Beneficiary & Survivor Benefits

Surviving spouse coverage
If you die while serving, or leave the bench but maintain a deferred benefit, your surviving spouse is eligible for a benefit. This monthly payment is equal to 60% of the full retirement benefit you earned as of the date of death, or equal to 25% of your high-five salary, whichever is larger. Your spouse is automatically the beneficiary for this survivor benefit.

If you are at least 60 and have five or more years of service as a judge and die, your spouse is eligible for the Joint-and-Survivor 100% benefit.


Dependent child
If you have no spouse, but do have a dependent child or children, then payment of the survivor benefit is paid to the children's guardian, or the child or children.

Payment continues to your dependent child until age 18, or age 22 if the child is a full-time student. For more information, call MSRS at 1-800-657-5757.

No surviving spouse or child benefit payable
If you have no surviving spouse or dependent children, then your beneficiary, or if none, your estate, receives a lump-sum refund of your deductions plus 6% interest compounded annually to June 30, 2011 and 4% after that.  To name a beneficiary, please complete a Beneficiary Designation form.
 A beneficiary designation is effective upon receipt by MSRS and supersedes all prior designations. A valid beneficiary designation must be on file with MSRS prior to your death.