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Death

Notification of death

If you need to inform the Fund about the death of a retiree or a beneficiary, please send an email to unjspf-deathrelated@un.org providing the following information:

a) The deceased’s full name;
b) The deceased’s date of birth;
c) The date of death (day/month/year);
d) The deceased’s Pension Fund reference number (UNJSPF Unique ID or Retirement number), if known;
e) The deceased’s official mailing address;

If possible, kindly also include:
f) Contact details for the surviving family;
g) An original or a certified copy of the deceased’s death certificate (which should be sent to the Fund as soon as possible);
h) Any additional information that could be helpful.

Please note that ONLY emails that report the death of a retiree or beneficiary of the UNJSPF will be answered at the above email address.

Alternatively, you may contact us at any of the phone numbers and addresses provided in our Contact Us page or submit a message using the Contact Form available on the same page.

Survivor's benefit

Widow(er)'s benefit

(a) Participant died in service → widow(er) benefit is payable if the surviving spouse was married to him/her at the time of death. 

(b) Death of a retiree/beneficiary → widow(er) benefit is payable if:

  • the deceased was entitled to a retirement, early retirement, deferred retirement or disability benefit at the date of his/her death
  • spouse was married to him/her at the date of separation from service
  • spouse remained married to him/her until his/her death. 

Check the Survivor's benefit page for more info.

Divorced surviving spouse’s benefit

Survivor’s benefit is payable if:

  • the deceased died in service or was entitled to a retirement, early retirement, deferred retirement or disability benefit at the date of his/her death
  • the couple was married for a continuous period of at least ten years during which contributions were paid to the participant’s UNJSPF account
  • death occurred within 15 years of the final divorce, unless the participant was under obligation to pay spousal maintenance
  • former spouse is at least 40 years old
  • there was no renouncement of UNJSPF pension benefit entitlements

Check the Survivor's benefit page for more info.

Marriage after separation from service

There is no eligibility for a widow(er) benefit unless the retiree (or the recipient of a disability benefit) has elected to purchase annuity within one year of the marriage.

Check the Survivor's benefit page for more info.

Child's benefit

(a) Participant died in service → child benefit is payable if the child is under the age of 21 at the time of the death. 

(b) Death of retiree/beneficiary → child benefit is payable if:

  • the deceased was entitled to a normal retirement, early retirement or disability benefit
  • the child is under the age of 21 at the time of the death.

(c) Disabled child benefit → If the child is disabled, a monthly benefit may be payable also after the age of 21.

Check the Child's benefits page for more info.

Secondary dependent

Benefit is payable to one surviving secondary dependent if:

  • the deceased died in service or was entitled to a retirement, early retirement, deferred retirement (does not apply in the case of brother/sister) or disability benefit at the date of his/her death
  • no other survivor’s benefit is payable.

Check the Secondary Dependent page for more info.

Payment to a designated beneficiary

Participant died in service → if there is no survivor’s benefit payable, the Pension Fund will make payment of a residual settlement to the person/institution designated as a recipient by the participant on the Pension Fund’s A/2 Form.

Death of retiree/beneficiary → residual settlement is payable to the person/institution designated as a recipient by the participant/retiree/beneficiary on the Pension Fund’s PENS.A/2 Form only if:

  • there is no survivor’s benefit payable
  • the retiree has not elected to be paid the maximum lump-sum commutation of the pension benefit allowed
  • the total amount of the benefits paid to and on account of the late retiree/beneficiary (including any survivor’s benefit) is less than the late retiree’s/beneficiary’s own contributions to the Pension Fund

Check the Residual Settlement page for more info.

Payment to estate

A residual settlement will be paid to the estate of the late participant/retiree/beneficiary if:

  • there is no survivor’s benefit payable;
  • there is no duly completed, dated and signed Pension Fund PENS.A/2 Form in the Fund’s records;
  • the total amount of the benefits paid to and on account of the late participant/retiree/beneficiary (including any survivor’s benefit) is less than the late participant’s or retiree’s own contributions to the Pension Fund.

Check the Residual Settlement page for more info.

FAQs

What happens if die? How should my survivors inform the Fund?

