Benefits for Your Survivor

Your Pension Plan provides benefits for your survivor in the event of your death. The amount of the benefit depends on whether or not your death occurs before you retire.  

If You Die Before You Retire: Only your Surviving Spouse or Spousal Equivalent will be eligible for benefits.  No other beneficiaries will be eligible for benefits.

If you are vested (Refer to Vesting Credits) but have not begun receiving your pension, your qualifying surviving spouse is eligible to receive a lifetime survivor’s pension calculated as a 50% Spousal Pension, with your spouse receiving 50% of your monthly pension amount.

  • If you die after age 55: Your spouse’s lifetime survivor pension payments begin the first of the month following the month the Benefit Funds office receives and approves your spouse’s application for benefits. Payment will include any adjustment for early retirement.
  • If you die before age 55: The lifetime survivor’s pension payments will generally begin on the first day of the month after you would have reached age 55 if you had lived, and include any adjustment for early retirement. Your spouse may choose instead to begin receiving the payments as early as the first day of the month after the month in which you died. However, payments will not begin before the Benefit Funds office receives your spouse’s application for benefits. The benefit will be actuarially reduced to take into account the fact that your spouse began receiving the benefit earlier.

Slightly different distribution rules apply if the benefit is payable to your Spousal Equivalent. Please review the Summary Plan Description for more information.

If You Die After You Retire

If the form of payment you elected provides for a spousal or beneficiary benefit, your spouse or named beneficiary will receive the benefit amount on a monthly basis for the rest of his or her life unless you elected the Straight Life Option with 60 payments.  For this option, if you die before all 60 have been paid, your beneficiary will receive only the remaining payments.

Designating a Beneficiary

It’s important to designate a beneficiary as soon as you become a participant in the Plan. Your named beneficiary is the person who will receive your pension or survivor benefits (if eligible) in the event of your death. You can change your designation at any time; remember to make changes if you experience a life event, such as getting married or divorced. To name or change a beneficiary, complete and submit this designation form.


If You Are Not Married

If you are not married, you may designate any person or legal entity (for example, a trust) as your beneficiary to receive any eligible death bene­fits.


If You Are Married

If you are married, you must designate your spouse as your beneficiary. However, if you would like to designate a beneficiary other than your spouse, your spouse will need to sign and notarize the Spousal Waiver Form, which forfeits his or her right to a pension benefit.


If you do not name a beneficiary, or if your beneficiary dies first, any remaining benefits will be paid to in the following order:

  • Your surviving spouse; or, if none
  • Your estate.