Death and Survivor Benefits (Tier 1)

When Your Surviving Spouse Pension Starts for Tier 1

Your surviving spouse pension becomes payable on the first day of the month following your death. If we have not finished processing your benefit by this date, your spouse will receive your first payment after this date but it will include a retroactive payment back to the date your pension became payable.

Your surviving spouse may receive your first payment as a check. Following your first check your spouse will receive a direct deposit form.

Your surviving spouse will receive a $1,000 Death Benefit along with a lifetime pension annuity. Please note, your spouse will need to provide documentation for proof of marriage.

Pension for Your Spouse

You and your spouse must have been legally married at date of retirement and at date of your death to receive the surviving spouse pension.

Pension Refund

If you received a refund of the spouse contributions, then you cannot receive a pension for your surviving spouse at the time of your death.

If your spouse contributions were previously refunded at retirement and then marriage occurred post-retirement for 12 months or more, the refunded spouse contributions may be paid back to establish the right to a spouse annuity. Please note, only a spouse may re-establish spouse benefits, contact our office for details.

Surviving Spouse Pension Amount

Your surviving spouse is entitled to 65% of your annuity provided that your spouse is age 55 when you die or you had 30 or more years of service credit.

If you die with less than 30 years of service credit, and your spouse is not age 55, your spouse annuity will be reduced ½ of 1% for each month your spouse is below age 55.

The minimum spouse benefit is 10% of your Tier 1 Final Average Salary (see glossary).

Example: Surviving Spouse Pension Amount Calculation

Prior to your death, your pension is $3,000 per month. At the time of your death, your spouse is age 55.

  • Calculation: $3,000 (your annuity) X 65% (spouse pension percent) = $1,950
  • Your spouse will receive $1,950 per month for life

However, if your annuity was $3,000 per month, and your spouse was only age 50 at date of death and you did not have 30 years of service credit, your surviving spouse pension is reduced.

  • Calculation: $3,000 (your annuity) X 65% (spouse pension percent) X 70% (spouse age reduction) = $1,365
  • Your spouse will receive $1,365 per month for life

Child’s Pension

Your children may be eligible for a child’s pension. The child annuity is 10% of your final monthly salary at death, payable until the attainment of age 18. The following conditions must be met: 

  • A child (see glossary) is defined as the natural child or legally adopted child or children of an employee.
  • You have at least four years of service credit.
  • The child was born before you withdrew from service.
  • You must be eligible for an annuity at date of death.

In the event of there being multiple children and a surviving spouse, the maximum annuity payable is 60% of your final monthly salary. If total of spouse and children payments exceeds this maximum, child annuities are first reduced to meet this maximum annuity.