ARTICLE 8 –Death Benefits Prior to Retirement
8.1.1 An Employee may designate any person to be eligible as beneficiary and to receive any benefits under Article 8.4, provided that if the Employee is married, the Employee may not designate a non-spouse beneficiary. An Employee may designate one or more dependent children to receive the benefits under Article 8.2 in the event there is no surviving spouse or the surviving spouse dies. Where a lawful spouse is the beneficiary of the Death Benefits under this Article, such spouse shall be the sole and primary beneficiary. Subject only to the foregoing limitations, an Employee may designate joint beneficiaries and contingent beneficiaries.
8.1.3 Whenever any benefits under this Article become payable, the person or persons designated to the Trustees as the beneficiaries of the Employee according to the beneficiary designation then on file with the Trustees shall be entitled to receive such benefits and to give full acquittance therefor to the Trust, and payment by the Trust of such benefits to such person or persons shall fully discharge the Trust from all claims under this Article unless, before payment is made, the Trust has received, at its Administrative Office, written notice by or on behalf of some other person that such other person claims to be entitled to such payment or some interest in the benefits under this Article. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if an Employee designates a spouse, or person who subsequently becomes his spouse, for death benefits under this Article, the designation shall be automatically revoked if the marriage is subsequently dissolved or invalidated unless the Employee redesignates the former spouse following dissolution or invalidation of marriage, except as otherwise provided in a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.
8.1.4 If a Death Benefit under this Article would otherwise be payable but for the fact that no valid beneficiary designation is on file with the Trustees as of the date of the Employee's death, and the Employee is survived either by a lawful spouse or by any child of the Employee, whether the child is a natural, adopted or stepchild, then the Trustees may, in their sole discretion, deem such surviving spouse, or if none, then such surviving child or children, to be the designated beneficiaries of such Employee.
8.1.5 If there is no surviving eligible designated beneficiary alive when payment would otherwise be made under this Article, and if the Employee is not survived by any spouse or child who the Trustees in their discretion deem to be the Employee's beneficiary(ies), then no benefit under this Article 8 shall be payable; provided, however, that in such case the Trustees, in their sole and absolute discretion, may reimburse up to $5,000.00 of the funeral or burial expenses of the deceased Employee.
8.2 Primary Pre-retirement Survivor Benefit for Spouse or Dependent Minor Children of Vested Employee or Employee Eligible for Retirement
The surviving spouse who is the eligible beneficiary of an Employee whose rights under this Plan are vested pursuant to either Article 3.2.1(a) or 3.2.1(b), who was eligible for Regular, Special or Rule of 80 Early Retirement or Normal Retirement under the Plan, but who had not yet retired at the time of his death, or who though vested under Article 3.2.1(a) or 3.2.1(b) had not yet qualified for Early Retirement, but who had earned at least 750 Hours of Service in this Plan or in a Reciprocal Plan in the three (3) consecutive Plan Year period immediately preceding death, or 750 hours of contiguous Non-Covered Service (as defined by Article 1.8) in this Plan in the three (3) consecutive Plan Year period immediately preceding death, shall have the right to elect to receive a monthly sum until attaining age 62, remarriage or death prior to attaining age 62. The monthly sum shall be determined in the same fashion as a Reciprocal Pension would be determined, based upon the Credited Service of such Employee under this Plan. Such election must be made by the surviving spouse who is the eligible beneficiary prior to the receipt of any benefit under this Article 8, and once made is irrevocable. If upon the death of the surviving spouse, or if there is no surviving spouse, if upon the death of the Employee, there are one or more dependent minor children of the deceased Employee, the monthly sum shall be paid or continued to such dependent child or children designated as beneficiary(ies) by the Employee until the youngest surviving child attains age 18, or age 21, if a full-time student, such sum to be divided equally among the minor children who are eligible as of each distribution.
Upon expiration of the surviving spouse's benefits under this Article 8.2, the surviving spouse will receive the Qualified Pre-retirement Survivor Benefit if that benefit would have continued beyond the expiration of the Primary Pre-retirement Survivor Benefit.
