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CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORPORATION

AMENDED AND RESTATED DEFERRED COMPENSATION PLAN

EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2008


Chesapeake Energy Corporation Amended and Restated Deferred

Compensation Plan


ARTICLE I   

Establishment and Purpose

   1
ARTICLE II   

Definitions

   1
ARTICLE III   

Eligibility and Participation

   9
ARTICLE IV   

Deferrals

   10
ARTICLE V   

Company Contributions

   13
ARTICLE VI   

Benefits

   16
ARTICLE VII   

Modifications to Payment Schedules

   21
ARTICLE VIII   

Valuation of Account Balances; Investments

   21
ARTICLE IX   

Administration

   23
ARTICLE X   

Amendment and Termination

   24
ARTICLE XI   

Informal Funding

   25
ARTICLE XII   

Claims

   26
ARTICLE XIII   

General Provisions

   32


Chesapeake Energy Corporation Amended and Restated Deferred

Compensation Plan

 

ARTICLE I

Establishment and Purpose

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (the "Company") established the Chesapeake Energy Corporation Deferred Compensation Plan, effective as of January 1, 2003, and the Chesapeake Energy Corporation 401(k) Make-Up Plan, also effective as of January 1, 2003 (the "Prior Plans"). The Company hereby amends and restates the Prior Plans, effective January 1, 2008, into a single plan, to be hereafter known as the Chesapeake Energy Corporation Amended and Restated Deferred Compensation Plan (the "Plan").

This amendment and restatement applies only to amounts deferred under the Prior Plans on or after January 1, 2005, and to amounts deferred prior to January 1, 2005 that were not vested as of December 31, 2004. Amounts deferred under the Prior Plans prior to January 1, 2005 that were vested as of December 31, 2004 (the "Grandfathered Accounts") shall be subject to the provisions of the Prior Plans as in effect on October 3, 2004, as the same may be amended from time to time by the Company without material modification, it being expressly intended that such Grandfathered Accounts are to remain exempt from the requirements of Code Section 409A. The provisions of the Plan applicable to Grandfathered Accounts are reflected in this document for ease of reference.

The purpose of the Plan continues to be to attract and retain key employees and Directors by providing each Participant with an opportunity to defer receipt of a portion of their salary, bonus, and other specified compensation. The Plan is not intended to meet the qualification requirements of Code Section 401(a), but is intended to meet the requirements of Code Section 409A, and shall be operated and interpreted consistent with that intent.

The Plan constitutes an unsecured promise by a Participating Employer to pay benefits in the future. Participants in the Plan shall have the status of general unsecured creditors of the Company or the Adopting Employer, as applicable. Each Participating Employer shall be solely responsible for payment of the benefits of its employees and their beneficiaries. The Plan is unfunded for Federal tax purposes and is intended to be an unfunded arrangement for eligible employees who are part of a select group of management or highly compensated employees of the Employer within the meaning of Sections 201(2), 301(a)(3) and 401(a)(1) of ERISA. Any amounts set aside to defray the liabilities assumed by the Company or an Adopting Employer will remain the general assets of the Company or the Adopting Employer and shall remain subject to the claims of the Company's or the Adopting Employer's creditors until such amounts are distributed to the Participants.

ARTICLE II

Definitions


2.1

Account. Account means a bookkeeping account maintained by the Committee to record the payment obligation of a Participating Employer to a Participant as determined under the terms of the Plan. The Committee may maintain an Account to record the total obligation to a Participant and component Accounts to reflect amounts payable at different times and in different

 

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Chesapeake Energy Corporation Amended and Restated Deferred

Compensation Plan

 

 

forms. Reference to an Account means any such Account established by the Committee, as the context requires. Accounts are intended to constitute unfunded obligations within the meaning of Sections 201(2), 301(a)(3) and 401(a)(1) of ERISA.


2.2 Account Balance. Account Balance means, with respect to any Account, the total payment obligation owed to a Participant from such Account as of the most recent Valuation Date.

2.3 Adopting Employer. Adopting Employer means an Affiliate who, with the consent of the Committee, has adopted the Plan for the benefit of its eligible employees.

2.4 Affiliate. Affiliate means a corporation, trade or business that, together with the Company, is treated as a single employer under Code Section 414(b) or (c).

2.5 Beneficiary. Beneficiary means a natural person, estate, or trust designated by a Participant to receive payments to which a Beneficiary is entitled in accordance with provisions of the Plan. The Participant's spouse, if living, otherwise the Participant's estate, shall be the Beneficiary if: (i) the Participant has failed to properly designate a Beneficiary, or (ii) all designated Beneficiaries have predeceased the Participant.

A former spouse shall have no interest under the Plan, as Beneficiary or otherwise, unless the Participant designates such person as a Beneficiary after dissolution of the marriage.


2.6 Business Day. A Business Day is each day on which the New York Stock Exchange is open for business.

2.7 Change in Control. Change in Control, with respect to a Participating Employer that is organized as a corporation, occurs on the date on which any of the following events occur (i) a change in the ownership of the Participating Employer; (ii) a change in the effective control of the Participating Employer; (iii) a change in the ownership of a substantial portion of the assets of the Participating Employer.

For purposes of this Section, a change in the ownership of the Participating Employer occurs on the date on which any one person, or more than one person acting as a group, acquires ownership of stock of the Participating Employer that, together with stock held by such person or group constitutes more than 50% of the total fair market value or total voting power of the stock of the Participating Employer. A change in the effective control of the Participating Employer occurs on the date on which either (i) a person, or more than one person acting as a group, acquires ownership of stock of the Participating Employer possessing 35% or more of the total voting power of the stock of the Participating Employer, taking into account all such stock acquired during the 12-month period ending on the date of the most recent acquisition, or (ii) a majority of the members of the

 

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Chesapeake Energy Corporation Amended and Restated Deferred

Compensation Plan

 

Participating Employer's Board of Directors is replaced during any 12-month period by directors whose appointment or election is not endorsed by a majority of the members of such Board of Directors prior to the date of the appointment or election, but only if no other corporation is a majority shareholder of the Participating Employer. A change in the ownership of a substantial portion of assets occurs on the date on which any one person, or more than one person acting as a group, other than a person or group of persons that is related to the Participating Employer, acquires assets from the Participating Employer that have a total gross fair market value equal to or more than 40% of the total gross fair market value of all of the assets of the Participating Employer immediately prior to such acquisition or acquisitions, taking into account all such assets acquired during the 12-month period ending on the date of the most recent acquisition.

An event constitutes a Change in Control with respect to a Participant only if the Participant performs services for the Participating Employer that has experienced the Change in Control, or the Participant's relationship to the affected Participating Employer otherwise satisfies the requirements of Treasury Regulation Section 1.409A-3(i)(5)(ii).

The determination as to the occurrence of a Change in Control shall be based on objective facts and in accordance with the requirements of Code Section 409A.


2.8 Claimant. Claimant means a Participant or Beneficiary filing a claim under Article XII of this Plan.

2.9 Code. Code means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended from time to time.

2.10 Code Section 409A. Code Section 409A means section 409A of the Code, and regulations and other guidance issued by the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service thereunder.

2.11 Committee. Committee means the committee appointed by the Board of Directors of the Company (or the appropriate committee of such board) to administer the Plan. If no designation is made, the Chief Executive Officer of the Company or his delegate shall have and exercise the powers of the Committee.

2.12 Company. Company means Chesapeake Energy Corporation.

2.13 Company Contribution. Company Contribution means a credit by a Participating Employer to a Participant's Account(s) in accordance with the provisions of Article V of the Plan. Company Contributions are credited at the sole discretion of the Participating Employer and the fact that a Company Contribution is credited in one year shall not obligate the Participating Employer to continue to make such Company Contribution in subsequent years. Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, a reference to Company Contribution shall include Earnings attributable to such contribution.

 

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Compensation Plan

 

2.14 Company Stock. Company Stock means phantom shares of common stock issued by the Company.

2.15 Compensation. Compensation means a Participant's base salary, bonus, commission, Director fees, and such other cash or equity-based compensation (if any) approved by the Committee as Compensation that may be deferred under this Plan. Compensation shall not include any compensation that has been previously deferred under this Plan or any other arrangement subject to Code Section 409A.

2.16 Compensation Deferral Agreement. Compensation Deferral Agreement means an agreement between a Participant and a Participating Employer that specifies (i) the amount of each component of Compensation that the Participant has elected to defer to the Plan in accordance with the provisions of Article IV, and (ii) the Payment Schedule applicable to one or more Accounts. The Committee may permit different deferral amounts for each component of Compensation and may establish a minimum or maximum deferral amount for each such component. Unless otherwise specified by the Committee in the Compensation Deferral Agreement, Participants may defer up to 75% of their base salary and up to 100% of other types of Compensation for a Plan Year. A Compensation Deferral Agreement may also specify the investment allocation described in Section 8.4.

2.17 Death Benefit. Death Benefit means the benefit payable under the Plan to a Participant's Beneficiary(ies) upon the Participant's death as provided in Section 6.1 of the Plan.

2.18 Deferral. Deferral means a credit to a Participant's Account(s) that records that portion of the Participant's Compensation that the Participant has elected to defer to the Plan in accordance with the provisions of Article IV. Unless the context of the Plan clearly indicates otherwise, a reference to Deferrals includes Earnings attributable to such Deferrals.

