Survivor Benefits

Death After Retirement

At retirement, you elected a benefit payment option on your Retirement Application.  This election determines whether or not a benefit will be paid to anyone after your death.  The payment option you selected cannot be changed after your effective date of retirement, except under certain circumstances (see Designation of New Spouse for Survivor Option).

Survivor benefit payments begin the first of the month following your date of death; however, they are not automatic.  Each eligible benefit recipient must submit a Survivor Application with required documentation.

Pop-Up Provision

If you elected the Joint & 50% Survivor option or the Joint & 100% Survivor option at retirement, and your eligible spouse precedes you in death, your benefit will revert back (pop-up) to the Life Income Annuity amount.  The effective date of the pop-up will be the first of the month following your spouse’s date of death.  The pop-up is not automatic; you must complete a Pop-Up Application and provide MPERS with a copy of your spouse’s death certificate before your benefit will be adjusted.

Designation of New Spouse for Survivor Options

Generally speaking, your benefit payment option cannot be changed after the first retirement benefit payment has been mailed or electronically transferred by MPERS; however, there are two circumstances under which you may reelect your benefit payment option:

  • If you were single at retirement and elected the Life Income Annuity option (not eligible to elect a joint and survivor option), you may change your benefit option of you later marry.  You will have one year from your date of marriage to submit a Designation of New Spouse form to elect one of the joint and survivor options and name your new spouse as the beneficiary.
  • If you elected one of the joint and survivor options on your Retirement Application and your spouse dies, you will be allowed to provide a survivor benefit for your new spouse if you remarry.  You will have one year from your date of marriage to submit a Designation of New Spouse form to reelect one of the joint and survivor options and name your new spouse as the beneficiary.