Special 20- and 25-Year Plans
For PFRS Tier 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 Members
(Sections 384, 384-d and 384-e)
Your beneficiary may be entitled to an ordinary death benefit, in lieu of a monthly pension, if you meet eligibility requirements and your death is not attributable to an on-the-job accident. The beneficiaries of active (not retired) members generally are not entitled to a monthly pension benefit. The first $50,000 of this benefit is paid in the form of group term life insurance, which is currently exempt from federal income tax. Your accumulated contributions (if any) are also payable to your beneficiary.
An ordinary death benefit may be payable to your designated beneficiary if you are a:
- Tier 1 member and have completed at least one year of service since last joining the Retirement System; or
- Tier 2, 3, 5 or 6 member and have completed at least 90 days of service since last joining the Retirement System and your death occurs:
- While you are on the payroll;
- While you are on an authorized medical leave of absence (with or without pay);
- While you are receiving Workers’ Compensation or other employer-funded benefits, for up to two years (which may be extended for an additional two years) following the last date you were paid on the payroll, provided your employment has not been terminated by resignation, employer action, retirement or any other means while receiving those benefits; or
- Within 12 months of the last date you were receiving earnings, on an authorized medical leave of absence or receiving Workers’ Compensation or other employer-funded benefits, provided you were not otherwise gainfully employed or retired during that period.
The Tier 1 Benefit
If you are covered by Section 384-d and die in service prior to completing 20 years of creditable service, or covered by Section 384 and die in service prior to completing 25 years of creditable service, your beneficiary would receive the regular ordinary death benefit.
If your employer provides a fully non-contributory membership, this benefit is 8.33 percent of your last year’s earnings multiplied by your years of service, up to a maximum of 36 years.
If your employer does not provide a fully noncontributory membership, this benefit is 8.33 percent of your last year’s earnings multiplied by your years of service credit (up to 12 years). In addition, the benefit includes 4.16 percent of your last year’s earnings for each year of service over 12. The maximum benefit is equal to two years’ pay.
The Tier 2, 3, 5 and 6 Benefit
This benefit is equal to three times your last year’s earnings raised to the next highest multiple of $1,000, as limited by Section 130 of the Civil Service Law.
Your family or employer should notify us of your death as soon as possible so we can send the appropriate forms to your beneficiary.