Deferrals shall be calculated with respect to the gross cash Compensation payable to the Participant prior to any deductions or withholdings, but shall be reduced by the Committee as necessary so that it does not exceed 100% of the cash Compensation of the Participant remaining after deduction of all required income and employment taxes, 401(k) and other employee benefit deductions, and other deductions required by law. Changes to payroll withholdings that affect the amount of Compensation being deferred to the Plan shall be allowed only to the extent permissible under Code Section 409A.


2.19 Director. Director means a member of the Board of Directors of the Company.

2.20 Disability Benefit. Disability Benefit means the benefit payable under the Plan to a Participant in the event such Participant is determined to be Disabled.

 

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Chesapeake Energy Corporation Amended and Restated Deferred

Compensation Plan

 

2.21 Disabled. Disabled means that a Participant is, by reason of any medically-determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve months, (i) unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity, or (ii) receiving income replacement benefits for a period of not less than three months under an accident and health plan covering employees of the Participant's employer. The Committee shall determine whether a Participant is Disabled in accordance with Code Section 409A provided, however, that a Participant shall be deemed to be Disabled if determined to be totally disabled by the Social Security Administration or the Railroad Retirement Board. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, Disability with respect to a Grandfathered Account means a physical or mental disability as a result of which, at least 180 days after commencement of such disability, the Participant is determined, by a physician selected by the Company and acceptable to the Participant or the Participant's legal representative, to be totally and permanently disabled.

2.22 Earnings. Earnings means an adjustment to the value of an Account in accordance with Article VIII.

2.23 Effective Date. Effective Date means January 1, 2008.

2.24 Eligible Employee. Eligible Employee means, for a Plan Year, a member of a "select group of management or highly compensated employees" of a Participating Employer within the meaning of Sections 201(2), 301(a)(3) and 401(a)(1) of ERISA, as determined by the Committee from time to time in its sole discretion, who has been designated by the Committee as eligible to participate in the Plan. The Committee may in its discretion establish criteria to use in determining which Employees are Eligible Employees, which criteria may include income level, period of employment, participation in other plans, or such other criteria as it may deem appropriate. Any criteria established may be described on an Exhibit A to the Plan, and such criteria can be amended from time to time without formal amendment of the Plan.

2.25 Employee. Employee means a common-law employee of an Employer.

2.26 Employer. Employer means, with respect to Employees it employs, the Company and each Affiliate.

2.27 ERISA. ERISA means the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended from time to time.

2.28 Fiscal Year Compensation. Fiscal Year Compensation means Compensation earned during one or more consecutive fiscal years of a Participating Employer, all of which is paid after the last day of such fiscal year or years.

 

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Chesapeake Energy Corporation Amended and Restated Deferred

Compensation Plan

 

2.29 Grandfathered Account. Grandfathered Account means amounts deferred under the Prior Plans prior to January 1, 2005 that were vested as of December 31, 2004.

2.30 Participant. Participant means an Eligible Employee or a Director who has received notification of his or her eligibility to defer Compensation under the Plan under Section 3.1 and any other person with an Account Balance greater than zero, regardless of whether such individual continues to be an Eligible Employee or a Director. A Participant's continued participation in the Plan shall be governed by Section 3.2 of the Plan.

2.31 Participating Employer. Participating Employer means the Company and each Adopting Employer.

2.32 Payment Schedule. Payment Schedule means the date as of which payment of an Account under the Plan will commence and the form in which payment of such Account will be made.

2.33 Performance-Based Compensation. Performance-Based Compensation means Compensation where the amount of, or entitlement to, the Compensation is contingent on the satisfaction of pre-established organizational or individual performance criteria relating to a performance period of at least twelve consecutive months. Organizational or individual performance criteria are considered pre-established if established in writing by not later than ninety (90) days after the commencement of the period of service to which the criteria relate, provided that the outcome is substantially uncertain at the time the criteria are established. The determination of whether Compensation qualifies as "Performance-Based Compensation" will be made in accordance with Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-1(e) and subsequent guidance.

2.34 Plan. Generally, the term Plan means the "Chesapeake Energy Corporation Amended and Restated Deferred Compensation Plan" as documented herein and as may be amended from time to time hereafter. However, to the extent permitted or required under Code Section 409A, the term Plan may in the appropriate context also mean a portion of the Plan that is treated as a single plan under Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-1(c), or the Plan or portion of the Plan and any other nonqualified deferred compensation plan or portion thereof that is treated as a single plan under such section.

2.35 Plan Year. Plan Year means January 1 through December 31.

2.36 Qualified Plan. Qualified Plan means the Chesapeake Energy Corporation Savings and Incentive Stock Bonus Plan.

2.37 Retirement. Retirement means a Participant's Separation from Service after attainment of age fifty-five (55) and completion of ten (10) Years of Service.

 

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Chesapeake Energy Corporation Amended and Restated Deferred

Compensation Plan

 

2.38 Retirement Benefit. Retirement Benefit means the benefit payable to a Participant under the Plan following the Retirement of the Participant.

2.39 Retirement/Termination Account. Retirement/Termination Account means an Account established by the Committee to record the amounts payable to a Participant that have not been allocated to a Specified Date Account. Unless the Participant has established a Specified Date Account, all Deferrals and Company Contributions shall be allocated to a Retirement/Termination Account on behalf of the Participant.

2.40 Separation from Service. An Employee incurs a Separation from Service upon termination of employment with the Employer. A Director incurs a Separation from Service upon the expiration of all contracts with the Employer, provided the contractual relationship has in good faith been completely terminated. Whether a Separation from Service has occurred shall be determined by the Committee in accordance with Code Section 409A.

Except in the case of an Employee on a bona fide leave of absence as provided below, an Employee is deemed to have incurred a Separation from Service if the Employer and the Employee reasonably anticipated that the level of services to be performed by the Employee after a date certain would be reduced to 20% or less of the average services rendered by the Employee during the immediately preceding 36-month period (or the total period of employment, if less than 36 months), disregarding periods during which the Employee was on a bona fide leave of absence.

An Employee who is absent from work due to military leave, sick leave, or other bona fide leave of absence shall incur a Separation from Service on the first date immediately following the later of (i) the six-month anniversary of the commencement of the leave or (ii) the expiration of the Employee's right, if any, to reemployment under statute or contract.

If a Participant is both a Director and an Employee, the services provided as a Director shall be disregarded in determining whether there has been a Separation from Service as an Employee, and the services provided as an Employee shall be disregarded in determining whether there has been a Separation from Service as a Director, provided the portion of the Plan in which the Participant participates as a Director is substantially similar to arrangements covering non-Employee Directors.

For purposes of determining whether a Separation from Service has occurred, the Employer means the Employer as defined in Section 2.26 of the Plan, except that for purposes of determining whether another organization is an Affiliate of the Company, common ownership of at least 50% shall be determinative.

The Committee specifically reserves the right to determine whether a sale or other disposition of substantial assets to an unrelated party constitutes a Separation from Service with respect to a Participant providing services to the seller immediately

 

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Compensation Plan

 

prior to the transaction and providing services to the buyer after the transaction. Such determination shall be made in accordance with the requirements of Code Section 409A.


2.41 Specified Date Account. A Specified Date Account means an Account established pursuant to Section 4.3 that will be paid (or that will commence to be paid) at a future date as specified in the Participant's Compensation Deferral Agreement. Unless otherwise determined by the Committee, a Participant may maintain no more than five (5) Specified Date Accounts. A Specified Date Account may be identified in enrollment materials as an "In-Service Account".

2.42 Specified Date Benefit. Specified Date Benefit means the benefit payable to a Participant under the Plan in accordance with Section 6.1(c).

2.43 Specified Employee. Specified Employee means an Employee who, as of the date of his Separation from Service, is a "key employee" of the Company or any Affiliate, any stock of which is actively traded on an established securities market or otherwise. An Employee is a key employee if he meets the requirements of Code Section 416(i)(1)(A)(i), (ii), or (iii) (applied in accordance with applicable regulations thereunder and without regard to Code Section 416(i)(5)) at any time during the 12-month period ending on the Specified Employee Identification Date. Such Employee shall be treated as a key employee for the entire 12-month period beginning on the Specified Employee Effective Date.

For purposes of determining whether an Employee is a Specified Employee, the compensation of the Employee shall be determined in accordance with the definition of compensation provided under Treas. Reg. Section 1.415(c)-2(d)(3) (wages within the meaning of Code section 3401(a) for purposes of income tax withholding at the source, plus amounts excludible from gross income under section 125(a), 132(f)(4), 402(e)(3), 402(h)(1)(B), 402(k) or 457(b), without regard to rules that limit the remuneration included in wages based on the nature or location of the employment or the services performed); provided, however, that, with respect to a nonresident alien who is not a Participant in the Plan, compensation shall not include compensation that is not includible in the gross income of the Employee under Code Sections 872, 893, 894, 911, 931 and 933, provided such compensation is not effectively connected with the conduct of a trade or business within the United States.

