payments, whichever is required by state law. In those states that require a return of Certificate Value, we will return your purchase payment, adjusted for either positive or negative investment experience, without consideration of the Premium Credit. Thus, the Premium Credit does not vest until the right to revoke period ends and we bear any investment loss, or retain any investment gain, produced by the Premium Credit. In states where we will refund your Certificate Value, you bear the investment risk with respect to your purchase payment during the period prior to our receiving your request for cancellation. You may ask us which standard applies to your state.
If we deliver your Certificate to you in California and you are age 60 or older, you may return the Certificate to us or to the agent from whom you purchased it. If you return the Certificate within 30 days after you received it, we will refund the Certificate Value.
Death of a Covered Person
This section describes who under different scenarios owns the Certificate after a death and what rights that Owner has, who will become the new Annuitant, if applicable, and when we calculate the death benefit. Your and the Designated Beneficiaries' rights in various scenarios are described below.
As explained in more detail below (except in certain states, see below), in general, upon the death of a Covered Person, the Designated Beneficiary may choose to surrender the Certificate for the death benefit or continue the Certificate for a specified period. In addition (except in certain states, see below), in certain circumstances if your spouse continues the Certificate upon your death, we will (a) if applicable, "top up" the value of the Certificate so that it equals the death benefit at your death, and (b) we will pay a death benefit under the Certificate at the death of your spouse.
Covered Persons are you, or any joint Certificate Owner(s), or the Annuitant. If there is a non-natural Certificate Owner, such as a trust, the Annuitant is the sole Covered Person. Upon the death of any Covered Person while the Certificate is In Force, the Designated Beneficiary will become the new Certificate Owner. The Designated Beneficiary is determined in the following order: you; the joint Certificate Owner(s); the primary beneficiary(ies); the contingent beneficiary(ies); and your estate. If you and one or more joint Certificate Owners are alive, all such persons will be the Designated Beneficiary.
The death benefit does not affect the Certificate Value prior to the death of a Covered Person, but it may increase it after such a death. We calculate a death benefit on the date we receive both due proof of death and a written request from the Designated Beneficiary to surrender or continue the Certificate. The calculated death benefit will include any applicable optional death benefit. If the Certificate is being continued and the calculated death benefit is greater than the Certificate Value on the date of calculation, we add the difference to the Certificate Value. We allocate this additional amount to the Variable Account and/or the Fixed Account based on the current purchase payment allocation selection then in effect. During any period following a relevant death while the Certificate is continued and in effect, the Designated Beneficiary may exercise all ownership rights, including the right to make purchase payments, to make transfers and partial withdrawals, and to surrender the Certificate for its Certificate Withdrawal Value, as it may be adjusted.
The following paragraphs describe more specifically the consequences of the death of different types of Covered Persons.
The next six paragraphs apply to Certificates issued on or after a date that varies by state between September 4, 2001, and November 1, 2001, in all states except Minnesota, Oregon and Texas ("Standard Certificate States"). If you live in one of those three states, you or your salesperson should call 1-800-426-3750 to see whether the new death benefit provisions have been approved for sale in your state. Certificates issued in your state following approval will be included as Certificates issued in Standard Certificate States. For Certificates issued in your state prior to approval and for Certificates issued in all other states prior to a date that varies by state between September 4, 2001, and November 1, 2001, ("Exception Certificate States"), the death benefit provisions described in paragraphs seven through twelve apply.
If the decedent was the Certificate Owner and the decedent's surviving spouse is the sole Designated Beneficiary, or if the decedent was the Annuitant and the decedent's surviving spouse is the sole Certificate Owner,