Protecting your Spouse’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 option of 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.

If you have 25/more years in the pension system, OR are age 60 you may want to consider filing an application to provide your pension ‘beneficiary’ the option.

  • Once you have 25 years of service in the TPAF, as a Tier 1 member, you are able to retire 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.
  • As a Tier 1 member of the pension system, Your Service Retirement age is age 60, 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 beneficiary’s options 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, 2014 for January 1, 2015).  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.

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, you may wish to invite us in to meet with members of your association (local or county) to explain the process.

Health benefits, since the member would have earned the health benefits would be offered to the spouse, but at his/her option to pay for the benefits.