Benefits at a glance
This chart summarizes the benefits payable to your eligible survivors if you die before receiving your first pension payment.
|Eligible spouse||Survivor pension (either immediate or deferred)
Lump-sum payment (commuted value of your pension)
(if there was no eligible spouse or after eligible spouse's death)
|Designated beneficiary||Lump-sum payment|
When we're informed of your death, we'll provide your survivor with their options and the information they need to receive their survivor benefit.
Pre-retirement death benefits are paid in the following order:
1. Your eligible spouse
Your spouse is eligible for a survivor benefit if, at the time of your death, you:
- Were married and not living separate and apart, or
- Had been living together continuously for at least three years (or less if you're the parents of a child)
2. Your dependent children
The information in this section applies to surviving dependent children of members who had credited service in the plan on or after Jan. 1, 1990.
Dependent children may be eligible for a survivor pension when:
- You don't have an eligible spouse when you die, or
- Your surviving spouse dies while receiving a survivor pension
3. Your designated beneficiary
Every active member of our plan should designate a beneficiary. This ensures your benefits are paid according to your wishes, should you die before you receive your first pension payment without an eligible spouse.
You can designate a beneficiary to receive the lump-sum payment representing the commuted value of your pension. If you have a dependent child, the lump sum for your beneficiary will be reduced by the value of the survivor pension to your dependent child.
4. Your estate
If you don't have an eligible spouse, and you don’t name a beneficiary, your estate may receive a lump-sum payment. If you have a dependent child, then the lump-sum payment for your estate will be reduced by the value of your child's survivor pension.
Any funds paid to your estate will be administered by your estate trustee(s) according to the guidelines you specified in your will. If you die before you can prepare a will, only a court-appointed estate executor can assume responsibility of your estate.
It's never too early to prepare a will. Creating a will is a good way to ensure any funds payable to your estate are administered according to your wishes. You can designate an estate trustee (or executor) as the person responsible for managing and controlling your estate's assets.