Your beneficiary may be entitled to an ordinary death benefit if you meet the eligibility requirements and your death is not attributable to an on-the-job accident. The ordinary death benefit is a one-time lump sum payment (your beneficiaries would not receive 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 beneficiary will also receive any accumulated contributions.
An ordinary death benefit may be payable to your designated beneficiary if you are a Tier 2, 3, 5 or 6 member, with at least 90 days of service since last joining PFRS, 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 (up to two years, with a possible extension for two additional 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.
This benefit is equal to three times your last year’s earnings rounded up to the next highest multiple of $1,000, as limited by Section 130 of the Civil Service Law.