PRE-RETIREMENT
SURVIVOR BENEFITS

Peace of mind

We all want to ensure that our loved ones have a measure of financial security if we aren’t around to care for them. As a TRA member, certain benefits are available to your survivor(s) if you die before retiring with TRA.

Benefits for your survivors
if you are married

A surviving spouse has precedence over any designated beneficiary.

VESTED IN THE TRA PLAN

Your surviving spouse may elect one of the following options:

  • An annuity payable monthly for the lifetime of your spouse. Payments end upon the death of your spouse, with no benefits remaining for other beneficiaries.
  • An annuity of five, 10, 15 or 20 years. The amount is based on a formula, your age at time of death, and the age of your spouse when benefits begin to accrue. Your employee contributions plus interest and contributions made on your behalf by your employer are used to provide the annuity.
  • A one-time, lump-sum payment.

You and your spouse may opt to waive your spouse’s benefits so that a designated beneficiary or beneficiaries will receive a lifetime survivor benefit. The beneficiary may be either your former spouse(s) or your biological or adopted child(ren). If a waiver is not filed with TRA, the annuity is payable only to the surviving spouse.

NOT VESTED IN THE TRA PLAN

Your spouse is entitled to a lump-sum death benefit equal to your accumulated contributions plus interest to the date of death. Interest is compounded annually with the rate determined by your last day of employment.  Contributions made by your employer are not included in this benefit.

 

Benefits for your survivors
if you are single

VESTED IN THE TRA PLAN

If you are not married and do not have a former spouse or dependent child(ren) at the time of your death, either your designated beneficiary or estate is entitled to a lump-sum death benefit equal to your accumulated contributions plus interest to the date of death.

You may designate any person(s), trust, or organization(s) as your beneficiary.

If you have a former spouse who is entitled to a portion of your benefit or dependent children under age 20, survivor benefits will be paid unless the lifetime monthly benefit is chosen. In the case of a former spouse, this may be determined at the time of divorce.

Payments for dependent children are made:

  • Until age 20 if child is under 15 on the date of your death.
  • For five years if child is 15 or older on the date of your death.

Payments for children under age 18 will be made to a custodial parent or court-appointed guardian.

A dependent child is a biological or adopted child under age 20 who is dependent on you for more than one-half of his/her support.

NOT VESTED IN THE TRA PLAN

A lump-sum death benefit equal to your accumulated deductions plus interest to the date of death, is payable to either your designated beneficiary or estate, whichever is applicable. Interest is compounded annually with the rate determined by your last day of employment.

Contributions made by your employer are not included in this benefit. You may designate any person(s), trust, or organization(s) as your beneficiary or beneficiaries.

How to designate a beneficiary

Call TRA to request assistance with your beneficiary designation
or to request a beneficiary form.

  • If you are married, request and complete a Pre-Retirement Death Benefits for Married Members form. You and your spouse may jointly waive your spouse’s benefits so that any person, trust or organization will receive a lump-sum death benefit equal to your accumulated deductions plus interest to the date of death.
  • If you are single, request and complete a Pre-Retirement Death Benefits for Single Members form.

Supplemental Needs Trust

You may name a supplemental needs trust for a lifetime survivor annuity benefit. A supplemental needs trust permits the transfer of assets to a disabled child, spouse, or former spouse without eliminating the disabled person from eligibility for federal and state assistance programs. A copy of the trust must be filed with TRA along with documentation of the trust’s funding.

Change in marital status

If your marital status changes (i.e., single, divorced, widowed, married), a previous beneficiary designation that you made may become invalid. Please remember to keep your beneficiary designation current at all times during your career. Read Marriage Dissolution: Dividing TRA Benefits for details.