Regardless of your years of service credit, if you die as the natural and proximate result of an on-the-job accident, not due to your own willful negligence, an accidental death benefit may be paid on your behalf.
The accidental death benefit is a pension equal to one-half (50 percent) of your FAS, less any Workers’ Compensation benefit paid or payable because of your death. The benefit can only be paid to the following family beneficiaries, in this order:
- First, to your surviving spouse until his or her death or remarriage;*
- Second, where there is no surviving spouse or in the event of his or her death or remarriage, to minor children until the last child reaches age 18;
- Finally, where there is no surviving spouse or minor children, to a dependent parent for life.
If all the beneficiaries listed above become ineligible for benefit payments, and the payments made up to that time do not equal or exceed the amount of the ordinary death benefit that would have been payable at the time of death, we will pay the difference to your designated beneficiary or to your estate. If you have no beneficiaries as listed above, we will not pay the accidental death benefit, but will pay the applicable ordinary death benefit to your last designated beneficiary or your estate. Any accumulated contributions will be refunded to your designated beneficiary or to your estate.
Your family or employer should notify us of your death as soon as possible so we can forward the appropriate forms to your beneficiary. The application for the accidental death benefit must be filed within two years of your date of death.
*Your spouse would be eligible for annual COLAs after receiving the accidental death benefit for five years.