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 payable on your behalf.
This benefit is a pension equal to one-half (50 percent) of your Final Average Salary (FAS), less any Workers’ Compensation benefit paid or payable because of your death.
The benefit can only be paid to the following 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 they reach age 18;
- Finally, where there is no surviving spouse or minor children, to a dependent parent for life.
All of the beneficiaries listed above would be eligible for annual Cost-of-Living Adjustments after receiving the accidental death benefit for five years.
If all the beneficiaries listed above become ineligible for accidental death benefit payments, and the total of all benefit payments is less than the amount of the ordinary death benefit, the difference will be paid to your designated beneficiary or to your estate. If you have no beneficiaries as listed above, the accidental death benefit will not be paid, but the applicable ordinary death benefit will be paid 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. If you die on or after January 1, 2020, the application for the accidental death benefit must be filed within five years of your date of death (for members who died before January 1, 2020, the application had to be filed within two years of your date of death).