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Survivor Benefits

Survivor benefits are available for actively employed members. Transferred members working for a reciprocal system are treated as actively employed members.  Several options may be available to your designated beneficiary in the event of your death before retirement. In all cases, your contributions plus interest can be distributed to your designated beneficiary. Regardless of whom you have nominated on your Beneficiary Designation form, a spouse/state registered domestic partner or minor child(ren) override any beneficiary designation you have made and will determine your eligible beneficiary.

Normal survivor benefits for active members

The member's beneficiary will be entitled to a death benefit equal to accrued contributions plus accumulated interest and a lump sum payment from the employer equal to one month of final salary for each year of service completed, to a maximum of six years.

Alternate survivor benefits for active members

Under specific circumstances, the eligible beneficiary may choose an alternative form of the survivor benefit. The available options will depend upon the member's age and accrued service at the time of death, and the circumstances of the member's death. Contact SCERA for more information.

Death benefits for deferred members

The member's beneficiary will be entitled to a return of contributions plus accumulated interest.  Unlike active members, the designated beneficiary is entitled to the death benefits even if there is a spouse or minor child.  Please be sure to keep the beneficiary information up-to-date.

Death benefits after retirement

Upon the death of the retiree, payment of any continuance of benefits or refund of contributions is determined by the Benefit Payment Option selected by the member at retirement.