Pre-Retirement Spouse Benefit
As of August 23, 1984, if you die before receiving a NEBF benefit, your spouse may be eligible for a Pre-Retirement Spouse Benefit. The earliest your spouse may begin receiving this benefit is the month following when you would have first been eligible for any NEBF benefit type.
Your spouse is eligible for a Pre-Retirement Spouse Benefit if you met the following requirements at the time of your death:
- You were Vested, and
- You worked at least one hour in Covered Employment on or after September 1, 1974, and
- You were married to your spouse for the one-year period prior to your death.
The Pre-Retirement Spouse Benefit is based on the benefit amount you would have received when you became eligible for any NEBF benefit type. It is paid as the Survivor Benefit of the Joint and Survivor Option and will be 50% of the amount of the benefit you would have received.
When your spouse applies for this benefit, NEBF understands that your death will be a difficult time for your spouse, family and friends. A Pension Services Representative will be available to help your spouse with any questions about a Pre-Retirement Spouse Benefit and determine if and when your spouse should apply for a benefit. Keep in mind that your spouse will not be eligible for a Pre-Retirement Spouse Benefit until you would have been eligible to receive a benefit had you survived.
To apply for a Pre-Retirement Spouse Benefit, your spouse must complete and submit an application. If NEBF is aware of your marriage, an application will be mailed to your spouse at the appropriate time after NEBF is notified of your death. Your spouse may also obtain an application by contacting the NEBF office. When your spouse contacts the NEBF office to request an application, we will need your full name, your Social Security number, and your spouse's current mailing address.
When your spouse submits an application for a benefit, the following documents are required:
- A copy of your spouse's birth certificate. If your spouse does not have a birth certificate, one can be requested from the state or country where your spouse was born, and
- A copy of your spouse's Social Security card, and
- If your spouse has ever used a different name, your spouse will need to submit documentation supporting the change in their name (for example: adoption papers or a court order).
Your spouse must also submit the following documents for you:
- A copy of your marriage certificate, and
- A copy of your birth certificate, and
- If you have ever used a different name, your spouse will need to submit documentation supporting the change in your name (for example: adoption papers or a court order).
If you have ever divorced, Federal law provides that a former spouse may have a right to receive some portion of a Participant's benefit. Therefore, your spouse will need to submit the following documents for you:
- Complete copies of all of your signed divorce decrees, and
- Any Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), or
- Any marital settlement agreements, or
- Any other relevant information.
The Effective Date of your spouse's Pre-Retirement Spouse Benefit will be the month following the month in which you would have been first eligible for any NEBF benefit type.