Spouses and qualified dependent children of
members who die in the line of duty may be eligible for special benefits
through Kentucky Retirement Systems. As a result of the passage of House
Bill 185 during the 2018 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly,
the administration of Death In Line of Duty benefits has changed.
Non-Hazardous Member Duty-Related Death
If you are a Non-Hazardous member and have at least one
month of service credit, you are eligible for duty-related death beneﬁts. If
you pass away as a result of a duty-related injury*, your spouse shall be
eligible for the higher of:
The normal death beneﬁt options; or
A $10,000 lump sum payment, plus a lifetime monthly payment of 75% of the member’s monthly average pay until the spouse’ death or remarriage. If the surviving spouse remarries, the monthly payment shall be recalculated to 25% of the deceased member’s monthly average pay.
If you die as a result of a duty-related injury* and are
survived by a spouse, your spouse shall be deemed as the beneficiary of your
retirement account, superseding any previous beneficiary designations unless
you have filed a valid beneficiary form after marriage to your spouse. The
surviving spouse shall also be eligible for benefits when there is no
designation of beneficiary on file at KRS.
*Duty-related injury is defined in KRS 61.621(2)(a) as
either a single traumatic event that occurred while the employee was performing
the duties of his or her position or a single act of violence committed against
the employee that is found to be related to the member’s job duties, whether or
not it occurs at his or her job site.
Hazardous Member Death in the Line of Duty
If you are a Hazardous duty member and you die in the line
of duty and your spouse is the only beneﬁciary named, the spouse may elect
The normal death benefit options; or
A lump sum payment of $10,000 and a lifetime monthly beneﬁt equal to 75% of the monthly average pay until the spouse’ death or remarriage. If the surviving spouse remarries, the monthly payment shall be recalculated to 25% of the deceased member’s monthly average pay.
If your beneﬁciary is only one person other than your
spouse who is a dependent receiving at least 50% of his or her support from
you, and a surviving spouse does not supersede this person, the beneﬁciary may
Dependent Child Payments for Hazardous and Non-Hazardous
Each eligible dependent child* will receive a monthly
beneﬁt equal to 50% of your monthly average pay. The amount increases to
65% if you have two (2) dependent children; and 75% if you have three (3) or
more children. Payments will be divided equally among all the dependent
*A dependent child is defined in KRS 16.505(17) as a child
in the womb and a natural or legally adopted child of a member who has neither
attained age eighteen (18) nor married or who is an unmarried full-time student
who has not attained age twenty-two (22). Solely in the case of a member
who dies as a direct result of an act in line of duty or who dies as a result
of a duty-related injury, "dependent child" also means a naturally or
legally adopted disabled child of the member, regardless of the child's age, if
the child has been determined to be eligible for federal Social Security
disability benefits or is being claimed as a qualifying child for tax purposes
due to the child's total and permanent disability.
The insurance benefit
for your surviving spouse and each dependent child shall be paid in full by the
Systems as long as they individually remain eligible for a monthly retirement