Notwithstanding anything in this paragraph to the contrary, (i) if a different definition of compensation has been designated by the Company with respect to another nonqualified deferred compensation plan in which a key employee participates, the definition of compensation shall be the definition provided in Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-1(i)(2), and (ii) the Company may through action that is legally binding with respect to all nonqualified deferred compensation plans maintained by the Company, elect to use a different definition of compensation.

 

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Compensation Plan

 

In the event of corporate transactions described in Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-1(i)6), the identification of Specified Employees shall be determined in accordance with the default rules described therein, unless the Employer elects to utilize the available alternative methodology through designations made within the timeframes specified therein.


2.44 Specified Employee Identification Date. Specified Employee Identification Date means December 31, unless the Employer has elected a different date through action that is legally binding with respect to all nonqualified deferred compensation plans maintained by the Employer.

2.45 Specified Employee Effective Date. Specified Employee Effective Date means the first day of the fourth month following the Specified Employee Identification Date, or such earlier date as is selected by the Committee.

2.46 Substantial Risk of Forfeiture. Substantial Risk of Forfeiture shall have the meaning specified in Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-1(d).

2.47 Termination Benefit. Termination Benefit means the benefit payable to a Participant under the Plan following the Participant's Separation from Service prior to Retirement.

2.48 Unforeseeable Emergency. An Unforeseeable Emergency means a severe financial hardship to the Participant resulting from an illness or accident of the Participant, the Participant's spouse, the Participant's dependent (as defined in Code section 152, without regard to section 152(b)(1), (b)(2), and (d)(1)(B)), or a Beneficiary; loss of the Participant's property due to casualty (including the need to rebuild a home following damage to a home not otherwise covered by insurance, for example, as a result of a natural disaster); or other similar extraordinary and unforeseeable circumstances arising as a result of events beyond the control of the Participant. The types of events which may qualify as an Unforeseeable Emergency may be limited by the Committee.

2.49 Valuation Date. Valuation Date shall mean each Business Day.

2.50 Year of Service. A Year of Service shall mean each 12-month period of continuous service with the Employer.

ARTICLE III

Eligibility and Participation


3.1 Eligibility and Participation. An Eligible Employee or a Director becomes a Participant upon the earlier to occur of (i) a credit of Company Contributions under Article V or (ii) receipt of notification of eligibility to participate.

 

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Chesapeake Energy Corporation Amended and Restated Deferred

Compensation Plan

 

3.2 Duration. A Participant shall be eligible to defer Compensation and receive allocations of Company Contributions, subject to the terms of the Plan, for as long as such Participant remains an Eligible Employee or a Director. A Participant who is no longer an Eligible Employee or a Director but has not Separated from Service may not defer Compensation under the Plan but may otherwise exercise all of the rights of a Participant under the Plan with respect to his or her Account(s). On and after a Separation from Service, a Participant shall remain a Participant as long as his or her Account Balance is greater than zero and during such time may continue to make allocation elections as provided in Section 8.4. An individual shall cease being a Participant in the Plan when all benefits under the Plan to which he or she is entitled have been paid

ARTICLE IV

Deferrals


4.1 Deferral Elections, Generally.

  (a) A Participant shall submit a Compensation Deferral Agreement during the enrollment periods established by the Committee and in the manner specified by the Committee, but in any event, in accordance with Section 4.2. A Compensation Deferral Agreement that is not timely filed with respect to a service period or component of Compensation shall be considered void and shall have no effect with respect to such service period or Compensation. The Committee may modify any Compensation Deferral Agreement prior to the date the election becomes irrevocable under the rules of Section 4.2.

  (b) The Participant may elect on the Compensation Deferral Agreement to defer (i) an amount of Compensation equal to the percentage of Compensation he has elected to defer to the Qualified Plan reduced by the maximum amount he is permitted to defer to such plan, and/or (ii) additional amounts of Compensation that are independent of his deferral election under the Qualified Plan. The deferral election under the Qualified Plan shall be irrevocable for a year to the extent the Participant makes an election of the type described in (i) above.

  (c) The Participant shall specify on his or her Compensation Deferral Agreement whether to allocate Deferrals to a Retirement/Termination Account or to a Specified Date Account. If no designation is made, all Deferrals shall be allocated to the Retirement/Termination Account. A Participant may also specify in his or her Compensation Deferral Agreement the Payment Schedule applicable to his or her Plan Accounts. If the Payment Schedule is not specified in a Compensation Deferral Agreement, the Payment Schedule shall be the Payment Schedule specified in Section 6.2.

 

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Compensation Plan

 

  (d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Plan, a Director may not establish a Specified Date Account or allocate Deferrals to an existing Specified Date Account. All Deferrals by a Director shall be allocated to such Director's Retirement/Termination Account.

4.2 Timing Requirements for Compensation Deferral Agreements.

  (a) First Year of Eligibility. In the case of the first year in which an Eligible Employee or a Director becomes eligible to participate in the Plan, he has up to 30 days following his initial eligibility to submit a Compensation Deferral Agreement with respect to Compensation to be earned during such year. The Compensation Deferral Agreement described in this paragraph becomes irrevocable upon the end of such 30-day period. The determination of whether an Eligible Employee or a Director may file a Compensation Deferral Agreement under this paragraph shall be determined in accordance with the rules of Code Section 409A, including the provisions of Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-2(a)(7).

A Compensation Deferral Agreement filed under this paragraph applies to Compensation earned on and after the date the Compensation Deferral Agreement becomes irrevocable.


  (b) Prior Year Election. Except as otherwise provided in this Section 4.2, Participants may defer Compensation by filing a Compensation Deferral Agreement no later than December 31 of the year prior to the year in which the Compensation to be deferred is earned. A Compensation Deferral Agreement described in this paragraph shall become irrevocable with respect to such Compensation as of January 1 of the year in which such Compensation is earned.

  (c) Performance-Based Compensation. Participants may file a Compensation Deferral Agreement with respect to Performance-Based Compensation no later than the date that is six months before the end of the performance period, provided that:

  (i) the Participant performs services continuously from the later of the beginning of the performance period or the date the criteria are established through the date the Compensation Deferral Agreement is submitted; and

  (ii) the Compensation is not readily ascertainable as of the date the Compensation Deferral Agreement is filed.

A Compensation Deferral Agreement becomes irrevocable with respect to Performance-Based Compensation as of the day immediately following the latest date for filing such election. Any election to defer Performance-Based Compensation that is made in accordance with this paragraph and that becomes payable as a result of the Participant's death or disability (as defined in Treas.

 

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Compensation Plan

 

Reg. Section 1.409A-1(e)) or upon a Change in Control (as defined in Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-3(i)(5)) prior to the satisfaction of the performance criteria, will be void.


  (d) Fiscal Year Compensation. A Participant may defer Fiscal Year Compensation by filing a Compensation Deferral Agreement prior to the first day of the fiscal year or years in which such Fiscal Year Compensation is earned. The Compensation Deferral Agreement described in this paragraph becomes irrevocable on the first day of the fiscal year or years to which it applies.

  (e) Short-Term Deferrals. Compensation that meets the definition of a "short-term deferral" described in Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-1(b)(4) may be deferred in accordance with the rules of Article VII, applied as if the date the Substantial Risk of Forfeiture lapses is the date payments were originally scheduled to commence, provided, however, that the provisions of Section 7.3 shall not apply to payments attributable to a Change in Control (as defined in Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-3(i)(5)).

  (f) Certain Forfeitable Rights. With respect to a legally binding right to a payment in a subsequent year that is subject to a forfeiture condition requiring the Participant's continued services for a period of at least twelve months from the date the Participant obtains the legally binding right, an election to defer such Compensation may be made on or before the 30th day after the Participant obtains the legally binding right to the Compensation, provided that the election is made at least twelve months in advance of the earliest date at which the forfeiture condition could lapse. The Compensation Deferral Agreement described in this paragraph becomes irrevocable after such 30th day. If the forfeiture condition applicable to the payment lapses before the end of the required service period as a result of the Participant's death or disability (as defined in Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-3(i)(4)) or upon a Change in Control (as defined in Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-3(i)(5)), the Compensation Deferral Agreement will be void unless it would be considered timely under another rule described in this Section.

  (g) Company Awards. Participating Employers may unilaterally provide for deferrals of Company awards prior to the date of such awards. Deferrals of Company awards (such as sign-on, retention, or severance pay) may be negotiated with a Participant prior to the date the Participant has a legally binding right to such Compensation.

  (h)

"Evergreen" Deferral Elections. The Committee, in its discretion, may provide in the Compensation Deferral Agreement that such Compensation Deferral Agreement will continue in effect for each subsequent year or performance period. Such "evergreen" Compensation Deferral Agreements will become effective with respect to an item of Compensation on the date such election becomes irrevocable under this Section 4.2. An evergreen Compensation Deferral Agreement may be

 

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Compensation Plan

 

 

terminated or modified prospectively with respect to Compensation for which such election remains revocable under this Section 4.2. A Participant whose Compensation Deferral Agreement is cancelled in accordance with Section 4.6 will be required to file a new Compensation Deferral Agreement under this Article IV in order to recommence Deferrals under the Plan.


4.3 Allocation of Deferrals. Except as provided in Section 4.1(c), a Compensation Deferral Agreement may allocate Deferrals to one or more Specified Date Accounts and/or to the Retirement/Termination Account. The Committee may, in its discretion, establish a minimum deferral period for Specified Date Accounts (for example, the third Plan Year following the year Compensation subject to the Compensation Deferral Agreement is earned).

