Death After Retirement
When you die, survivor benefits may be paid according to the benefit payment option you elect on your Retirement Election Form, regardless of your marital status. Your spouse/beneficiary must apply for survivor benefits, which will start the first of the month following your date of death.
Death of Your Spouse
If you elect the Joint & 50% Survivor Option or the Joint & 100% Survivor Option and your spouse precedes you in death, your benefit will revert (pop-up) to the Life Income Annuity amount. The effective date of the pop-up will be the first of the month following your spouse's date of death. The pop-up is not automatic. You must provide MOSERS with a photo copy of your spouse's death certificate before your benefit will be adjusted.
Survivor recipients are not eligible for formula increases or the temporary benefit; however they are eligible for annual COLAs.
Steps for Survivors
MOSERS will need several forms completed in order to initiate life insurance and/or survivor benefits in the event of a member's death.
It is usually best to contact a benefit counselor to verify eligibility and to be sure you proceed appropriately, especially if you are the survivor of a judge or administrative law judge.
Generally, what you will need to provide will be:
- Certified copy of the death certificate
- Original funeral assignment paperwork and itemized funeral expenses (if any)
- Application for Survivor Benefits - please contact a MOSERS benefit counselor to request a customized form (800-827-1063 or email@example.com)
- Designation of Agent form (if beneficiary is age 18 or older)
- Direct Deposit Authorization form
- Tax Withholding form
- Affidavit of Natural Parent (if beneficiary is under age 18)
- Affidavit of Family Member (if survivor is disabled or incompetent)
If you are a MOSERS member and your spouse dies, submit the following to pop-up member's benefit to Life Income Annuity:
- Photocopy of the death certificate
- Designation of Life Insurance Beneficiaries form (if applicable)
- Change Beneficiary to Receive Final Payment form
- If you elected a joint and survivor option when you retired and your spouse precedes you in death, should you remarry, you will have one year from your date of marriage to elect a survivor benefit for your new spouse. This is referred to as a "pop-down."
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