Upon the death of a retiree or a participant, a family member or other representative must notify the Fund as soon as possible and provide a certified copy of the official death certificate. The Fund will then determine what survivor’s benefits are payable.

A late notification of the death of a retiree receiving benefit payments can lead to an overpayment which will be recovered by the Fund from the retiree’s estate or from benefits payable to his/her survivors.

Check the Survivor's benefits page for more info.

What benefit would my spouse obtain in the event of my death?

If you were married to your spouse at the time you separated from service and remained married until your death, your spouse would be eligible for a survivor’s benefit from the UNJSPF. The benefit would be payable at the standard annual rate of half the retirement, early retirement or disability benefit including such part that may have been commuted into a lump sum. If you die before payment of a deferred retirement benefit starts, your surviving spouse’s benefit will begin immediately and will be half the value of your benefit at the time of your death. If you marry/remarry after your separation from service, a benefit would only be payable to your spouse if you had purchased an annuity from the UNJSPF. 

Check the Survivor's benefit page for more info.

In the event of my death how long would it take for my spouse to obtain a benefit?

The UNJSPF ensures that on the death of a beneficiary the review of the file is undertaken as a priority to determine what survivor’s benefits, if any, are applicable. It is very important for the UNJSPF to obtain a certified copy of the death certificate, your spouse’s payment instructions on form PENS.E/2 and a copy of a government-issued ID. Additionally, if a survivor’s benefit is due, the UNJSPF must ensure that it has copies of the marriage certificate, the birth certificate and a verified signature of the spouse. We recommend that you submit these documents as well as the birth certificates of your children under the age of 21 at the time of separation so that the survivor’s benefit can be expedited at the time of your death.

Check the Survivor's benefit page for more info.

I want to make sure that my spouse / child(ren) will be receiving a benefit. What do I need to do?

If you are still in service of a member organization of the Fund, please take the following steps:

  1. Ensure that you correctly report your date of birth, personal status and number of children to your employing organization, and verify that your pension annual statement, as distributed each year, accurately reflects this information. If it does not, you should provide the correct information to your employing organization (HR Office), which should, in turn, report the information to the Fund. Please note that after the date of your separation from service you will not be allowed to request changes to your prospective beneficiaries; your date of birth; and the date(s) of birth of your prospective beneficiaries, as reported during your service.
  2. Ensure that your prospective survivor(s) is aware that, in the event that you predecease that survivor, the Fund will need an original death certificate (e. not a medical certificate) or a certified copy of the death certificate as issued by local authorities, and an original, duly completed, signed and verified payment instruction form.
  3. Ensure that your spouse(s) or other prospective survivor(s) have available copies of all relevant birth certificates (e. for you, for themselves and for each child under age 21); copies of any relevant marriage certificates and/or divorce decrees should also be available.

Remember, after the date of your separation from service you will not be allowed to request changes to your prospective beneficiaries, your date of birth, or the date(s) of birth of your prospective beneficiaries.

If you have separated from the service of a member organization of the Fund, and did not elect a withdrawal settlement, please provide the Fund with the following documents:

  1. a copy of your Birth Certificate or valid passport;
  2. a copy of your valid photo ID document (g. Passport or other official, government issued photo ID, carrying your names, date of birth and signature – the “UN Laisser Passer” is NOT a valid ID document);
  3. a copy of your marriage certificate/s;
  4. a copy of your divorce decree/s;
  5. a copy of the birth certificate/s or valid passport of your current and/or former spouse/s (or copy of his/her valid passport or other official, government issued photo ID);
  6. a copy of the spouse’s official, government issued photo ID;
  7. a copy of the birth certificate(s) of your child(ren) under 21 years of age;
  8. a copy of death certificate(s) for spouse(s), ex-spouse(s), child(ren), if applicable.

The Fund encourages former participants to send all the above listed documents well in advance in order to expedite the processing of survivors’ benefits.

Ensure that your prospective survivor(s) is aware that, in the event that you predecease that survivor, the Fund will need an original death certificate (i.e. not a medical certificate) or a certified copy of the death certificate as issued by local authorities, and an original, duly completed, signed and verified payment instruction form.

Would my family members be eligible for a residual settlement in the event of my death?

