Election
SURVIVOR BENEFITS
DEATH OF RETIRED MEMBERS - SURVIVOR'S BENEFITS:
  1. Regular Service or Non-Service Connected Disability Retirement:
    The surviving spouse may be entitled to receive a monthly allowance of 60% of the deceased member's retirement allowance providing:
    1. The allowance was not modified in accordance with the optional settlements.
    2. Surviving spouse was married to the member at least one year prior to retirement.

      or

    3. Surviving spouse was married to the member at least two years prior to the date of death and has attained the age of 55 years on or prior to the date of death and no other person has been designated in an order of a Court in a domestic relations proceeding as a payee.

    If there is not a qualified spouse, the unmarried children may receive the same benefit until attaining age 18, or 22 if enrolled full-time in an accredited school as determined by the Board of Retirement.
  2. Service - Connected Disability Retirement:
    The surviving spouse shall continue to receive the same retirement allowance as the member, providing:
    1. The allowance was not modified in accordance with one of the optional settlements.

    2. Surviving spouse was married to the member prior to the date of retirement.
    3. or
    4. Surviving spouse was married to the member at least two years prior to the date of death and has attained the age of 55 years on or prior to the date of death and no other person has been designated in an order of a Court in a domestic relations proceeding as a payee.
    If there is no eligible surviving spouse, the unmarried children may receive the same benefit until age 18, or 22 if enrolled full-time in an accredited school as determined by the Board of Retirement.
DEATH AND SURVIVORS BENEFITS -  ACTIVE MEMBERS:
  1. Death Benefits:
    1. Basic Death Benefit: (Section 31781 and 31784) Refund of member's accumulated contributions plus a salary benefit which is one month's salary (based on the average 26 biweekly pay periods preceding the death of the member) for each year of retirement credit not to exceed six months of salary.

      Member's beneficiary may receive the death benefit in a lump sum or in 120 equal monthly installments.
    2. Optional Death Benefit: (Section 31781.2) The surviving spouse of any member under 50 years of age with 10 or more years of retirement credit may elect to leave the basic death benefit on deposit until the member would have reached age 50, and receive 60% of the deceased member's retirement allowance for life. Upon death of the surviving spouse this allowance is continued to the surviving unmarried children up to the age of 18, or age 22 if enrolled full-time in an accredited school as determined by the Board of Retirement.

    3. Combined Death Benefit: (Section 31781.3) The surviving spouse of any member who died while an active member in service with five or more years of retirement credit, or as a result of a service-connected disability, may choose to receive the salary benefit (under section one) plus, a reduced monthly retirement allowance for the remainder of their life.
  2. Survivor Benefits:
    1. Optional Death Allowance - Non-Service Connected: (Section 31781.1) A surviving spouse of any member who died while an active member in service with five or more years of retirement credit may elect to receive 60% of the member's disability retirement allowance for life instead of the basic death benefit.

      If there is no surviving spouse entitled to this benefit such allowance shall be continuous to the member's surviving children under the age of 18 or 22 if enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited school as determined by the Board of Retirement. The rights and privileges conferred by this section upon the surviving spouse and/or children of such deceased member shall not be dependent upon whether they or any of them shall have been nominated by the deceased member as the beneficiary of any benefits payable upon or by reason of his/her death, but shall be superior to and shall supersede the rights and claims of any other beneficiary so nominated.
    2. Optional Death Allowance - Service-Connected Disability: (Section 31787) A surviving spouse of any active member who died as a result of a service-connected disability may elect to receive the member's service connected disability retirement allowance for life. If there is no surviving spouse entitled to the benefit, such allowance shall be continuous to the deceased member's surviving unmarried children under the age of 18, or 22 if enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited school as determined by the Board of Retirement.
    3. Additional Death Benefit - Service-Connected Disability: (Section 31787.5) This benefit applies to members whose duties consist of active law enforcement or active fire suppression only.
      To a surviving spouse of a member killed in the line of duty or who dies as a result of any injury or disease caused by external violence or physical force while in the performance of duty shall receive an additional allowance based on the number of surviving unmarried children under the age of 18, or 22 if enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited school as determined by the Board of Retirement.

      Allowance:
      1 Child - 25% of basic allowance
      (Provided by section 31787)

      2 Children - 40% of basic allowance
      (Provided by section 31787)
      3 or more Children - 50% of basic allowance
      (Provided by section 31787)
    4. Death by Violence - Safety Members: (Section 31787.6) A surviving spouse of a safety member who is killed in the performance of duty or who dies as a result of accident or injury caused by external violence or physical force shall receive a one-time lump sum benefit equal to the annual compensation earnable by the deceased at his/her monthly rate of compensation at the time of his/her death.
  3. Death While On Deferred Retirement:
    The member's designated beneficiary will receive the member's contributions plus interest. If the member was on deferred status with reciprocity to another system the benefits are coordinated between the two systems.