The death benefit is equal to your salary multiplied by your years of service, not to exceed three years of salary. For example, if you die after one year of service, your beneficiary would receive a benefit equal to one year of your salary; if you die after two years, your beneficiary would receive a benefit equal to two years of your salary, and if you die after three or more years of service, your beneficiary would receive a benefit equal to three years of your salary. The salary is limited by Section 130 of the Civil Service Law.
If you are in service at age 61, your death benefit will be reduced by 4 percent and will be further reduced by 4 percent each year you continue to be in service, up to age 70. It will not be reduced below 60 percent of the ordinary death benefit payable.
If you joined before January 1, 2001, chose a different death benefit, and die while in active service, your beneficiary will be paid the greater of the two death benefits.
If you are a vested member with at least ten years of credited service, have not retired and you die more than one year after leaving public employment, 50 percent of the death benefit may still be payable. This vested benefit is also payable if you die within one year of leaving covered service but were gainfully employed during that time.