Survivor Benefits

If You Die Before Retirement

If you are married and you die before you retire, your spouse will receive a preretirement surviving spouse benefit and the remaining portion will be paid as a death benefit from this Plan.

Preretirement Surviving Spouse Benefit

If you are married and die before your benefit payments begin, your spouse, by law, is entitled to a Preretirement Surviving Spouse Benefit. The Preretirement Surviving Spouse Benefit is a monthly annuity for your spouse’s lifetime that is the actuarial equivalent of not less than 50% of your Accumulated Share determined on the date of your death.

If the value of the Preretirement Surviving Spouse Benefit is greater than $5,000, the benefit will be provided through the purchase of an annuity contract from an insurance company unless your surviving spouse rejects payment in the form of a survivor annuity and chooses one of the following alternate forms of payment:

  • a single lump sum payment;
  • monthly installments for up to 120 months, until your Accumulated Share is exhausted; or
  • a combination of a lump sum payment and monthly installments.

If the value of the Preretirement Surviving Spouse Benefit is $5,000 or less, your surviving spouse will be paid in a single lump sum. The Preretirement Surviving Spouse Benefit is payable to your surviving spouse at any time after your death. (However, your surviving spouse may not postpone the start of benefit payments beyond the April 1st following the calendar year in which you would have reached age 701/2.) Before the Plan can pay the benefit, your surviving spouse must submit an application that includes all information required to process the claim.

Your spouse should contact the Fund Office at 301-731-1050 as soon as possible to avoid any delay in beginning the surviving spouse benefit.

Waiving the Preretirement Surviving Spouse Benefit

If you are married and you wish to designate someone other than your spouse to receive more than 50% of your Accumulated Share upon your death, you and your spouse must complete both a Waiver of Preretirement Surviving Spouse Benefit and Designation of Beneficiary Form, and your signatures must be witnessed by a Notary Public. The Waiver of Preretirement Surviving Spouse Benefit and Designation of Beneficiary Form contains an explanation of your spouse’s right to at least 50% of your benefit, payable in the form of a lifetime annuity. It also explains that the effect of the consent is to give up this survivor protection. In the form, you must disclose which of the optional forms of benefit payment you have elected and/or the name of your designated beneficiary. Your spouse may waive the right to consent to any change of beneficiary. To be valid, the form must be submitted to the Fund Office prior to the date of your death.

Death Benefit (Before Retirement)

If you die before you begin to receive your benefits from this Plan and you are not married, your entire Individual Account will be paid to your beneficiary (or beneficiaries). Your beneficiary may elect to receive his or her Death Benefit as:

  • a single lump sum;
  • monthly installments for up to 120 months, until your Accumulated Share is exhausted (only available if the value of the Death Benefit is greater than $5,000); or
  • a combination of a lump sum payment and monthly installments (onlyavailable if the value of the Death Benefit is greater than $5,000).

If you die before you begin to receive your benefits from this Plan and you are married on the date of your death, 50% of your Accumulated Share will be used to provide your surviving spouse with a Preretirement Surviving Spouse Benefit (unless you and your spouse submit a waiver prior to your death as described above) and the remaining portion will be paid to your beneficiary as a Death Benefit.

If your spouse is your designated beneficiary for your entire Individual Account, he or she may elect to use the entire Accumulated Share to purchase an annuity contract from an insurance company.

If You Do Not Name a Beneficiary

If you fail to name a beneficiary or your designated beneficiary is not living on the date of your death, any death benefit will be payable in the following order:

  • first, to your designated beneficiary under the Electrical Workers Local No. 26 Pension Trust Fund, if any,
  • second, to your designated beneficiary under the Electrical Welfare Trust Fund, if any;
  • third, to your spouse as of the date of your death if any;
  • fourth, in equal shares to your surviving children, if any;
  • fifth, in equal shares to your surviving natural parents, if any; or
  • sixth, to your estate.