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Are There Any Survivor Benefits if I Die Before Receiving a Pension?
Yes. There are three types of survivor benefits payable before Retirement if you are vested, but your spouse or designated beneficiary is entitled to only one. The types of pre-retirement survivor benefits are: the Pre-Retirement 100% Spouse’s Benefit, the Pre-Retirement 60 Certain Guaranty, and the Death Benefit Pension. 

What Is the Pre-Retirement 100% Spouse’s Benefit?
The Pre-Retirement 100% Spouse’s Benefit provides a lifetime benefit to your surviving spouse if you die before your pension begins.
If you are age 55 or older at the time of your death, the Pre-Retirement 100% Spouse’s Benefit is equal to the pension benefit you would have received if you had retired the day before your death, actuarially reduced by the Early Retirement Pension factors (shown in the Pension Benefit Amount tab).
If you are younger than age 55, the benefit will be determined as if you were age 55 at the time of your death. Benefit payments will be effective the month following your death (your spouse does not have to meet a minimum age requirement to begin receiving benefits) and continue until the later of your spouse’s death or until a total of 60 payments are made.
Benefit payments to your spouse are guaranteed for your spouse’s lifetime regardless of whether or not your spouse subsequently remarries. If your spouse dies before receiving a total of 60 payments, payments will continue to your designated beneficiary or, if none, to your surviving children, surviving parents or Welfare Fund beneficiaries, in that order, until a total of 60 payments have been made.  
What Are the Eligibility Requirements for the Pre-Retirement 100% Spouse’s Benefit?
Your surviving spouse will receive the Pre-Retirement 100% Spouse’s Benefit if, at the time of your death, you met the service requirements for a pension and you have been married during the entire year preceding your death.
If you are not married at the time of your death, or if you were married for less than one year at the time of death, your beneficiary would receive either the 60 Certain Guaranty or the Death Benefit. 
When is the 60 Certain Guaranty Payable?
The 60 Certain Guaranty is payable if, at the time of your death, you are Vested, at least Early Retirement Age (age 55), and:
  • Not married; or
  • Married for less than one year 
If you have reached Early Retirement Age (age 55) and you die before your actual Retirement, your designated beneficiary will receive a monthly benefit payable for a total of 60 payments guaranteed. This benefit is equal to the amount of the pension for which you were qualified, provided you are vested.
If your beneficiary then dies before receiving a total of 60 monthly payments, payments will continue to your contingent beneficiary, surviving spouse, surviving children, surviving parents or Welfare Fund beneficiaries, in that order, until a total of 60 monthly payments have been made. 
When Is the Death Benefit Pension Payable?
If you die before you reach Early Retirement Age (before age 55), a Death Benefit Pension will be payable to your beneficiary if you are unmarried or if your spouse is not eligible for the Pre-Retirement 100% Spouse’s Benefit AND you have either:
  • 15 or more Years of Pension Credit; OR
  • 10 Years of Pension Credit and you earned at least ½ Year of Pension Credit in the calendar year in which you die or the immediately preceding calendar year. 
What is the Amount of the Death Benefit Pension?
The amount of the Death Benefit Pension is equal to your Years of Pension Credit multiplied by $875.00. This amount is divided by 60 and is paid to your beneficiary in 60 equal monthly payments.
If your beneficiary dies before receiving 60 monthly payments, the balance of your Death Benefit Pension will be paid to your contingent beneficiary, surviving spouse, surviving children, surviving parents or Welfare Fund beneficiaries, in that order, until a total of 60 payments have been made. 
Can I Choose What Type of Survivor Benefit My Spouse Will Receive?
Yes. If you are at least Early Retirement Age (age 55), you may reject the Pre-Retirement 100% Spouse’s Benefit and elect the Pre-Retirement Sixty Certain Guarantee to be paid if you die before you commence pension benefits. In order to make this election, you must obtain your spouse’s consent on a form provided by the Pension Fund. Spousal consent must be notarized. Contact the Pension Fund Office for more information.

 

 
 

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