Beneficiary & Survivor Benefits

If you die before you retire

Surviving spouse coverage

If you die while serving as a legislator, your surviving spouse is eligible for a monthly survivor benefit. Payment to your spouse begins the month following your death.

  • If you die under age 60, your spouse will receive 50% the retirement benefit amount you earned as of the date of death. This survivor benefit is payable regardless of your survivor's age. The minimum survivor benefit assumes you had eight years of legislative service.

  • If you die at age 60 or over, your surviving spouse is entitled to receive the 100% Joint and Survivor Benefit Option if it is higher than the minimum survivor benefit.

Dependent child coverage
If you have no spouse, but 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 of an accredited school. The oldest dependent child is entitled to 25% of your monthly benefit earned at the date of death, and each additional child receives 12.5% of your monthly benefits.

The maximum family benefit is 100% of the monthly benefit you would have been eligible for full retirement at the date of your death.

No surviving spouse or dependent child
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.


If you die after you retire with no surviving spouse
If you are retired, did not have a surviving spouse and die, your monthly payments stop. If a balance remains in your account, it is paid, as follows: to beneficiary, then spouse, then children in equal shares, then parents in equal shares, then estate.