4.4 Deductions from Pay. The Committee has the authority to determine the payroll practices under which any component of Compensation subject to a Compensation Deferral Agreement will be deducted from a Participant's Compensation.

4.5 Vesting. Participant Deferrals shall be 100% vested at all times.

4.6

Cancellation of Deferrals. The Committee may cancel a Participant's Deferrals (i) for the balance of the Plan Year in which an Unforeseeable Emergency payment occurs and for the following Plan Year, (ii) if the Participant receives a hardship distribution under the Employer's qualified 401(k) plan, through the end of the Plan Year in which the six-month anniversary of the hardship distribution falls, and (iii) during periods in which the Participant is unable to perform the duties of his or her position or any substantially similar position due to a mental or physical impairment that can be expected to result in death or last for a continuous period of at least six months, provided cancellation occurs by the later of the end of the taxable year of the Participant or the 15th day of the third month following the date the Participant incurs the disability (as defined in this paragraph (iii)).

ARTICLE V

Company Contributions


5.1 Company Make-Up Contribution. Provided the Participating Employer has made the maximum matching contribution to the Qualified Plan that is permissible under Section 401(m) of the Code, a Participating Employer will credit to the Retirement/Termination Account of each eligible Participant a Company Make-Up Contribution in an amount (if any) equal to (a) minus (b) below:

  (a) 100% of a Participant's Deferrals into this Plan that do not exceed 15% of such Participant's base salary and bonus (or such other percentage as determined by the Committee in its discretion);

 

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  (b) The actual amount of any Company matching contributions to its qualified 401(k) plan for such Participant during the Plan Year.

To be an eligible Participant for purposes of this Section 5.1, the Participant must (i) be a Participant in the Qualified Plan, (b) have made the maximum contribution allowable under the Qualified Plan and (c) have experienced a reduction in the benefits he would have received from the Qualified Plan as a result of the limitations of Section 401(a)(17) of the Code.


5.2 Discretionary Company Contributions. The Participating Employer may, from time to time in its sole and absolute discretion, credit Company Contributions to any Participant in any amount determined by the Participating Employer. Such contributions will be credited to a Participant's Retirement/Termination Account.

5.3 Vesting. Company Make-Up Contributions described in Section 5.1, above, and the Earnings thereon, shall vest in accordance with the following vesting schedule on a "rolling vesting" basis (each Company Make-Up Contribution has its own vesting schedule):

Years of Service Since the Date of the Company Make-Up Contribution

   Percent Vested

Less than 1

   0%

At least 1 but fewer than 2

   25%

At least 2 but fewer than 3

   50%

At least 3 but fewer than 4

   75%

4 or more

   100%

Discretionary Company Contributions described in Section 5.2, above, and the Earnings thereon, shall vest in accordance with the vesting schedule(s) established by the Committee at the time that the Discretionary Company Contribution is made.

All Company Contributions shall become 100% vested upon the occurrence of a Change in Control. In addition, the Committee may at any time in its sole discretion increase a Participant's vested interest in a Company Contribution, for example, if the Participant dies while actively employed, becomes Disabled, or Retires. The portion of a Participant's Accounts that remains unvested upon his or her Separation from Service after the application of the terms of this Section 5.3 shall be forfeited.

 

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Solely for purposes of this Section 5.3, Change in Control shall mean the occurrence of any of the following:

(i) the acquisition by any individual, entity or group (within the meaning of Section 13(d)(3) or 14(d)(2) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act")) (a "Person") of beneficial ownership (within the meaning of Rule 13d-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act) of 20% or more of either (A) the then outstanding shares of common stock of the Company (the "Outstanding Company Common Stock") or (B) the combined voting power of the then outstanding voting securities of the Company entitled to vote generally in the election of directors (the "Outstanding Company Voting Securities"); provided, however, that the following acquisitions by a Person will not constitute a Change of Control: (1) any acquisition directly from the Company; (2) any acquisition by the Company; (3) any acquisition by any employee benefit plan (or related trust) sponsored or maintained by the Company or any corporation controlled by the Company; or (4) any acquisition by any corporation pursuant to a transaction which complies with clauses (A), (B) and (C) of paragraph (iii);

(ii) the individuals who, as of the date hereof, constitute the board of directors (the "Incumbent Board") cease for any reason to constitute at least a majority of the board of directors. Any individual becoming a director subsequent to the date hereof whose election, or nomination for election by the Company's shareholders, is approved by a vote of at least a majority of the directors then comprising the Incumbent Board will be considered a member of the Incumbent Board as of the date hereof, but any such individual whose initial assumption of office occurs as a result of an actual or threatened election contest with respect to the election or removal of directors or other actual or threatened solicitation of proxies or consents by or on behalf of a Person other than the Incumbent Board will not be deemed a member of the Incumbent Board as of the date hereof;

(iii) the consummation of a reorganization, merger, consolidation or sale or other disposition of all or substantially all of the assets of the Company (a "Business Combination"), unless following such Business Combination: (A) all or substantially all of the individuals and entities who were the beneficial owners, respectively, of the Outstanding Company Common Stock and Outstanding Company Voting Securities immediately prior to such Business Combination beneficially own, directly or indirectly, more than 60% of, respectively, the then outstanding shares of common stock and the combined voting power of the then outstanding voting securities entitled to vote generally in the election of directors, as the case may be, of the corporation resulting from such Business Combination (including, without limitation, a corporation which as a result of such transaction owns the Company or all or substantially all of the Company's assets either directly or through one or more subsidiaries) in substantially the same proportions as their ownership, immediately prior to such Business Combination of the Outstanding Company Common Stock and Outstanding Company Voting Securities, as the case may be, (B) no Person (excluding any

 

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corporation resulting from such Business Combination or any employee benefit plan (or related trust) of the Company or such corporation resulting from such Business Combination) beneficially owns, directly or indirectly, 20% or more of, respectively, the then outstanding shares of common stock of the corporation resulting from such Business Combination or the combined voting power of the then outstanding voting securities of such corporation except to the extent that such ownership existed prior to the Business Combination and (C) at least a majority of the members of the board of directors of the corporation resulting from such Business Combination were members of the Incumbent Board at the time of the execution of the initial agreement, or of the action of the Board, providing for such Business Combination; or

(iv) the approval by the shareholders of the Company of a complete liquidation or dissolution of the Company.

ARTICLE VI

Benefits


6.1 Benefits, Generally. A Participant shall be entitled to the following benefits under the Plan:

  (a) Retirement Benefit. Upon the Participant's Separation from Service due to Retirement, he or she shall be entitled to a Retirement Benefit. The Retirement Benefit shall be equal to the vested portion of the Retirement/Termination Account and (i) if the Retirement/Termination Account is payable in a lump sum, the unpaid balances of any Specified Date Accounts, or (ii) if the Retirement/Termination Account is payable in installments, the vested portion of any Specified Date Accounts with respect to which payments have not yet commenced. The Retirement Benefit shall be based on the value of that Account as of the end of the month in which Separation from Service occurs. Payment of the Retirement Benefit will be made or begin on the first day of the month following the month in which Separation from Service occurs, provided, however, that with respect to a Participant who is a Specified Employee as of the date such Participant incurs a Separation from Service, payment will be made or begin on the first day of the seventh month following the month in which such Separation from Service occurs. If the Retirement Benefit is to be paid in the form of installments, any subsequent installment payments to a Specified Employee will be paid on the anniversary of the date the initial installment was made.

  (b)

Termination Benefit. Upon the Participant's Separation from Service for reasons other than death, Disability or Retirement, he or she shall be entitled to a Termination Benefit. The Termination Benefit shall be equal to the vested portion of the Retirement/Termination Account and the vested portion of any unpaid balances in any Specified Date Accounts. The Termination Benefit shall be based on the value of the Retirement/Termination Account as of the end of the month in

 

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which Separation from Service occurs. Payment of the Termination Benefit will be made or begin on the first day of the month following the month in which Separation from Service occurs, provided, however, that with respect to a Participant who is a Specified Employee as of the date such Participant incurs a Separation from Service, payment will be made or begin on the first day of the seventh month following the month in which such Separation from Service occurs.


  (c) Specified Date Benefit. If the Participant has established one or more Specified Date Accounts, he or she shall be entitled to a Specified Date Benefit with respect to each such Specified Date Account. The Specified Date Benefit shall be equal to the vested portion of the Specified Date Account, based on the value of that Account as of the end of the month designated by the Participant at the time the Account was established. Payment of the Specified Date Benefit will be made or begin on the first day of the month following the designated month.

  (d) Disability Benefit. Upon a determination by the Committee that a Participant is Disabled, he or she shall be entitled to a Disability Benefit. The Disability Benefit shall be equal to the vested portion of the Retirement/Termination Account and (i) if the Retirement/Termination Account is payable in a lump sum, the unpaid balances of any Specified Date Accounts, or (ii) if the Retirement/Termination Account is payable in installments, the vested portion of any Specified Date Accounts with respect to which payments have not yet commenced. The Disability Benefit shall be based on the value of the Accounts as of the last day of the month in which Disability occurs and will be paid on the first day of the following month.

