When you apply to receive monthly retirement or disability benefits, you will have to decide whether you want to choose single-life or survivor coverage. Your choice will affect your monthly retirement benefit. You can name a single or multiple survivors to receive a monthly payment after your death.

Here is a comparison of the benefit options to choose from:

Who can be named as your survivor?

Anyone can be named as your survivor; however, if you choose a non-spouse survivor:

  • Your survivor's age may limit the survivor options available to you.

  • Your spouse must agree to waive his/her survivor coverage. This is done when the spouse signs the application for retirement (in the presence of a notary) acknowledging your choice of survivor.

Once payments begin, you cannot change your survivor option or the person(s) you elect to cover.


Bounce-back feature

Joint-and-Survivor options automatically have a bounce-back feature. If you are predeceased by your survivor, your monthly payment reverts to the single-life benefit amount. Exception: Those covered under the Judges Retirement Plan can choose whether or not to include a bounce-back feature.


Accelerated Benefit Option - Correctional Plan Only

You can choose an accelerated payment, which temporarily increases your monthly benefit until age 62 or 65. You receive a higher benefit until you reach the age you choose. Then your benefit is recomputed to a lower, permanent amount to cover the remaining years of retirement.



  • Review the pension plan handbook for your specific plan (available to view or download at Forms & Documents). 
    Exception: There is no plan handbook for the Legislators Plan.

  • See Your Guide to Retirement brochure (pdf)

  • Contact the MSRS Service Center at 651-296-2761 or 1-800-657-5757.