Upon your death, PERA provides benefit options depending on your plan and status.
Lifetime Monthly Benefit for Surviving Spouse
If the member is vested at the time of death, the spouse will have an option of receiving a monthly benefit for their lifetime.
Term-Certain Benefit Option for Surviving Spouse
The member must be vested and actively employed in a PERA covered position at the time of death in order for the spouse to be eligible for the term-certain option. The term-certain options would provide monthly benefits over 10, 15 or 20 years.
A one-time payment of the employee’s contributions plus interest is available upon death to those listed as the beneficiary. A refund cannot be paid if there are dependent children eligible for monthly benefits.
Dependent Children’s Benefits
Depending on what plan the member is in there may be an option for benefits for the dependent children.
Note: Under state law, the beneficiary designation by a PERA member is automatically revoked on the dissolution or annulment of a marriage. If the former spouse is intended to remain designated as a beneficiary for the marital portion of any refund after the dissolution, the court order must specifically include such a provision. For more information, see Divorce and your pension section.