  (e) Death Benefit. In the event of the Participant's death, his or her designated Beneficiary(ies) shall be entitled to a Death Benefit. The Death Benefit shall be equal to the vested portion of the Retirement/Termination Account and the vested portion of any unpaid balances in any Specified Date Accounts. The Death Benefit shall be based on the value of the Accounts as of the end of the month in which death occurred, with payment made on or after the first day of the following month.

  (f)

Unforeseeable Emergency Payments. A Participant who experiences an Unforeseeable Emergency may submit a written request to the Committee to receive payment of all or any portion of his or her Deferrals. The minimum withdrawal is the lesser of $25,000 or 100% of the Deferrals credited to the Participant's Account. Whether a Participant or Beneficiary is faced with an Unforeseeable Emergency permitting an emergency payment shall be determined by the Committee based on the relevant facts and circumstances of each case, but, in any case, a distribution on account of Unforeseeable Emergency may not be made to the extent that such emergency is or may be reimbursed through insurance or otherwise, by liquidation

 

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of the Participant's assets, to the extent the liquidation of such assets would not cause severe financial hardship, or by cessation of Deferrals under this Plan. If an emergency payment is approved by the Committee, the amount of the payment shall not exceed the amount reasonably necessary to satisfy the need, taking into account the additional compensation that is available to the Participant as the result of cancellation of deferrals to the Plan, including amounts necessary to pay any taxes or penalties that the Participant reasonably anticipates will result from the payment. The amount of the emergency payment shall be subtracted first from the vested portion of the Participant's Retirement/Termination Account until depleted and then from the vested Specified Date Accounts, beginning with the Specified Date Account with the latest payment commencement date. Emergency payments shall be paid in a single lump sum within the 90-day period following the date the payment is approved by the Committee.


  (g) Voluntary Withdrawal of Grandfathered Amounts. A Participant may elect at any time to voluntarily withdraw not less than 25% of any Deferrals credited to his or her Grandfathered Account. If such a withdrawal is requested, the Participant (i) shall forfeit an amount equal to 10% of the amount requested, (ii) shall not be permitted to make Deferrals to the Plan in the Plan Year following the Plan Year in which the withdrawal is made, and (iii) shall forfeit any Company Discretionary Contributions (whether vested or unvested) attributable to the amounts so distributed.

6.2 Form of Payment.

  (a) Retirement Benefit. A Participant who is entitled to receive a Retirement Benefit shall receive payment of such benefit in a single lump sum, unless the Participant elects on his or her initial Compensation Deferral Agreement to have such benefit paid in an alternative form of payment. Alternative forms of payment include (i) a lump sum payment between 0% and 100% of the balance in the Retirement/Termination Account; and (ii) any remaining Account Balance payable in a series of substantially equal annual installments from two to twenty years. A Participant who is a Director shall receive payment of any Retirement Benefit in a single lump sum.

  (b) Termination Benefit. A Participant who is entitled to receive a Termination Benefit shall receive payment of such benefit in a single lump sum.

  (c) Specified Date Benefit. The Specified Date Benefit shall be paid in a single lump sum, unless the Participant elects on the Compensation Deferral Agreement with which the account was established to have the Specified Date Account paid in substantially equal annual or quarterly installments over a period of two to ten years, as elected by the Participant.

 

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Notwithstanding any election of a form of payment by the Participant, upon a Separation from Service the unpaid balance of a Specified Date Account with respect to which payments have not commenced shall be paid in accordance with the form of payment applicable to the Retirement, Termination, Disability or Death Benefit, as applicable. If such benefit is payable in a single lump sum, the unpaid balance of all Specified Date Accounts (including those in pay status) will be paid in a lump sum.

Any Specified Date Accounts credited to a Grandfathered Account shall, upon an earlier termination or Disability, be paid in accordance with the Payment Schedule applicable to the Retirement Benefit, Termination Benefit or Disability Benefit that is payable from such Grandfathered Account.


  (d) Disability Benefit. A Participant who becomes entitled to receive a Disability Benefit prior to eligibility for Retirement shall receive payment of such benefit in a single lump sum. A Participant who becomes entitled to receive a Disability Benefit after eligibility for Retirement shall receive payment of such benefit in a single lump sum, unless the Participant elects on his or her initial Compensation Deferral Agreement to have such benefit paid in an alternative form of payment. Alternative forms of payment include (i) a lump sum payment between 0% and 100% of the balance in the Retirement/Termination Account; and (ii) any remaining Account Balance payable in a series of substantially equal annual installments from two to twenty years. A Participant who is a Director shall receive payment of any Disability Benefit in a single lump sum.

  (e) Death Benefit. A designated Beneficiary who is entitled to receive a Death Benefit shall receive payment of such benefit in a single lump sum.

  (f) Change in Control. A Participant will receive a single lump sum payment equal to the unpaid balance of all of his or her Accounts if a Separation from Service occurs within 24 months following a Change in Control. In addition to the foregoing, upon a Change in Control, a Participant who has incurred a Separation from Service prior to the Change in Control, and any Beneficiary of such Participant who is receiving or is scheduled to receive payments, will receive the balance of all unpaid Accounts in a single lump sum. Accounts will be valued as of the last day of the month following the Change in Control and will be paid within 90 days of said Change in Control.

  (g)

Small Account Balances. The Committee may, in its sole discretion which shall be evidenced in writing no later than the date of payment, elect to pay the value of the Participant's Accounts upon a Separation from Service in a single lump sum

 

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if the balance of such Accounts is not greater than the applicable dollar amount under Code Section 402(g)(1)(B), provided the payment represents the complete liquidation of the Participant's interest in the Plan.


  (h) Rules Applicable to Installment Payments. If a Payment Schedule specifies installment payments, annual payments will be made beginning as of the payment commencement date for such installments and shall continue on each anniversary thereof until the number of installment payments specified in the Payment Schedule has been paid. The amount of each installment payment shall be determined by dividing (a) by (b), where (a) equals the Account Balance as of the Valuation Date and (b) equals the remaining number of installment payments.

For purposes of Article VII, installment payments will be treated as a single form of payment. If a lump sum equal to less than 100% of the Retirement/Termination Account is paid, the payment commencement date for the installment form of payment will be the first anniversary of the payment of the lump sum.


  (i) Payments from Grandfathered Accounts. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Article VI, the portion of a Retirement Benefit or Disability Benefit credited to a Grandfathered Account (i) shall, if the applicable Account Balance is less than $50,000, be paid in a lump sum, and (ii) shall, if the applicable Account Balance is at least $50,000, be paid commencing within 30 days of the calendar quarter following the one-year anniversary of the Participant's date of termination or date of Disability or, if the Participant has elected a lump sum payment, shall be paid 13 months following the Participant's date of termination or date of Disability. Further, the portion of a Specified Date Benefit credited to a Grandfathered Account shall be paid in a lump sum if the applicable Account Balance is less than $25,000.

6.3 Acceleration of or Delay in Payments. The Committee, in its sole and absolute discretion, may elect to accelerate the time or form of payment of a benefit owed to the Participant hereunder, provided such acceleration is permitted under Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-3(j)(4). The Committee may also, in its sole and absolute discretion, delay the time for payment of a benefit owed to the Participant hereunder, to the extent permitted under Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-2(b)(7). Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, no payments shall be made from the Plan pursuant to a domestic relations order.

 

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ARTICLE VII

Modifications to Payment Schedules


7.1 Participant's Right to Modify. A Participant may modify any or all of the alternative Payment Schedules with respect to an Account, consistent with the permissible Payment Schedules available under the Plan, provided such modification complies with the requirements of this Article VII.

7.2 Time of Election. The date on which a modification election is submitted to the Committee must be at least twelve months prior to the date on which payment is scheduled to commence under the Payment Schedule in effect prior to the modification.

7.3 Date of Payment under Modified Payment Schedule. Except with respect to modifications that relate to the payment of a Death Benefit or a Disability Benefit, the date payments are to commence under the modified Payment Schedule must be no earlier than five years after the date payment would have commenced under the original Payment Schedule. Under no circumstances may a modification election result in an acceleration of payments in violation of Code Section 409A.

7.4 Effective Date. A modification election submitted in accordance with this Article VII is irrevocable upon receipt by the Committee and becomes effective 12 months after such date.

7.5 Effect on Accounts. An election to modify a Payment Schedule is specific to the Account or payment event to which it applies, and shall not be construed to affect the Payment Schedules of any other Accounts.

7.6 Modifications to Grandfathered Accounts. Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this Article VII, a Participant may modify the form of payment in which a Retirement Benefit or Disability Benefit applicable to a Grandfathered Account is payable only if the Committee, in its sole discretion, determines the Participant to be subject to special circumstances, and only if the change is submitted before the 12-month period prior to the date payment was scheduled to commence. A Participant may also postpone payment of a Specified Date Benefit applicable to a Grandfathered Account to a date at least one year later than the previously scheduled payment date if a request is filed with the Committee at least one year prior to the date payments are scheduled to begin.

ARTICLE VIII

Valuation of Account Balances; Investments


8.1 Valuation. Deferrals shall be credited to appropriate Accounts on the date such Compensation would have been paid to the Participant absent the Compensation Deferral Agreement. Company Contributions shall be credited to the Retirement/Termination Account at the times determined by the Committee. Valuation of Accounts shall be performed under procedures approved by the Committee.

