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 so 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. Please also be aware of the issues related to divorced spouses contained under article 35 bis of the Regulations and Rules.
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 and your spouse’s payment instructions on form PENS.E/2. 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.
Supposing I become very ill and I am unable to manage my own affairs/sign my Certificate of Entitlement etc. What happens to my benefit? What do my family members/friends have to do?
If you are unable to sign your Certificate of Entitlement due to ill health the UNJSPF would need a medical certificate or statement on official stationary from your treating physician to that effect, indicating the nature of your medical condition. If you were no longer able to take care of your financial affairs, the UNJSPF would need the documents regarding a court appointed guardian who would sign UNJSPF documents on your behalf. Please note that the Fund does not recognize a “power of attorney”.
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 that 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.