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   Death Benefits Information  


Death Benefit

Your eligible survivors, beneficiaries, or estate may qualify for death benefits.

The survivor benefit is reduced by any amounts received under the Workers’ Compensation Act or Occupational Diseases Act.

Death Before Retirement

If you die while a legislator and have at least two years of service credit, your survivors will be eligible for the survivors’ benefit.

If you die after termination of service, but before receiving a retirement annuity, you must have at least four years of service credit for your spouse to qualify for the survivors’ benefit.

If you die while in active service with no qualified survivors, your named beneficiary or estate will receive your GARS contributions.


Death After Retirement

If you die with no qualified survivors while receiving a permanent disability benefit or after retirement, your named beneficiary or estate will receive your total contributions, less any benefits paid.


Your Surviving Spouse

If you are survived by your spouse age 50 or over, and were married for at least one year prior to your death, (s)he will receive a survivors’ benefit.

Your surviving spouse under age 50 can receive a survivors’ benefit if (s)he supports your unmarried children under age 18 (22 if full-time student), or a disabled child over age 18. This benefit is payable until the last child reaches age 18 (22 if full-time student), marries, dies or is no longer disabled.

If your spouse is under age 50, and has no eligible child (children) under his/her care, this benefit is suspended until (s)he reaches age 50. Remarriage is permitted without loss of benefits.


Your Surviving Children
If you are not survived by a spouse, but have children under age 18 (22 if full-time student), or a disabled child over age 18, they can receive a survivors’ benefit. Adopted children of at least six months prior to your death have the same status as your biological children.


Annual Survivor Increase

The survivor benefit is increased 3% on each January 1, following the first anniversary of the benefit. The minimum survivor benefit for any qualified survivor is $300 per month. This benefit is reduced by any amounts received under the Workers’ Compensation Act or Occupational Diseases Act.

Amount of Survivors’ Annuity
Death in Service
Death After Termination or Retirement
Spouse without eligible children
66 2/3% of earned retirement annuity, subject to minimum of 10% of salary
66 2/3% of earned retirement annuity
Spouse with eligible Children
30% of salary increased 10% of salary for each minor child, subject to a maximum of 50% of salary for a family, OR 66 2/3% of earned retirement annuity
75% of earned retirement annuity
Spouse with dependent disabled children
100% of earned retirement annuity.
100% of earned retirement annuity.
Children under age 18, (22 if a full-time student) of disabled children over age 18 when there is no eligible spouse.
20% of salary for each child, subject to a combined total payment of 50% of salary.
20% of salary for each child, subject to a combined total payment equal to 75% of member's earned retirement annuity.
Dependent, disabled children when there is no eligible spouse
100% of earned retirement annuity
100% of earned retirement annuity

Non-Occupational Death Benefit

Death Before Retirement
Death After Retirement
Your Surviving Spouse
Your Surviving Children
Annual Survivor Increase
Member/Retiree/Survivor Menu Page
General Assembly Handbook
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