 

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8.2 Earnings Credit. Each Account will be credited with Earnings on each Business Day, based upon the Participant's investment allocation among a menu of investment options selected in advance by the Committee, in accordance with the provisions of this Article VIII ("investment allocation").

8.3 Investment Options. Investment options will be determined by the Committee. The Committee, in its sole discretion, shall be permitted to add or remove investment options from the Plan menu from time to time, provided that any such additions or removals of investment options shall not be effective with respect to any period prior to the effective date of such change.

8.4 Investment Allocations. A Participant's investment allocation constitutes a deemed, not actual, investment among the investment options comprising the investment menu. At no time shall a Participant have any real or beneficial ownership in any investment option included in the investment menu, nor shall the Participating Employer or any trustee acting on its behalf have any obligation to purchase actual securities as a result of a Participant's investment allocation. A Participant's investment allocation shall be used solely for purposes of adjusting the value of a Participant's Account Balances.

A Participant shall specify an investment allocation for each of his Accounts in accordance with procedures established by the Committee. Allocation among the investment options must be designated in increments of 1%. The Participant's investment allocation will become effective on the same Business Day or, in the case of investment allocations received after a time specified by the Committee, the next Business Day.

A Participant may change an investment allocation on any Business Day, both with respect to future credits to the Plan and with respect to existing Account Balances, in accordance with procedures adopted by the Committee. Changes shall become effective on the same Business Day or, in the case of investment allocations received after a time specified by the Committee, the next Business Day, and shall be applied prospectively.


8.5 Unallocated Deferrals and Accounts. If the Participant fails to make an investment allocation with respect to an Account, such Account shall be invested in an investment option, the primary objective of which is the preservation of capital, as determined by the Committee.

8.6 Company Stock. The Committee may include Company Stock as one of the investment options described in Section 8.3. The Committee may, in its sole discretion, limit the investment allocation of Company Contributions to Company Stock. The Committee may also require Deferrals consisting of equity-based Compensation to be allocated to Company Stock.

 

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8.7 Diversification. A Participant may not re-allocate an investment in Company Stock into another investment option. The portion of an Account that is invested in Company Stock will be paid under Article VI in the form of whole shares of Company Stock.

8.8 Effect on Installment Payments. If an Account is to be paid in installments, the Committee will determine the portion of each payment that will be paid in the form of Company Stock.

8.9 Dividend Equivalents. Dividend equivalents with respect to Company Stock will be credited to the applicable Accounts in the form of additional shares or units of Company Stock.

ARTICLE IX

Administration


9.1 Plan Administration. This Plan shall be administered by the Committee which shall have discretionary authority to make, amend, interpret and enforce all appropriate rules and regulations for the administration of this Plan and to utilize its discretion to decide or resolve any and all questions, including but not limited to eligibility for benefits and interpretations of this Plan and its terms, as may arise in connection with the Plan. Claims for benefits shall be filed with the Committee and resolved in accordance with the claims procedures in Article XII.

9.2 Administration Upon Change in Control. Upon a Change in Control, the Committee, as constituted immediately prior to such Change in Control, shall continue to act as the Committee. The individual who was the Chief Executive Officer of the Company (or if such person is unable or unwilling to act, the next highest ranking officer) prior to the Change in Control shall have the authority (but shall not be obligated) to appoint an independent third party to act as the Committee.

Upon such Change in Control, the Company may not remove the Committee, unless  2/3rds of the members of the Board of Directors of the Company and a majority of Participants and Beneficiaries with Account Balances consent to the removal and replacement Committee. Notwithstanding the foregoing, neither the Committee nor the officer described above shall have authority to direct investment of trust assets under any rabbi trust described in Section 11.2.

The Participating Employer shall, with respect to the Committee identified under this Section, (i) pay all reasonable expenses and fees of the Committee, (ii) indemnify the Committee (including individuals serving as Committee) against any costs, expenses and liabilities including, without limitation, attorneys' fees and expenses arising in connection with the performance of the Committee hereunder, except with respect to matters resulting from the Committee's gross negligence or willful misconduct and (iii) supply full and timely information to the Committee on all matters related to the Plan, any rabbi trust, Participants, Beneficiaries and Accounts as the Committee may reasonably require.

 

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9.3 Withholding. The Participating Employer shall have the right to withhold from any payment due under the Plan (or with respect to any amounts credited to the Plan) any taxes required by law to be withheld in respect of such payment (or credit). Withholdings with respect to amounts credited to the Plan shall be deducted from Compensation that has not been deferred to the Plan.

9.4 Indemnification. The Participating Employers shall indemnify and hold harmless each employee, officer, director, agent or organization, to whom or to which are delegated duties, responsibilities, and authority under the Plan or otherwise with respect to administration of the Plan, including, without limitation, the Committee and its agents, against all claims, liabilities, fines and penalties, and all expenses reasonably incurred by or imposed upon him or it (including but not limited to reasonable attorney fees) which arise as a result of his or its actions or failure to act in connection with the operation and administration of the Plan to the extent lawfully allowable and to the extent that such claim, liability, fine, penalty, or expense is not paid for by liability insurance purchased or paid for by the Participating Employer. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Participating Employer shall not indemnify any person or organization if his or its actions or failure to act are due to gross negligence or willful misconduct or for any such amount incurred through any settlement or compromise of any action unless the Participating Employer consents in writing to such settlement or compromise.

9.5 Delegation of Authority. In the administration of this Plan, the Committee may, from time to time, employ agents and delegate to them such administrative duties as it sees fit, and may from time to time consult with legal counsel who shall be legal counsel to the Company.

9.6 Binding Decisions or Actions. The decision or action of the Committee in respect of any question arising out of or in connection with the administration, interpretation and application of the Plan and the rules and regulations thereunder shall be final and conclusive and binding upon all persons having any interest in the Plan.

ARTICLE X

Amendment and Termination


10.1 Amendment and Termination. The Company may at any time and from time to time amend the Plan or may terminate the Plan as provided in this Article X. Each Participating Employer may also terminate its participation in the Plan.

10.2

Amendments. The Company, by action taken by its Board of Directors, may amend the Plan at any time and for any reason, provided that any such amendment shall not reduce the vested Account Balances of any Participant accrued as of the date of any such amendment or restatement (as if the Participant had incurred a voluntary Separation from Service on such date) or reduce

 

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any rights of a Participant under the Plan or other Plan features with respect to Deferrals made prior to the date of any such amendment or restatement without the consent of the Participant. The Board of Directors of the Company may delegate to the Committee the authority to amend the Plan without the consent of the Board of Directors for the purpose of (i) conforming the Plan to the requirements of law, (ii) facilitating the administration of the Plan, (iii) clarifying provisions based on the Committee's interpretation of the document and (iv) making such other amendments as the Board of Directors may authorize.


10.3 Termination. The Company, by action taken by its Board of Directors, may terminate the Plan and pay Participants and Beneficiaries their Account Balances in a single lump sum at any time, to the extent and in accordance with Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-3(j)(4)(ix). If a Participating Employer terminates its participation in the Plan, the benefits of affected Employees shall be paid at the time provided in Article VI.

10.4 Accounts Taxable Under Code Section 409A. The Plan is intended to constitute a plan of deferred compensation that meets the requirements for deferral of income taxation under Code Section 409A. The Committee, pursuant to its authority to interpret the Plan, may sever from the Plan or any Compensation Deferral Agreement any provision or exercise of a right that otherwise would result in a violation of Code Section 409A.

ARTICLE XI

Informal Funding


11.1 General Assets. Obligations established under the terms of the Plan may be satisfied from the general funds of the Participating Employers, or a trust described in this Article XI. No Participant, spouse or Beneficiary shall have any right, title or interest whatever in assets of the Participating Employers. Nothing contained in this Plan, and no action taken pursuant to its provisions, shall create or be construed to create a trust of any kind, or a fiduciary relationship, between the Participating Employers and any Employee, spouse, or Beneficiary. To the extent that any person acquires a right to receive payments hereunder, such rights are no greater than the right of an unsecured general creditor of the Participating Employer.

11.2 Rabbi Trust. A Participating Employer may, in its sole discretion, establish a grantor trust, commonly known as a rabbi trust, as a vehicle for accumulating assets to pay benefits under the Plan. Payments under the Plan may be paid from the general assets of the Participating Employer or from the assets of any such rabbi trust. Payment from any such source shall reduce the obligation owed to the Participant or Beneficiary under the Plan.

 

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ARTICLE XII

Claims


12.1 Filing a Claim. Any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to the Plan shall be filed in writing with the Committee which shall make all determinations concerning such claim. Any claim filed with the Committee and any decision by the Committee denying such claim shall be in writing and shall be delivered to the Participant or Beneficiary filing the claim (the "Claimant").

  (a) In General. Notice of a denial of benefits (other than Disability benefits) will be provided within ninety (90) days of the Committee's receipt of the Claimant's claim for benefits. If the Committee determines that it needs additional time to review the claim, the Committee will provide the Claimant with a notice of the extension before the end of the initial ninety (90) day period. The extension will not be more than ninety (90) days from the end of the initial ninety (90) day period and the notice of extension will explain the special circumstances that require the extension and the date by which the Committee expects to make a decision.

