Protecting Your Spouse’s / Beneficiary’s Right to Your Pension (Should You Die ‘In- Service – While Working’) 

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If you were to die in-service(while still an active employee) your spouse/ beneficiary is entitled to your Life Insurance plus what you have contributed to  the Pension fund. Like most TPAF members, you are probably covered with  both non- contributory life insurance (150% of your salary) and contributory life  insurance (200%of your salary) for a total coverage of three and a half times  your salary.  

However, if you have a pension application on file and were to die in-service your spouse/ beneficiary would have the 221 filing option – either taking the life  insurance and your contributions, or take your pension and the reduced life  insurance benefit that is part of your retirement benefit on the date of the  retirement on your submitted application.  

You are able to retire if you have 25/more years in the pension system, OR have  reached your Service Retirement age of 60, 62 or 65 (depending on your Tier) –  therefore, you may want to consider filing an application to provide your  pension beneficiarythe option. 

  • Once you have 25 years of service in the TPAF, as a Tier 1-4 member,  you are able to re7re early. Your pension allotment is reduced 3%/year for each year your age is under 55. There is no early retirement penalty between the ages of 55 and 60 for Tier 1, but a 1%/year penalty for Tier  2-4 members between 55 and your Service Retirement Age (60/62).  
  • As a Tier 5 member, once you have 30 years of service in the TPAF  you are able to retire early. Your pension allotment, however is reduced 3%/year for each year your age is under 65. 
  • Your Service Retirement age is age 60 for Tiers 1 and 2, 62 for Tiers 3  & 4 and 65 for Tier 5; which means you can retire regardless of the number of years you have in the pension system.  

Filing an application with the Division of Pensions does not mean you are  actually retiring – to formally retire you must submit a letter of retirement  to your local school board and they must formally take action accepting  your resignation. It is recommended that, if you are filing an application to  protect your beneficiarys op7ons toward your pension, you let your local payroll officer know what you are doing.  

You can file an application up to one year ahead of your retirement date  (January 2, 2024 for January 1, 2025). Once your application is filed, you  can regularly go into your application and move the date forward until you  determine that you are ready to retire. {To do this you will need to cancel  your application and, after a 24 hour wait, file again with the new  date}. You will receive an email from the Division like the one below.  

This email is to confirm that your retirement application has been  cancelled. If you did not request this cancellation, you will receive  additional notification from the Division of Pensions and Benefits,  

Retirement Bureau, with specific information pertaining to the  cancellation. If you have requested to cancel your retirement  application, please retain this email for your records. This will be  the only confirmation you will receive. If you have cancelled your  retirement in order to amend your retirement date, you will be able  to file a new application the next business day. Your employer will  also be notified of the cancellation. 

Our office is prepared to provide guidance to you if you would like to  exercise this option for protecting your beneficiary. You can call to make  an appointment or need to reach Bob Murphy, Denise King or Rebecca  Gold.