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Home > Benefits > Death Benefits

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Death Benefits

Death Benefits Before Retirement
If an active member should die while employed with the City/DHHA, there are death benefits available for the member's beneficiary. In most instances, the death benefit is a lifetime monthly benefit for the designated beneficiary. If the member is married, the member's spouse will receive the lifetime benefit unless the spouse formally consents to and waives this right and consents to another designated beneficiary. If there is no spouse, any children under age 21 will receive a benefit until they reach age 21. If the member is unmarried and has no children under age 21, the designated beneficiary will receive the benefit. The member should designate a beneficiary upon enrollment. It is important for members to keep the Plan informed of any beneficiary changes. Change of beneficiary forms can be obtained from a Payroll Technician or printed from this website. This form must be notarized
.

On-the-Job Death
If a death is classified as On-the-Job, the member's beneficiary will receive a lifetime monthly benefit with service credits calculated as the higher of 15 years service or actual service plus five years. In either case, the credits may not exceed service which would have been earned by the member at age 65. Benefits are calculated in accordance with the standard retirement calculation using the adjusted credited service. There are no minimum service requirements for this benefit.

Off-the-Job Death
If a death is classified as Off-the-Job, the member's beneficiary will receive a lifetime monthly benefit that is 75% of the On-the-Job death benefit.There are no minimum service requirements for this benefit.

Benefits to Children Under 21
If a member should die without a surviving spouse but with children under age 21, any benefit which would have been paid to the spouse will be paid to the child(ren's) guardian. Monthly benefit payments will continue until the children reach age 21.

 

Death Benefits After Retirement
In some instances, there are benefits payable to the member's spouse or beneficiary after the death of a retired member.

If a member elects a Joint and Survivor Option at retirement, upon the member's death the Plan will pay a lifetime monthly benefit to the designated beneficiary. If the beneficiary predeceases the member, the member's benefit will increase to the maximum benefit as if no Joint and Survivor benefit had been selected.

Lump-Sum Death Benefit
A single lump-sum death benefit payment is available to members who retire directly from active service. This single payment will be paid to the member's beneficiary, or to the member's estate if the named beneficiary is no longer living. The benefit schedule is shown below:

For Normal, Rule-of-75, Rule-of-85, Disability Retirement (after age 65) and for Temporary Early Retirement (pending approval of disability) the lump- sum death benefit is $5,000.

For Disability Retirement before age 65, the death benefit is 150% of the member's annualized average monthly salary, limited to $50,000. This benefit reduces to $5,000 upon the disabled member reaching age 65.

For Early Retirement, members hired before July 1, 2011 have a lump-sum death benefit that is reduced by $250 for each year of age under 65.

For Early Retirement, members hired on or after July 1, 2011 have a lump-sum death benefit that is reduced by $500 for each year of age under 65.

For members hired before July 1, 2011, the benefit would be $2,500 at age 55.

For members hired on or after July 1, 2011, the benefit would be $2,500 at age 60.

* Retirement Law allows the lump-sum death benefit to be paid in regular monthly installments to the member. These regular payments may be made in 50 or 100 equal monthly installments while the member is still alive. This amount will be added to the regular monthly retirement benefit. Any remaining balance in the death benefit account will be paid to the member's beneficiary upon the member's death. Once the member has drawn the complete death benefit, the payments will stop and there will not be a lump-sum death benefit for the beneficiary.