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Payment Options > Survivor Options

Glossary of Terms

If you elect a survivor option when you apply for retirement, you receive a reduced pension throughout your lifetime; however, upon your death your pension and health insurances continue for the lifetime of your survivor pension beneficiary. You can name your spouse, child (including your adopted child), grandchild, sibling, or parent as survivor pension beneficiary.

If you elect the 100 percent survivor option, upon your death your survivor will receive the same monthly benefit you received (before any tax, insurance premium, or other deductions). If you elect the 75 percent option, your survivor receives 75 percent of your benefit amount; with the 50 percent option your survivor will be paid 50 percent of your monthly pension payment.

The monthly pension amount for a survivor option is based on actuarial tables that factor in life expectancies for you and your beneficiary. The Estimate Pension feature in miAccount has the full actuarial table.

Note: The actuarial tables only provide estimates. Percentages are rounded and are subject to change.

Additional notes about the survivor options.

  • If you are married and name someone other than your spouse as your beneficiary or elect any option other than the 100 percent survivor option, your spouse must waive his or her right to your full pension by signing the form in the presence of a notary public.
  • You cannot change your option or your survivor pension beneficiary for any reason after your retirement effective date.  
  • If you elect one of the survivor options, but then your pension beneficiary dies before you, your pension payment will increase to the straight life amount (either full or early reduced). 
  • Upon your death, insurances continue for your designated survivor pension beneficiary. Your eligible dependents who were covered at the time of your death will also continue to receive insurance benefits only if you have chosen the survivor option.
  • Your survivor option choice has no bearing on insurance coverage for your dependents. If they are eligible, they have full coverage (not 75 percent or 50 percent coverage). 
  • If you get divorced after your pension begins, and your spouse is your pension beneficiary, you can change your survivor option to the straight life option only if ordered by the court.
  • If you take the early reduced pension and also choose a survivor option, your early reduced pension is calculated first. This amount then becomes the basis for figuring your survivor option payment.
  • If you qualify for a supplemental pension as a covered employee and also choose a survivor option, the supplemental portion of your pension will end when you reach age 62.


The retirement plan information that appears on this website is intended to summarize basic provisions of Public Act 240 of 1943, as amended.
Current laws, rates, and factors are subject to change. Should there be discrepancies between the information reflected here and the actual law,
the provisions of the law govern.



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