Types of Retiree Death Benefits

Retirees can name beneficiaries for the following benefits payable upon the retiree’s death:  

  • A continuance payment. The value is based on the retirement option you nominated at retirement.  
  • A one-time lump-sum death benefit. This benefit is vested. Currently, the maximum benefit provided is $1,000.  
  • Any retirement allowance earned but not yet paid to the retiree at the time of the retiree’s death. This benefit is pro-rated to cover the amount payable for the portion of the month prior to the retiree’s death.  
  • A refund of excess contributions. This benefit is provided if the total payments made to the beneficiary are less than the retiree’s contributions and interest on deposit with ACERA. This is not paid out if the beneficiary receives a continuance.
  • A refund of prepaid health payments that will not be used. If a member’s check is not large enough to cover health care premiums, in some instances he/she may be paying ACERA two months in advance for the cost of those premiums. The beneficiary will receive a refund of any payment not used. These benefits are taxable. Beneficiaries will receive Form 1099® for income reporting purposes.