amount subject to the QDRO is paid to your Alternate Payee.

Q

The amount shown on my Annuity Certificate is higher than the amount I am currently receiving because my current benefit is reduced for an overpayment/garnishment. Does this mean that I no longer owe these monies?

No. The amount shown on the Annuity Certificate is the gross amount of the annuity benefit that was purchased for you under the Group Annuity Contract and does not reflect reductions for overpayments or garnishments (such as alimony or child support). If you are subject to such reductions, they will continue.

Q

Will future scheduled benefit changes such as the age 62+1 redetermination and the $300 Level Benefit still occur under the Group Annuity Contract?

If you were eligible and chose a new form of monthly benefit during the Voluntary SRP Lump Sum Offer election window, the value of all future benefit changes was included in your benefit, and therefore the monthly amount payable to you will not change in the future. 

For all other circumstances, all future redeterminations will continue to occur under the Group Annuity Contract

Q

Why does my Pre 62+1 Pension Amount show a value of $0.00?

The Pre 62+1 Pension Amount will not apply to you and show a value of $0.00 if you are a retiree who is older than age 62 and one month as of the Annuity Commencement Date. Please refer to the Post 62+1 Pension Amount on your Annuity Certificate.

Q

Why do my Pre 62+1 Pension Amount and Post 62+1 Pension Amount both show a value of $0.00?

The Pre 62+1 Pension Amount and Post 62+1 Pension Amount will not apply to you and show a value of $0.00 if you are only receiving a Special Benefit and/or Level Benefit. Please refer to the Special Benefit Amount and/or Level Benefit Amount on the certificate.

Q

Why do my Pre 62+1 Pension Amount and Post 62+1 Pension Amount both show the same amount?

The Pre 62+1 Pension Amount and Post 62+1 Pension Amount both show the same amount if you are a retiree who is not subject to a redetermination of benefits when you attain age 62 and one month or you are receiving payments as the surviving spouse or beneficiary of the original retiree. Your payment will not change when you attain age 62 and one month.

Q

The information on my Annuity Certificate is not accurate. How can I have it corrected?

Please carefully review the information on your Annuity Certificate. If you discover any errors, please contact Prudential as soon as possible. You may be entitled to receive an adjusted payment (subject to limitations described in the Group Annuity Contract). Please note that all reasonable care has been taken to provide you with accurate information about your annuity payment based on the data we received from your prior payer. 

If the information on your Annuity Certificate is incorrect, please send Prudential a written request, signed by you to authorize the change, and one of the applicable forms of documentation.

The following table outlines the documentation required to correct the most common errors:

Type of Error Documentation Required (Submit only ONE)
Annuitant's or Contingent Annuitant's Name Birth Certificate
Current Driver's License
Passport (issued after 1969)
Marriage Certificate
Court Order indicating a Name Change
Birth Certificate
Baptismal Certificate
Current Driver's License
Passport (issued after 1969)
Annuitant's or Contingent Annuitant's Date of Birth or Sex Birth Certificate
Baptismal Certificate
Current Driver's License
Passport (issued after 1969)
Armed Forces Service Record
Family Bible Record

 

Disclosures

While ratings can be objective indicators of an insurance company's financial strength and can provide a relative measure to help select among insurance companies, they are not guarantees of the future financial strength and/or claims-paying ability of a company and do not apply to the investment performance or financial strength of the underlying variable investment options, which are subject to market risk. The above ratings are subject to change and do not reflect any subsequent rating agency actions. We make every effort to update our literature as soon as possible after a ratings change. Please consult with your financial professional or visit our investor relations site, www.investor.prudential.com, for the most current ratings information.

A.M. Best considers "A+" (2nd category of 15) rated companies to have a superior ability to meet their ongoing obligations to policyholders. "A++" is the highest rating assigned issued by A.M. Best. Moody's indicates that "A2" (6th category of 21) rated insurance companies offer good financial security. Insurance companies rated "AAA" offer exceptional financial security. In addition, Moody's appends numerical modifiers 1, 2, 3 to each generic rating classification, with 1 being the highest and 3 being the lowest. While the credit policy of these companies is likely to change, such changes as can be visualized are most unlikely to impair their fundamentally strong position. "AAA" is the highest Insurer Financial Strength Rating assigned by Moody's.

According to Standard & Poor's publications, an insurer rated "AA-" (4th category of 21) has very strong financial security characteristics, differing only slightly from those rated higher. An insurer rated "AAA" has extremely strong financial security characteristics. "AAA" is the highest insurer financial strength rating assigned by Standard and Poor's.

Fitch indicates that "A+" (5th category of 21) companies are viewed as possessing strong capacity to meet policyholder and contract obligations. Risk factors are moderate, and the impact of any adverse business and economic factors is expected to be small. "AAA" is the highest rating issued by Fitch.

Guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the insurance company and are subject to certain limitations, terms and conditions. Prudential Financial, The Prudential Insurance Company of America, and Prudential Retirement are each solely responsible for its contractual obligations and financial condition.

Products not available in all states.

Prudential Retirement's group annuity contracts are issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America (PICA), Newark, NJ, a Prudential Financial company.

©2013 Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities. Prudential, the Prudential logo, the Rock symbol and Bring Your Challenges are service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc., and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide.

 

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