When you apply to receive monthly retirement or disability benefits, you will have to decide whether you want to choose single-life or survivor coverage. Your choice will affect your monthly retirement benefit. You can name a single or multiple survivors to receive a monthly payment after your death.
Here is a comparison of the benefit options to choose from:
Comparison of Retirement Benefit Options - all plans except Judges and Legislators
Who can be named as your survivor?
Anyone can be named as your survivor; however, if you choose a non-spouse survivor:
Your survivor's age may limit the survivor options available to you.
Your spouse must agree to waive his/her survivor coverage. This is done when the spouse signs the application for retirement (in the presence of a notary) acknowledging your choice of survivor.
Once payments begin, you cannot change your survivor option or the person(s) you elect to cover.
Joint-and-Survivor options automatically have a bounce-back feature. If you are predeceased by your survivor, your monthly payment reverts to the single-life benefit amount. Exception: Those covered under the Judges Retirement Plan can choose whether or not to include a bounce-back feature.