Actively Employed and Your Beneficiaries
While you are actively employed, you may name both principal and contingent beneﬁciaries for your retirement account by completing and ﬁling a Form 2035, Beneﬁciary Designation with KRS. The principal beneﬁciary will receive beneﬁts in the event of your death prior to retirement. The contingent beneﬁciary will receive beneﬁts in the event of your death only if all of your named principal beneﬁciaries are also deceased. A beneﬁciary may be one individual, multiple individuals, your estate, or a trust. You can update or change your beneficiaries at any time prior to your retirement. If there is not a valid Form 2035 in your file, your estate is your default beneficiary. When you file for retirement, you may name only one person, your estate, or a trust as a single beneficiary.
What can my Beneficiary Receive?
If you pass away prior to retirement, the beneﬁciary may be eligible for a monthly beneﬁt if you were:
- Eligible for normal or early retirement at the time of death; or
- Under the age of 55 with at least 60 months of service credit and currently working for a participating agency or on official leave at the time of death; or
- No longer working for a participating agency but at the time of death had at least 144 months of service credit.
If your beneﬁciary is not eligible for a monthly beneﬁt, a lump sum payment of your contributions and accumulated interest will be paid. If you are a Tier Three member, the lump sum amount will include the employer pay credit if you have at least 60 months of service at the time of death.
What can my beneficiaries collect?
If your beneﬁciary is eligible for a monthly beneﬁt, the following payment options are provided:
- If your beneﬁciary is an individual, he or she may choose a lifetime monthly beneﬁt which is equal to the Survivorship 100% Option amount. A single beneﬁciary may also choose a lump sum actuarial refund, a monthly payment for 5 years, or a monthly payment for 10 years.
- Multiple beneﬁciaries may choose a lump sum actuarial refund, a monthly payment for 5 years, or a monthly payment for 10 years. The amount will be divided among the beneficiaries based on the percentages given on Form 2035.
- An estate or a trust may only take a lump sum actuarial refund.
Beneﬁts paid to the beneﬁciary are based on the amount that would have been payable to you had you ﬁled for retirement at the time of death.
What does my beneficiary need to do?
Your beneﬁciary is required to submit your death certificate, listing the cause of death. Before any payment can be issued, your beneﬁciary will also be required to complete the appropriate forms to apply for the benefit and provide a birth certificate for both you and themselves if one is not already on ﬁle.