Upon the death of a retiree or beneficiary, a family member or other representative must notify the Fund as soon as possible and provide a certified copy of the retiree’s 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 overpayments that will need to be recovered from the retiree’s estate or from benefits payable to his/her survivors. Click here for more information about Survivor’s Benefits.
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 dependants, 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.
A benefit may be payable to a surviving spouse of a retiree who was entitled to a retirement, early retirement, deferred retirement or disability benefit if the surviving spouse was married to the retiree at the date of separation of service and remained married to him/her until the date of death. In general the amount of the benefit is equivalent to half of the full retirement, early retirement or disability benefit payable to a participant or retiree at the time of his/her death. (see Articles 34 and 35 of Fund’s Regulations and Rules).
Any child(ren)’s benefit(s) that were being paid while the retiree/beneficiary was receiving his/her benefit, will continue to be paid, as long as the child(ren) continue to be eligible for the benefit (see Article 36 of Fund’s Regulations and Rules).
If a staff member of a member organization of the Fund, who is a participant of the UNJSPF, dies in service, the surviving spouse will be entitled to a widow’s or widower’s benefit, as the case may be, under Articles 34 and 35 of the Fund’s Regulations. A child’s benefit, under Article 36 of the Fund’s Regulations is also payable to each child of the late staff member until the child reaches the age of 21. A monthly benefit may also be payable in respect of a disabled child who is more than 21 years old pursuant to Article 36(b) of the Fund’s Regulations and the conditions listed therein.
Furthermore also a divorced surviving spouse and a secondary dependant could be eligible for survivors’ benefit if they fulfill the requirements in Articles 35 bis(b) and 37 of the Fund’s Regulations respectively.
If you have separated from the service of a member organization and did not opt for a Withdrawal Settlement (which extinguishes all other rights to future benefits from the Fund), you are entitled to prospective survivor benefits. Firstly, before you retire, provide the Fund with a copy of your birth certificate or valid passport, a copy of your government issued photo ID, a copy of your marriage certificate(s), a copy of your divorce decree(s), a copy of the birth certificate or valid passport of your current and/or former spouse, a copy of your spouses’ government issued photo ID, a copy of the birth certificate(s) of your child(ren) under 21 years old, and a copy of death certificate(s) of your spouse(s), ex-spouse(s), or child(ren), if applicable. It is recommended that you also provide a copy of these documents to your prospective survivors so that the necessary documentation is available when the Fund processes the survivors’ benefits. Secondly, before you retire, verify that your pension annual statement (elsewhere referred to as “Pension Statement”) accurately reflects this information (and that your employing organization has reported your dependents accurately to the Fund). Lastly, ensure that your prospective survivor(s) are aware that if you die, the Fund will need to be notified as soon as possible and be provided with a certified copy of the death certificate and a payment instruction form (PI) from the prospective survivors as soon as possible.
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.