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PERS/TRS DCR Plan Survivor Information


Occupational Death

If you die from occupational causes before retirement, your spouse or eligible dependents may be entitled to survivor benefits paid monthly until you would have reached normal retirement eligibility.

Monthly Survivor Benefits

Monthly survivor benefits begin on the first of the month following the date of the participant's death. The monthly survivor benefit will be

  • 50% of your gross monthly compensation immediately before you died for peace officers or fire fighters; or
  • 40% of your gross monthly compensation immediately before you died for all other participants

Survivors who are receiving monthly survivor benefits are not eligible for medical benefits until you would have met the eligibility for normal retirement benefits had you lived.

While Your Survivors are Receiving Death Benefits

  • The period during which your survivor is receiving benefits is counted as service credit toward medical benefits and the HRA.
  • Your employer will make both the required employer contributions as well as employee contributions to a survivor account established in the occupational death fund, based on your gross monthly compensation, until you would have reached eligibility for normal retirement.
  • Your employer will also make continuing contributions to your HRA account until you would have met the eligibility for normal retirement benefits had you lived. These contributions are not deducted from the monthly survivor benefit.
  • Your survivors continue to direct the investment of your retirement account; your contributions cannot be removed from your retirement account until you would have reached eligibility for normal retirement benefits had you lived.

Death Benefits at Normal Retirement Eligibility

Monthly survivor benefits cease beginning the last day of the month in which you would have first qualified for normal retirement by either service or age and service. Your surviving spouse or, if there is no surviving spouse your beneficiary, will have access to your defined contribution retirement account balance at that time. The account balance will include all contributions plus investment gains or losses, less expenses, earned over the period invested.

Your surviving spouse will receive the balance of the survivor account established in the occupational death fund plus investment gains or losses, less expenses, earned over the period invested.

Your surviving spouse will also be eligible to elect retiree medical benefits at that time. Once eligible for medical benefits, your surviving spouse will receive a premium subsidy based on your accrued years of service at the time you would have been eligible for Medicare had you lived.

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Nonoccupational Death

If you die before distribution from your retirement account has started, benefits will be paid to your beneficiary in any form of his/her choice other than a joint and survivor annuity. The benefit includes all contributions in the retirement account in which you are vested plus investment gains or losses earned, less expenses.

If you die after distribution payments from your retirement account have begun, your beneficiary will receive further payments only to the extent provided with the form of payment you chose at the time you began annuity payments, if any.