The eligible survivor is determined at the time of the member’s death. The following lists the established order of survivor(s) which can be changed by filing a Priority of Eligible Survivors form (Form SOP-1) with the Office of Pensions:
- Surviving spouse* (legally married/civil union), or
- Unmarried child or children either under age 18 or between age 18 and 22 and attending school on a full-time basis,
- Disabled child or children over age 18 but permanently disabled as a result of a disability which began before the child attained age 18; or,
- Dependent parent who was receiving at least one-half of his or her support from the member at the time of the member’s death.
* The amount payable to a surviving spouse who has not attained age 50 at the time the survivor’s pension begins, shall be actuarially reduced for each month the survivor is under age 50 in accordance with actuarial tables approved by the Board of Pension Trustees. However, the actuarial reduction for any such surviving spouse shall not apply for the period during which such surviving spouse has in his or her care an unmarried child(ren).
- If an employee dies in active service, after acquiring the years of creditable service to become vested, the eligible survivor(s) will be paid a survivor's pension beginning the month following the employee’s death. The amount of the pension is three-fourths (75%) of the service pension the employee would have been eligible to receive.
- If a former employee dies while not in active service and is vested, the eligible survivor(s) will be paid a survivor’s pension, beginning with the month that the former employee would have been eligible to receive a pension. The amount of the pension will be one-half (50%) of the service pension the employee would have been eligible to receive.
- Upon the death of an individual receiving a service or disability pension, a monthly survivor’s pension shall be payable to the eligible survivor(s) based on the Joint and Survivor option elected at the time of retirement.
At the time of retirement, an irrevocable election shall be made to provide a monthly pension benefit to eligible survivor(s) based on the options below:
Those retiring on or after January 1, 2015*
- No reduction to member’s pension = 50% survivor’s pension
- 2% reduction to member’s pension = 66.67% survivor’s pension
- 3% reduction to member’s pension = 75% survivor’s pension
- 6% reduction to member’s pension = 100% survivor’s pension
*This election is irrevocable and must be made prior to the issuance of the first pension direct deposit.