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What Are Your Survivor Options at Retirement?

At the time of your application for retirement, you will be asked to choose a survivor option. The options available to you will depend on your spousal status on the date your retirement pension starts.

In all cases, your lifetime pension continues for the rest of your life, whether you live 5 or 50 years after you retire. Upon your death, benefits may be payable to your spouse, beneficiary, dependent children, or estate, depending on the form of pension you were receiving.

Here are the forms of pension payable and your available options under the Plan:

If you have a spouse at retirement:

  • Normal Form of Pension
  • You will receive a lifetime pension, with a 60-month guarantee. After your death, your spouse will first continue to receive your full lifetime pension for the balance of the 60-month guarantee period, if applicable. Then your spouse will receive a lifetime pension equal to 66⅔% of the amount of your lifetime pension at the time of your death.

  • Optional Form of Pension
  • As an option, you may choose to have your spouse receive, after your death, a lifetime pension equal to 75% of your lifetime pension, rather than the normal 66⅔%. If you select this option, a small reduction will be made to your lifetime monthly pension to reflect the higher value of the 75% option.

  • The spousal rules described above will not apply if your spouse waives his or her right to a survivor pension in a manner permitted under pension legislation.

If you do not have a spouse at retirement:

  • Normal Form of Pension
  • In this situation, your spousal status is considered by the Plan as “single.” You will receive a lifetime pension, which is guaranteed for at least 60 months. This means that if you die before 60 monthly payments have been made by the Plan, your designated beneficiary will receive the remaining lifetime payments in the 60-month guarantee period. If you have not named a beneficiary, the lump sum commuted value of any payments remaining in the guarantee period will be paid instead to your estate.
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  • Optional Form of Pension
  • You may choose a guarantee period of 120 months, rather than the normal guarantee period of 60 months. If you select this option, a small reduction will be made to your lifetime monthly pension to reflect the higher value of the longer guarantee period.

  • These options may also apply if you have a spouse at retirement and he or she waives the right to a survivor pension in a manner permitted under pension legislation.


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