A residual settlement is not payable if a surviving spouse, child[ren] or a secondary dependent is entitled to a benefit. A residual settlement is only payable if upon your death the total amount of benefits paid to you and your survivors (if there were any) is less than the amount of your own contributions to the Fund. In such an event, the difference would be paid to the person designated by you on form PENS.A/2. If no one is designated before your death or should the person designated die first, the settlement would be paid to your estate. This situation would not occur if you exercised the option for a lump-sum commutation and reduced benefit.

What happens with my pension when I die if I was never married and have no children, or if none of my survivors is eligible for a survivor’s benefit from the Fund?
If a participant dies in service or prior to being paid a pension benefit
If there is a benefit payable to the participant’s widow(er), divorced surviving spouse, children or secondary dependants no other payments are due under the Fund’s Regulations.

If there is no survivor’s benefit payable to his/her widow(er), divorced surviving spouse, children or secondary dependants, the Fund will make a payment to the person(s) or institution(s) of his/her choice as indicated on the latest signed and dated original “Designation of Recipient of a Residual Settlement” form (PENS.A/2 Form), which he/she submitted to the Fund. This payment, which will consist of all his/her contributions plus interest, is called a residual settlement, and is paid as a onetime lump sum payment (see Article 38 of the Fund’s Regulations).

If there is no duly filled out, dated and signed Pension Fund PENS.A/2 Form in the Fund’s records, an amount will be paid to the late participant’s estate as a residual settlement.

If a beneficiary dies when already in receipt of a periodic benefit
If there is a benefit payable to the participant/retiree’s widow(er), divorced surviving spouse, children or secondary dependants no other payments are due under the Fund’s Regulations.

Furthermore, in the case of a retiree’s death, there will not be a residual settlement payment due to his/her estate if he/she had elected to be paid, upon separation from service, the maximum lump-sum commutation of the benefit allowed (equivalent to the greater of the actuarial equivalent of 1/3 of the benefit or total contributions with compound interest), and the balance as a reduced monthly pension.

However, if there is no survivor’s benefit payable to the participant/retiree’s widow(er), divorced surviving spouse, children or secondary dependents, and, in the case of a retiree, he/she has not elected to be paid, upon separation from service, the maximum lump-sum commutation of the benefit allowed, the Fund will examine whether there is entitlement to payment of a residual settlement. A residual settlement is payable only if the total amount of the benefits paid to and on account of the late participant/retiree (including any survivor’s benefit) is less than the late participant/retiree’s own contributions to the Fund. In that event, the difference would be paid to the person(s) and/or institution(s) designated as a recipient by the late participant or retiree on the Pension Fund’s PENS.A/2 Form.

If there is no duly filled out, dated and signed Pension Fund PENS.A/2 Form in the Fund’s records, an amount will be paid to the late participant/retiree’s estate as a residual settlement.
What should I do if my spouse or dependent child dies?

You must notify the Fund as soon as possible and provide a death certificate so that your family situation can be updated in your Pension Fund records and appropriate action can be taken.

How do I designate prospective beneficiaries of a residual settlement and what is the A2 form?
Everyone should complete the Designation of Recipient of a Residual Settlement, PENS.A/2 form to assure a residual settlement is paid as a one-time lump-sum to the person or institution you chose if you should die in service or after service. The Fund will make such a payment if:
  • You have no prospective survivors (meaning a spouse, ex-spouse, a child under the age of 21, a disabled child, or a secondary dependent) at the time of your death in service or after service; and
  • In the case of death after service, you did not elect to be paid the maximum lump-sum commutation of the benefit allowed, and the total amount of the benefit paid to you or to your survivors is less than your own contributions to the Fund.
In these cases, the Fund pays a residual settlement to your designated beneficiary at the time of your death. The benefit is equivalent to your own contributions to the Fund with compound interest, minus any payments already made to you or your respective survivor(s). The residual settlement is payable to the person or institution designated on your A2 form.
 
If there is no duly filled out, dated and signed A2 Form in the Fund’s records, an amount will be paid to the late participant’s/retiree’s estate as a residual settlement. For more information, check out our comprehensive Legal Guardianship and Estate page.
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