  (b) Disability Benefits. Notice of denial of Disability benefits will be provided within forty-five (45) days of the Committee's receipt of the Claimant's claim for Disability benefits. If the Committee determines that it needs additional time to review the Disability claim, the Committee will provide the Claimant with a notice of the extension before the end of the initial forty-five (45) day period. If the Committee determines that a decision cannot be made within the first extension period due to matters beyond the control of the Committee, the time period for making a determination may be further extended for an additional thirty (30) days. If such an additional extension is necessary, the Committee shall notify the Claimant prior to the expiration of the initial thirty (30) day extension. Any notice of extension shall indicate the circumstances necessitating the extension of time, the date by which the Committee expects to furnish a notice of decision, the specific standards on which such entitlement to a benefit is based, the unresolved issues that prevent a decision on the claim and any additional information needed to resolve those issues. A Claimant will be provided a minimum of forty-five (45) days to submit any necessary additional information to the Committee. In the event that a thirty (30) day extension is necessary due to a Claimant's failure to submit information necessary to decide a claim, the period for furnishing a notice of decision shall be tolled from the date on which the notice of the extension is sent to the Claimant until the earlier of the date the Claimant responds to the request for additional information or the response deadline.

  (c)

Contents of Notice. If a claim for benefits is completely or partially denied, notice of such denial shall be in writing and shall set forth the reasons for denial in plain language. The notice shall (i) cite the pertinent provisions of the Plan document and (ii) explain, where appropriate, how the Claimant can perfect the claim, including a description of any

 

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Compensation Plan

 

 

additional material or information necessary to complete the claim and why such material or information is necessary. The claim denial also shall include an explanation of the claims review procedures and the time limits applicable to such procedures, including a statement of the Claimant's right to bring a civil action under Section 502(a) of ERISA following an adverse decision on review. In the case of a complete or partial denial of a Disability benefit claim, the notice shall provide a statement that the Committee will provide to the Claimant, upon request and free of charge, a copy of any internal rule, guideline, protocol, or other similar criterion that was relied upon in making the decision.


12.2 Appeal of Denied Claims. A Claimant whose claim has been completely or partially denied shall be entitled to appeal the claim denial by filing a written appeal with a committee designated to hear such appeals (the "Appeals Committee"). A Claimant who timely requests a review of the denied claim (or his or her authorized representative) may review, upon request and free of charge, copies of all documents, records and other information relevant to the denial and may submit written comments, documents, records and other information relevant to the claim to the Appeals Committee. All written comments, documents, records, and other information shall be considered "relevant" if the information (i) was relied upon in making a benefits determination,(ii) was submitted, considered or generated in the course of making a benefits decision regardless of whether it was relied upon to make the decision, or (iii) demonstrates compliance with administrative processes and safeguards established for making benefit decisions. The Appeals Committee may, in its sole discretion and if it deems appropriate or necessary, decide to hold a hearing with respect to the claim appeal.

  (a) In General. Appeal of a denied benefits claim (other than a Disability benefits claim) must be filed in writing with the Appeals Committee no later than sixty (60) days after receipt of the written notification of such claim denial. The Appeals Committee shall make its decision regarding the merits of the denied claim within sixty (60) days following receipt of the appeal (or within one hundred and twenty (120) days after such receipt, in a case where there are special circumstances requiring extension of time for reviewing the appealed claim). If an extension of time for reviewing the appeal is required because of special circumstances, written notice of the extension shall be furnished to the Claimant prior to the commencement of the extension. The notice will indicate the special circumstances requiring the extension of time and the date by which the Appeals Committee expects to render the determination on review. The review will take into account comments, documents, records and other information submitted by the Claimant relating to the claim without regard to whether such information was submitted or considered in the initial benefit determination.

  (b)

Disability Benefits. Appeal of a denied Disability benefits claim must be filed in writing with the Appeals Committee no later than one hundred eighty (180) days after receipt of the written notification of such claim denial. The review shall be

 

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Chesapeake Energy Corporation Amended and Restated Deferred

Compensation Plan

 

 

conducted by the Appeals Committee (exclusive of the person who made the initial adverse decision or such person's subordinate). In reviewing the appeal, the Appeals Committee shall (i) not afford deference to the initial denial of the claim, (ii) consult a medical professional who has appropriate training and experience in the field of medicine relating to the Claimant's disability and who was neither consulted as part of the initial denial nor is the subordinate of such individual and (iii) identify the medical or vocational experts whose advice was obtained with respect to the initial benefit denial, without regard to whether the advice was relied upon in making the decision. The Appeals Committee shall make its decision regarding the merits of the denied claim within forty-five (45) days following receipt of the appeal (or within ninety (90) days after such receipt, in a case where there are special circumstances requiring extension of time for reviewing the appealed claim). If an extension of time for reviewing the appeal is required because of special circumstances, written notice of the extension shall be furnished to the Claimant prior to the commencement of the extension. The notice will indicate the special circumstances requiring the extension of time and the date by which the Appeals Committee expects to render the determination on review. Following its review of any additional information submitted by the Claimant, the Appeals Committee shall render a decision on its review of the denied claim.


  (c) Contents of Notice. If a benefits claim is completely or partially denied on review, notice of such denial shall be in writing and shall set forth the reasons for denial in plain language.

The decision on review shall set forth (i) the specific reason or reasons for the denial, (ii) specific references to the pertinent Plan provisions on which the denial is based, (iii) a statement that the Claimant is entitled to receive, upon request and free of charge, reasonable access to and copies of all documents, records, or other information relevant (as defined above) to the Claimant's claim, and (iv) a statement describing any voluntary appeal procedures offered by the plan and a statement of the Claimant's right to bring an action under Section 502(a) of ERISA.


  (d) For the denial of a Disability benefit, the notice will also include a statement that the Appeals Committee will provide, upon request and free of charge, (i) any internal rule, guideline, protocol or other similar criterion relied upon in making the decision, (ii) any medical opinion relied upon to make the decision and (iii) the required statement under Section 2560.503-1(j)(5)(iii) of the Department of Labor regulations.

12.3

Claims Appeals Upon Change in Control. Upon a Change in Control, the Appeals Committee, as constituted immediately prior to such Change in Control, shall continue to act as the Appeals Committee. Upon such Change in Control, the Company may not

 

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Chesapeake Energy Corporation Amended and Restated Deferred

Compensation Plan

 

 

remove any member of the Appeals Committee, but may replace resigning members if  2/3rds of the members of the Board of Directors of the Company and a majority of Participants and Beneficiaries with Account Balances consent to the replacement.

The Appeals Committee shall have the exclusive authority at the appeals stage to interpret the terms of the Plan and resolve appeals under the Claims Procedure.

Each Participating Employer shall, with respect to the Committee identified under this Section, (i) pay its proportionate share of all reasonable expenses and fees of the Appeals Committee, (ii) indemnify the Appeals Committee (including individual committee members) against any costs, expenses and liabilities including, without limitation, attorneys' fees and expenses arising in connection with the performance of the Appeals Committee hereunder, except with respect to matters resulting from the Appeals Committee's gross negligence or willful misconduct and (iii) supply full and timely information to the Appeals Committee on all matters related to the Plan, any rabbi trust, Participants, Beneficiaries and Accounts as the Appeals Committee may reasonably require.


12.4 Legal Action. A Claimant may not bring any legal action, including commencement of any arbitration, relating to a claim for benefits under the Plan unless and until the Claimant has followed the claims procedures under the Plan and exhausted his or her administrative remedies under such claims procedures.

If a Participant or Beneficiary prevails in a legal proceeding brought under the Plan to enforce the rights of such Participant or any other similarly situated Participant or Beneficiary, in whole or in part, the Participating Employer shall reimburse such Participant or Beneficiary for all legal costs, expenses, attorneys' fees and such other liabilities incurred as a result of such proceedings. If the legal proceeding is brought in connection with a Change in Control, or a "change in control" as defined in a rabbi trust described in Section 11.2, the Participant or Beneficiary may file a claim directly with the trustee for reimbursement of such costs, expenses and fees. For purposes of the preceding sentence, the amount of the claim shall be treated as if it were an addition to the Participant's or Beneficiary's Account Balance.


12.5 Discretion of Appeals Committee. All interpretations, determinations and decisions of the Appeals Committee with respect to any claim shall be made in its sole discretion, and shall be final and conclusive.

12.6 Arbitration.

  (a)

Prior to Change in Control. If, prior to a Change in Control, any claim or controversy between a Participating Employer and a Participant or Beneficiary is not resolved through the claims procedure set forth in Article XII, such claim shall be

 

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Compensation Plan

 

 

submitted to and resolved exclusively by expedited binding arbitration by a single arbitrator. Arbitration shall be conducted in accordance with the following procedures:

The complaining party shall promptly send written notice to the other party identifying the matter in dispute and the proposed remedy. Following the giving of such notice, the parties shall meet and attempt in good faith to resolve the matter. In the event the parties are unable to resolve the matter within twenty one (21) days, the parties shall meet and attempt in good faith to select a single arbitrator acceptable to both parties. If a single arbitrator is not selected by mutual consent within ten (10) Business Days following the giving of the written notice of dispute, an arbitrator shall be selected from a list of nine persons each of whom shall be an attorney who is either engaged in the active practice of law or recognized arbitrator and who, in either event, is experienced in serving as an arbitrator in disputes between employers and employees, which list shall be provided by the main office of either JAMS, the American Arbitration Associate ("AAA") or the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. If, within three Business Days of the parties' receipt of such list, the parties are unable to agree on an arbitrator from the list, then the parties shall each strike names alternatively from the list, with the first to strike being determined by the flip of a coin. After each party has had four strikes, the remaining name on the list shall be the arbitrator. If such person is unable to serve for any reason, the parties shall repeat this process until an arbitrator is selected.