- The Employee was eligible for Early or Normal Retirement at the time of his death but had not retired; or
- The Employee was not yet eligible for Early Retirement and died prior to Early Retirement after having earned at least one Hour of Service on or after August 23, 1984, in this Plan or a Related Plan; or
- The Employee had retired on a Disability Retirement and thereafter died after August 23, 1984, and prior to his 65th birthday, provided that the Employee had either one Hour of Service in this Plan or a Related Plan after August 23, 1984, or ten (10) or more years of Credited Service in this Plan.
8.3.2 Commencement of QPSA. The Qualified Pre-retirement Survivor Benefit will commence in the case of an Employee who at the time of his death has attained age 55, in the month following the Employee's death; and in the case of an Employee who at the time of his death has not yet attained age 55, in the month the deceased Employee would have attained age 55 had he lived. The Qualified Pre-retirement Survivor Benefit will continue monthly for the duration of the spouse's lifetime.
In the case of an Employee who dies after the date on which he attained age 55, the amount of the Qualified Preretirement Survivor Benefit shall be computed as though the Employee had retired with a Joint and Survivor Benefit on the day before the Employee's death. In the case of an Employee who dies on or before the date on which he would have attained age 55, the amount of the Qualified Pre-retirement Survivor Benefit shall be computed as though the Employee had:
- Separated from service on the date of death, or the date last worked in Covered Service, if earlier;
- Survived to age 55;
- Retired with a Joint and Survivor Benefit at age 55; and
- Died on the day after the day on which such Employee would have attained age 55.
8.3.3 No Waiver of QPSA by Employee. An Employee is not entitled to waive the Qualified Pre-retirement Survivor Benefit or select a beneficiary other than the spouse for that benefit. The surviving spouse who qualifies will receive this benefit unless the spouse is eligible for and elects the Primary Pre-retirement Survivor Benefit, and in any case, will receive this benefit upon the expiration of the Primary Pre-retirement Survivor Benefit if the Qualified Pre-retirement Survivor Benefit would have continued beyond the expiration of the Primary Pre-retirement Survivor Benefit.
8.3.4 QPSA for Overage Surviving Spouse.
- Eligibility. A surviving spouse of an Employee who dies prior to age 55 may commence the Qualified Pre-Retirement Survivor Benefit prior to the date the Employee would have attained age 55, if:
- The Primary Pre-retirement Survivor Benefit is not payable solely because the surviving spouse attained age 62, or if payable was terminated solely because the surviving spouse attained age 62; and
- The surviving spouse attains age 62 prior to the date the Employee would have attained age 55 had he lived.
- Commencement and Amount. The Qualified Pre-retirement Survivor Benefit under this Article 8.3.4 will become payable on the later of the first of the month following the Employee’s death, or the first of the month following the month in which the Primary Pre-retirement Survivor Benefit terminated because the surviving spouse attained age 62. The Qualified Pre-retirement Survivor Benefit will be computed:
- As though the Employee separated from service on the date of death, or the date last worked in Covered Service, if earlier; and
- Based upon the Early Retirement Income the Employee would have been eligible to receive under Article 4.2.1, 4.2.2 or 4.2.3 had he lived to age 55, but reduced one-half (1/2) of one (1) percent (.50%) per month for each month the Qualified Pre-retirement Survivor Benefit is paid prior to the month the Employee would have attained age 55; and
- As though the Employee retired with a 50% Joint and Survivor Benefit on the day before commencement of the benefits under this Article 8.3.4.
Upon the death, prior to retirement, of an Employee who is vested but who has not yet qualified for Early Retirement, a single Lump Sum Death Benefit of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) shall be payable to the surviving eligible beneficiary or beneficiaries, if any, of that Employee; provided, however, that no benefit shall be payable under this Article 8.4, if any benefits are payable upon the Employee's death under Articles 8.2 or 8.3, or if the Employee was receiving Disability Retirement Income at the time of death.
If the pre-retirement death benefit payable under Articles 8.2 or 8.3 has a Lump Sum Present Value of $5,000 or less, the Trustees, in their sole discretion, may elect to pay the benefit out in a Lump Sum Cash Payment to the spouse or other eligible beneficiary of the deceased Employee and written rejection of a monthly benefit shall not be required; provided that in the case of a beneficiary who is the spouse, no distribution may be made after the Annuity Starting Date unless the spouse consents in writing to the distribution in the manner provided by law.
See All the Plan Rules and Forms Related to Events in Your Life