Payment Options Available
There are two options available for you to choose how to receive your benefit amount: Lifetime and Joint and Survivor. You must choose an option prior to receiving a benefit. To help you make your choice, the Pension Services Department will provide you with an explanation of the options available to you and your benefit amount for each option.
The option cannot be changed once you begin receiving a benefit. However, prior to receiving your first benefit amount, you may change the option chosen. You will need your spouse's consent if you change your option to the Lifetime Option.
In addition, prior to receiving your first benefit amount, your spouse can revoke his or her consent to the Lifetime Option.
Types of Options
- The Lifetime Option provides you with a monthly benefit for your lifetime only. At your death, no benefit is paid to your spouse.
Joint and Survivor Option
- The Joint and Survivor Option has two benefits – the 50% Joint and Survivor Option and the 75% Joint and Survivor Option. Both options provide you with a reduced monthly benefit for your lifetime. At your death, the Survivor Benefit provides your spouse with a lifetime monthly benefit that is 50% or 75% of the amount you were receiving.
When you choose the Joint and Survivor Option, you are really electing the Joint and Survivor Annuity Benefit. The Joint and Survivor Annuity Benefit provides you with a reduced monthly benefit for your lifetime and at your death provides your spouse with a further reduced monthly benefit for your spouse's lifetime.
In order to be eligible for the Joint and Survivor Annuity Benefit at the time you apply for a benefit, you must meet the following requirements:
- You have worked at least one hour in Covered Employment on or after September 1, 1974, and
- You and your spouse were married on or before the Effective Date of your benefit.
In addition, for your spouse to be eligible for the Survivor Benefit at your death, you and your spouse must have been married for at least a one-year period prior to your death.
Which options are available to you will depend on your marital status when you apply for a benefit.
Married- If you are married when you apply, you will receive your benefit as the Joint and Survivor Option unless you elect with your spouse's consent to receive your benefit as the Lifetime Option.
Not Married-If you are not married when you apply for a benefit, you will receive your benefit as the Lifetime Option.