(a) Should a member in either an active or inactive status die prior to actual retirement, his accumulated contributions plus interest to the date of death shall be paid to his survivors as provided in this section. Should a retired member die before the annuity paid equals the amount of his retirement contributions plus interest accumulated to his retirement date, the difference shall be paid.
(b) Under regulations prescribed by the Board, a member may designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries for the purpose of this section.
(c) Benefits authorized under subsections (a), (b), (e) and (f) of this section shall be paid to the person or persons surviving the member in the following order of precedence:
(1) to the beneficiary or beneficiaries designated by the member in a signed and witnessed writing received by the board before his death;
(2) if not the above, to the widow, or widower, of the member;
(3) if neither of the above, to the child or children of the member and descendants of deceased children by representation;
(4) if none of the above, to the parents of the member or the survivor of them;
(5) if none of the above, to the next of kin as the board determines entitled;
(6) if none of the above, the duly appointed executor or administrator of the estate of the member.
(d) Should an active member die before retirement, but after attaining eligibility for retirement, but after attaining eligibility for retirement under 7.1441 leaving a surviving spouse, the surviving spouse, if eligible, may elect to receive either the death benefits provided under this section or a life annuity payable from the Fund in an amount equal to one-half the retirement annuity that otherwise would have been payable to the deceased member had he retired on the date of his death. Should the surviving spouse die before the total of annuity payments made equals the amount of the member’s accumulated contributions and interest at his death, the difference is paid to the duly appointed executor or administrator of the estate of the spouse.
(e) In addition to benefits payable under subsections (a) or (d) above, a death benefit will be paid to the person or persons surviving a member who dies while on active status as follows in accordance with subsection (c) of this section:
(1) a benefit of $2,500.00 upon the death of a member with less than five years of service;
(2) a benefit of $5,000.00 upon the death of a member with at least of five years, but less than ten years of service;
(3) a benefit of $10,000.00 upon the death of a member with ten or more years of service.
(f) Upon the death of a retired member, a benefit of $1,500.00 shall be paid to the survivors of the retired member in accordance with subsection (c) of this section. This benefit is in addition to other benefits provided for in this chapter. Payment of benefits bars recovery by any other person.
(g) Death benefits shall not be paid for deaths by suicide, nor may they be paid to a potential beneficiary of a member who has been charged with and is subsequently convicted of the homicide of that member. Payment of benefits bars recovery by any other person.History: 1971, PL 12-29 § 25;amd 1981, PL 17-28 § 9; 1992, PL 22-25 § 1; 1996, PL 24-12; amd 1999, PL 26-10.