If a participant becomes disabled prior to their early retirement date and while still an employee, they will be eligible for a disability benefit. The benefit can start as soon as the Human Resources office and/or Benefits Committee approve a certification by an approved physician stating the reason for disability. Payments will equal the accrued benefit calculated as of the termination date and will be reduced to allow for the early retirement factor. (If a separate disability benefit is offered by the participant’s conference, it may be advisable to use the conference benefit. This would preserve the pension as a normal retirement benefit.)
Death Benefit Before Retirement
If a participant dies before retirement benefit payments begin, the designated beneficiary will have the following options:
- A monthly benefit beginning at the participant’s earliest retirement age – this benefit would be calculated as if the participant had retired and chosen the option that provides a joint and one-half to survivor income. This income would continue through the survivor’s lifetime.
- A payment of the lump-sum actuarial equivalent – this benefit would be calculated using the participant’s date of death, as if the participant had retired and chosen the option that provides a joint and one-half to survivor income.
Death Benefit After Retirement
If a participant dies after retirement benefit payments begin, a $2,000 lump-sum death benefit will be payable to the surviving designated beneficiary or participant’s estate upon the participant’s death. This is in addition to any benefits payable in the form of the monthly benefit option that was selected at retirement.
To claim a death or disability benefit, or for more information, contact Human Resources at (800) 342-5531.