Unless the parties agree otherwise, within sixty (60) days of the selection of the arbitrator, a hearing shall be conducted before such arbitrator at a time and a place agreed upon by the parties. In the event the parties are unable to agree upon the time or place of the arbitration, the time and place shall be designated by the arbitrator after consultation with the parties. Within thirty (30) days of the conclusion of the arbitration hearing, the arbitrator shall issue an award, accompanied by a written decision explaining the basis for the arbitrator's award.

In any arbitration hereunder, the Participating Employer shall pay all administrative fees of the arbitration and all fees of the arbitrator, except that the Participant or Beneficiary may, if he/she/it wishes, pay up to one-half of those amounts. Each party shall pay its own attorneys' fees, costs, and expenses, unless the arbitrator orders otherwise. The prevailing party in such arbitration, as determined by the arbitrator, and in any enforcement or other court proceedings, shall be entitled, to the extent permitted by law, to reimbursement from the other party for all of the prevailing party's costs (including but not limited to the arbitrator's compensation), expenses, and attorneys' fees. The arbitrator shall have no authority to add to or to modify this Plan, shall apply all applicable law, and shall have no lesser and no greater remedial authority than would a court of law resolving the same claim or controversy. The arbitrator shall have no authority to add to or to modify this

 

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Chesapeake Energy Corporation Amended and Restated Deferred

Compensation Plan

 

Plan, shall apply all applicable law, and shall have no lesser and no greater remedial authority than would a court of law resolving the same claim or controversy. The arbitrator shall, upon an appropriate motion, dismiss any claim without an evidentiary hearing if the party bringing the motion establishes that it would be entitled to summary judgment if the matter had been pursued in court litigation.

The parties shall be entitled to discovery as follows: Each party may take no more than three depositions. The Participating Employer may depose the Participant or Beneficiary plus two other witnesses, and the Participant or Beneficiary may depose the Participating Employer, pursuant to Rule 30(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, plus two other witnesses. Each party may make such reasonable document discovery requests as are allowed in the discretion of the arbitrator.

The decision of the arbitrator shall be final, binding, and non-appealable, and may be enforced as a final judgment in any court of competent jurisdiction.

This arbitration provision of the Plan shall extend to claims against any parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of each party, and, when acting within such capacity, any officer, director, shareholder, Participant, Beneficiary, or agent of any party, or of any of the above, and shall apply as well to claims arising out of state and federal statutes and local ordinances as well as to claims arising under the common law or under this Plan.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, and unless otherwise agreed between the parties, either party may apply to a court for provisional relief, including a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction, on the ground that the arbitration award to which the applicant may be entitled may be rendered ineffectual without provisional relief.

Any arbitration hereunder shall be conducted in accordance with the Federal Arbitration Act: provided, however, that, in the event of any inconsistency between the rules and procedures of the Act and the terms of this Plan, the terms of this Plan shall prevail.

If any of the provisions of this Section 12.6(a) are determined to be unlawful or otherwise unenforceable, in the whole part, such determination shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this section and this section shall be reformed to the extent necessary to carry out its provisions to the greatest extent possible and to insure that the resolution of all conflicts between the parties, including those arising out of statutory claims, shall be resolved by neutral, binding arbitration. If a court should find that the provisions of this Section 12.6(a) are not absolutely binding, then the parties intend any arbitration decision and award to be fully admissible in evidence in any subsequent action, given great weight by any finder of fact and treated as determinative to the maximum extent permitted by law.

 

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Chesapeake Energy Corporation Amended and Restated Deferred

Compensation Plan

 

The parties do not agree to arbitrate any putative class action or any other representative action. The parties agree to arbitrate only the claims(s) of a single Participant or Beneficiary.


  (b) Upon Change in Control. If, upon the occurrence of a Change in Control, any dispute, controversy or claim arises between a Participant or Beneficiary and the Participating Employer out of or relating to or concerning the provisions of the Plan, such dispute, controversy or claim shall be finally settled by a court of competent jurisdiction which, notwithstanding any other provision of the Plan, shall apply a de novo standard of review to any determination made by the Company or its Board of Directors, a Participating Employer, the Committee, or the Appeals Committee.

ARTICLE XIII

General Provisions


13.1 Anti-assignment Rule. No interest of any Participant, spouse or Beneficiary under this Plan and no benefit payable hereunder shall be assigned as security for a loan, and any such purported assignment shall be null, void and of no effect, nor shall any such interest or any such benefit be subject in any manner, either voluntarily or involuntarily, to anticipation, sale, transfer, assignment or encumbrance by or through any Participant, spouse or Beneficiary.

13.2 No Legal or Equitable Rights or Interest. No Participant or other person shall have any legal or equitable rights or interest in this Plan that are not expressly granted in this Plan. Participation in this Plan does not give any person any right to be retained in the service of the Participating Employer. The right and power of a Participating Employer to dismiss or discharge an Employee is expressly reserved. The Participating Employers make no representations or warranties as to the tax consequences to a Participant or a Participant's beneficiaries resulting from a deferral of income pursuant to the Plan.

13.3 No Employment Contract. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to constitute a contract of employment between an Employee and a Participating Employer.

13.4 Notice. Any notice or filing required or permitted to be delivered to the Committee under this Plan shall be delivered in writing, in person, or through such electronic means as is established by the Committee. Notice shall be deemed given as of the date of delivery or, if delivery is made by mail, as of the date shown on the postmark on the receipt for registration or certification. Written transmission shall be sent by certified mail to:

 

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Chesapeake Energy Corporation Amended and Restated Deferred

Compensation Plan

 

CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORPORATION

ATTN: DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES

6100 N. Western Avenue

Oklahoma, Oklahoma 73118

Any notice or filing required or permitted to be given to a Participant under this Plan shall be sufficient if in writing or hand-delivered, or sent by mail to the last known address of the Participant.


13.5 Headings. The headings of Sections are included solely for convenience of reference, and if there is any conflict between such headings and the text of this Plan, the text shall control.

13.6 Invalid or Unenforceable Provisions. If any provision of this Plan shall be held invalid or unenforceable, such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect any other provisions hereof and the Committee may elect in its sole discretion to construe such invalid or unenforceable provisions in a manner that conforms to applicable law or as if such provisions, to the extent invalid or unenforceable, had not been included.

13.7 Lost Participants or Beneficiaries. Any Participant or Beneficiary who is entitled to a benefit from the Plan has the duty to keep the Committee advised of his or her current mailing address. If benefit payments are returned to the Plan or are not presented for payment after a reasonable amount of time, the Committee shall presume that the payee is missing. The Committee, after making such efforts as in its discretion it deems reasonable and appropriate to locate the payee, shall stop payment on any uncashed checks and may discontinue making future payments until contact with the payee is restored.

13.8 Facility of Payment to a Minor. If a distribution is to be made to a minor, or to a person who is otherwise incompetent, then the Committee may, in its discretion, make such distribution (i) to the legal guardian, or if none, to a parent of a minor payee with whom the payee maintains his or her residence, or (ii) to the conservator or committee or, if none, to the person having custody of an incompetent payee. Any such distribution shall fully discharge the Committee, the Company, and the Plan from further liability on account thereof.

 

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13.9 Governing Law. To the extent not preempted by ERISA, the laws of the State of Oklahoma shall govern the construction and administration of the Plan.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned executed this Plan as of the 1st day of October, 2007, to be effective as of the Effective Date.


Chesapeake Energy Corporation
By:  

Lisa Phelps

  (Print Name)
Its:  

Vice President  Human Resources

  (Title)

/s/ Lisa Phelps

  (Signature)

 

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EXHIBIT A TO THE

CHESAPEAKE ENERGY CORPORATION

AMENDED AND RESTATED DEFERRED COMPENSATION PLAN

Criteria for purposes of Sections 4.1(b)(i) and 5.1


   

Receive a base salary of at least $100,000 during the 12-month period immediately preceding the Plan Year, and


   

Be employed by an Employer on December 31 immediately preceding the Plan Year, and


   

Have completed at least five Years of Service as of the December 31 immediately preceding the Plan Year; or


   

Be designated by the Committee as eligible to participate.

Criteria for purposes of Sections 4.1(b)(ii) and 5.2


   

Receive a base salary of at least $100,000 during the 12-month period immediately preceding the Plan Year, and


   

Be employed by an Employer on December 31 immediately preceding the Plan Year, and


   

Have completed at least one Year of Service as of the December 31 immediately preceding the Plan Year; or


   

Be designated by the Committee as eligible to participate.

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