Survivor benefits and dependent children: did you know?

July 24, 2014

Do you have a dependent child? If so, you want to ensure your children's future is safe and secure in the case of your death.    

If you have credited service in the plan on or after January 1, 1990, here are a few things you should know.

Is your dependent child eligible?

Dependent children may be eligible for a survivor pension when:

  • you do not have a spouse who is eligible for a survivor pension, or
  • your surviving eligible spouse dies while he or she is receiving a survivor pension.

Who is eligible?

Dependent children are defined as reliant on you for support at the time of your death and are:

How do we determine if a child is disabled?

Your child's eligibility is determined at the time of your death. Independent medical experts will make an assessment based on his or her medical history. We will also require evidence that the child was dependent on you for financial support at the time of your death.

If your child is age 18 or older and we determine that he or she is eligible for a survivor's pension, that pension must be paid directly to your child. If the child is not capable of managing their property, we will pay the survivor pension to the person with legal authority to deal with the child's property.

This information is only applicable to members with credit accrued after 1986. Because each case is different, please contact us to determine if your disabled child might be eligible for a survivor pension. We can do a pre-assessment of your child's eligibility to assist you with your estate planning.

Active members: have you designated a beneficiary?

Designating a beneficiary for your Teachers' pension ensures your benefits are paid according to your wishes.

You can designate a beneficiary to receive the lump-sum payment representing the commuted value of your pension. A designated beneficiary is eligible only if you do not have an eligible spouse and death occurs before you receive your first pension payment.

If you have a disabled child, it is important that you designate your beneficiaries carefully as there are different options available to ensure your child is protected. Please contact us to discuss your options.

35% of our active members do not have a beneficiary listed. To update your beneficiary information, log into iAccess Web, our secure member website. Select "My Profile" from the "My Home" tab and expand the "Beneficiaries" section -- follow the instructions to make any necessary changes.