Death Before Retirement
In the event your death occurs before retirement, the STRP will provide a death benefit equal to the commuted value of the pension benefit you earned to the date of death. Any excess contributions determined under the 50 percent excess test will be included in this benefit.
Please note, if you have less than one year of eligibility service, the death benefit will be your teacher contributions plus interest on your date of death, not the commuted value.
The death benefit may be available to your spouse and/or dependants following your death, depending on who is eligible. If no one is eligible, the survivor benefit will be paid to your designated beneficiary or estate. It is important to ensure your Beneficiary Designation form filed with the STRP is current.
Your eligible spouse on your date of death has first entitlement to the death benefits. This benefit will be paid as a lump sum. However, your spouse will have the option to receive a monthly spousal pension in lieu of the lump-sum payment, if:
- You have contributory service before July 1, 2015, and have at least 8 years of eligibility service, or
- You were eligible to retire on your date of death.
Your spouse is the person, at the date of your death:
- To whom you are legally married, or
- If you are not married, the person with whom you are living as spouses at the relevant time and who has been continuously living with you as your spouse for at least one year prior to your date of death.
Spouse May Waive Entitlement
Your spouse may waive entitlement to survivor benefits any time before your death by signing and returning a Spouse’s Waiver of Pre-Retirement Survivor Benefit form to the STRP. Your spouse may revoke this waiver any time before your death. Waiver forms are available from the STRP.
The rules regarding eligibility for and payment of death benefits to dependants are quite complex. Contact the STRP office for more information.
Designated Beneficiary or Estate
If there is no eligible spouse, or your spouse has waived their entitlement, and there are no required payments to eligible dependants at the time of death, the lump-sum death benefit will be paid to your designated beneficiaries, or your estate.