A survivor is the person who will receive a monthly retirement benefit if your death occurs after you begin collecting a retirement or disability benefit and chose a Joint-and-Survivor or Life Income, 15-Year Certain option.

If your death occurs after you begin collecting a retirement benefit, your designated beneficiary is no longer eligible for a refund of your account balance unless you chose the Single-Life benefit option at retirement.

If at retirement you chose:                                    Then the survivor you named on your application for retirement/disability will receive:
Joint-and-Survivor benefit option (50%, 75%, 100%)           
Monthly payments for the remainder of their life.
Contact MSRS for more detail.
Life Income, 15-Year Certain Option Monthly payments for the balance of the 15-year term. If you received benefits for more than 15 years, the survivor will not receive any monthly payments.
Single-Life Option Not applicable because you did not name a survivor. Instead, any remaining account balance will be paid to your named beneficiaries or by law.

To learn more, see Retirement Benefit Options.

Who can you name as your survivor
Typically your spouse is the survivor; however, you can name anyone as your survivor, provided your spouse agrees in writing on the application for retirement to waive their survivor benefit.

You can change your benefit option or named survivor up to 30 days after the date your retirement benefit begins. After that you may not change the survivor option election.


If your named survivor predeceases you
It is important to notify MSRS of your survivor's death so we can adjust your monthly benefit, if necessary.

If you choose . . . Then your . . .
Joint-and-Survivor benefit option                     monthly retirement benefit will increase to the Single-Life benefit amount. You cannot add another survivor to your account. Contact MSRS for more detail.
 Life Income, 15-Year Certain survivor's death has no impact on your benefit. You can name another beneficiary to receive payments if you die before receiving payments for 15 years.