For ERS Tier 3 and 4 Members
(Articles 14 and 15)
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 Article 15 accidental death benefit is a pension equal to one-half (50 percent) of your earnings during your last year of active service.
The benefit can only be paid to the following family beneficiaries, in this order:*
- To your surviving spouse, provided he/she has not renounced survivorship rights in a separation agreement, until remarriage; or
- To your surviving children, until they reach age 25; or
- To your dependent parent or parents, as determined under regulations established by the Comptroller; or
- To any other person who qualified as a dependent on your final federal income tax return for the year preceding death, until that person reaches age 21.
The benefit will be divided equally among the beneficiaries in any one category if you have more than one child, parent or other dependent.
If the total of all the accidental death benefit payments is not more than the amount of the ordinary death benefit, the difference will be paid to the last eligible beneficiary or beneficiaries. If none exist, the benefit will be paid to the executors of your will, or the persons who would be the executors if you die without making a will.
The application for the Article 15 accidental death benefit must be filed within 60 days of your date of death. The head of the Retirement System may accept an application after 60 days, but only if an ordinary death benefit has not been paid. Your family or employer should notify us when you die so we can forward the appropriate forms to your beneficiary.
* All beneficiaries would be eligible for annual COLAs after receiving the accidental death benefit for five years.