Survivor Options

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 amount by which your pension will be reduced—or the survivor option factor—depends on your age, your beneficiary’s age, and the survivor option you choose at retirement. The monthly pension amount for a survivor option is based on life expectancy tables that factor in life expectancies for you and your beneficiary. When you use the Estimate Pension feature in miAccount, or run an estimate as part of applying for retirement, the factor associated with your age and your beneficiary's age will be used in the calculation. 

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, insurance benefits 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.