Monthly Dependent-Based Survivor Benefits - Beneficiary Qualifications

In order to be eligible for monthly dependent-based survivor benefits, your beneficiaries must also meet certain qualifications. For more information, see the brochure, PSRS Protecting Those You Care About, or visit the Member Handbook - Survivor Benefits. You may also contact us with questions regarding these qualifications.

  1. Your spouse, if he or she is:
    • Sole beneficiary, and
    • Age 60 (or when he or she reaches age 60), and
    • Married to you for at least three years, and
    • Living with you at the time of your death, or
    • Permanently disabled for not less than five years immediately preceding your death, designated as your sole beneficiary, married to you for at least three years, and living with you at your death.

    NOTE: Eligible spouses (age 60 or older) receive these benefits for life. Eligible disabled spouses who are not yet age 60 receive benefits until they recover from their disability. If that occurs, they do not receive survivor benefits from the time of their recovery until age 60, when the benefits resume.

  2. Your spouse and unmarried, dependent children, if the spouse:
    • Is designated as your sole beneficiary, and
    • Has in his or her care your unmarried, dependent children (under the age of 18 or under 24 if enrolled in school full-time).

    NOTES: If your spouse elects survivor benefits, all of your eligible children will be entitled to a benefit, even though you may not have included the child on your beneficiary designation.

    If your spouse is not yet age 60, he or she will be entitled to benefits as long as you have eligible children. Upon reaching age 60, the spouse will receive the benefits for life, if the spouse meets all criteria listed in Number 1 above.

    Dependent, unmarried children who are not in the care of your surviving spouse are entitled to a monthly benefit. It will be paid to the child's primary custodial parent or guardian.

    If your designated beneficiary is someone other than your spouse or child, that individual can choose to direct benefits to your eligible children. For example, if your father is your designated beneficiary, he can authorize PSRS to pay survivor benefits to all of your eligible children in lieu of receiving benefits himself.

  3. Your unmarried dependent children if they are:
    • Designated as a beneficiary, or
    • Currently receiving a benefit under Number 2 (above) and your spouse dies, and
    • Under the age of 18 (24 if in school full-time), or
    • If mentally or physically disabled prior to age 18 and unable to be gainfully employed and the disability continues after age 18.

    NOTES: If your first-named eligible child elects to receive survivor benefits, any other eligible child of yours is entitled to a like benefit, regardless of whether you listed them as your beneficiary.

    Dependent children who reach age 18 are required to submit documentation to PSRS to verify that they are eligible to continue receiving benefits. Certification is required from a school official or parent/guardian that the child is not yet age 24, is unmarried, and is enrolled in school full-time. Forms are mailed to benefit recipients who receive survivor benefits as a dependent child, or you may print them below.

  4. Your surviving, dependent parent, if he or she is:
    • Over age 65 (or when he or she reaches age 65), and
    • Designated as your sole beneficiary, and
    • Receives at least 50% financial support from you at your death, and
    • He or she files proof of that financial support within two years of your death.
      (Contact PSRS for more information.)

NOTES: If your other parent is also a dependent, the same amount will be paid to each parent until his or her death, even though he or she may not have been listed as your beneficiary.

Other types of Survivor/Death Benefits include:

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