Survivor Benefit Options

Survivor Benefit Options

Tier 1 and Tier 3

Overview
Survivor Benefit Options

A Survivor is generally, the beneficiary of survivor benefits, such as the spouse or domestic partner or a designated individual of a deceased Member. 

Survivor Benefits are paid upon a Member’s death to their designated beneficiary. Designated beneficiaries may be entitled to certain benefits contingent on the following:

  • Whether the member was an active, retired, or a deferred member; 
  • The member’s relationship to the survivor; and
  • Whether the member designated beneficiaries with LACERS

Survivor Benefits Upon A Member’s Death – Before Retirement

Depending on the member’s years of Service, Service Credit, and Continuous Service, Survivors may have different benefit options as summarized below; 

SERVICE

DUTY or

NON-DUTY RELATED

POSSIBLE BENEFIT OPTIONS

Less than one year of Service Credit Non-Duty Related
  • Refund of Contributions
At least one year of Service Credit, but less than five years of Continuous Service Non- Duty Related
  • Refund of Contributions and possible Limited Pension
Less than five years of Continuous Service Duty-Related
  • Disability Retirement Survivorship; or 
  • Refund of Contributions and possible Limited Pension
Five years or more of Continuous Service Any
  • Deferred Retirement; or
  • Service Retirement; or
  • Disability Retirement; or
  • Refund of Contributions and possible Limited Pension

Survivor Benefits Upon A Member’s Death – After Retirement

In the event of a member’s death, their beneficiary may be entitled to one or more of the following survivor benefits:

  1. A one time $2,500 Funeral Expense Payment
  2. Any accrued but unpaid retirement allowance for the month of the Member’s death (prorated for the actual days the member was alive)
  3. Any unused contributions (if applicable)
  4. A Continuance allowance (spouse/domestic partner, if applicable)
Continuance Allowance 

In order for a spouse to be eligible for a Continuance allowance, the spouse must have been:

  • Married to the Member at least one year prior to the date of retirement 
  • Married to the Member on the date of their retirement
  • Married to the Member on the date of their death

 In order for your domestic partner to be eligible for a Continuance allowance: 

  • The domestic partnership must have been registered either with the State of California or with LACERS at least one year prior to the date of retirement
  • The domestic partner must be the Member’s domestic partner or spouse on the date of their retirement 
  • The domestic partner must be the Member’s domestic partner or spouse on the date of their death
Post

Overpayments

Upon a Member’s death, he or she is only entitled to a prorated retirement allowance amount equal to the number of days lived within the month of death. If there is an over payment and the money is not recovered, any benefits payable may be subject to an offset to account for the outstanding balance. Contact our office and ask to speak with a Survivor Benefits Counselor for more information.

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