Member Deaths & Survivor Benefits
If You Die While Still Employed
Family Benefits: A family benefit is payable on behalf of your eligible dependent children under the age of 19. The family benefit equals the greater of:
- 25% of your final average compensation at the time of your death; or
- Your unreduced accrued retirement benefit at the time of your death.
The family benefit shall be equally apportioned among your eligible dependent children. Payments will be made on behalf of each child to the child's conservator or custodian. As each child reaches age 19, the family benefit will be reallocated to any remaining children. The family benefit payments continue until all eligible dependent children reach the age of 19.
Surviving Spouse Benefit: A surviving spouse benefit is effective and payable when your surviving spouse reaches age 65. The surviving spouse benefit will be calculated as follows, whichever is applicable:
- If a family benefit was paid: 60% of the family benefit paid at the time the family benefit ended, increased by the annual cost-of-living adjustment
- If a family benefit was not paid: 60% of the following [(1) or (2)], whichever is greater:
- 25% of your final average compensation at the time of your death, increased by the annual cost-of-living adjustment; or
- Your unreduced accrued retirement benefit at the time of your death, increased by the annual cost-of-living adjustment.
The surviving spouse benefit is paid in monthly installments for your surviving spouse's lifetime with annual cost-of-living adjustments.
Early Surviving Spouse Benefit: Your eligible surviving spouse has the option to elect to start the surviving spouse benefit prior to age 65 and as early as age 55, payable at a reduced rate.
Eligibility: For your spouse and family to be eligible for these benefits, you must be a contributing member with at least three years of credited service or have died while performing the usual duties of your job and prior to your normal retirement age (age 65 for Class A and Class B Judicial members; age 55 for Class B Public Safety members) or your retirement.