Survivor Benefits

Survivor benefits are payable under certain conditions to your spouse, minor children, totally physically or mentally disabled children or dependent parents upon your death, if death occurs while you are in active service or after you have obtained a retirement status.  Benefits become effective the day after your death. LSPRS may require survivors to establish proof annually or at other times that they are still legally entitled to survivor benefits. Survivor benefits are not subject to Louisiana income taxes.

 

Definitions


Minor – an unmarried child under the age of 18 or student under the age of 23 years. The child must be either your child by birth or your legally adopted child.

Student – a person enrolled on a full-time basis in a high school, vocational-technical school, college, or university.

 

Surviving Spouse


-  A spouse legally married to and living with you for at least two years immediately prior to death, if you are a former employee or retired employee, if your date of death occurred on or before December 31, 2010.
-  A spouse legally married to you for at least two years immediately prior to death, if you are a former employee or retired employee and your date of death occurs after December 31, 2010.
-  A spouse legally married to you immediately prior to death, if you are a current employee.

 

Dependent Parent - a parent or parents of a deceased employee who derived their main support from the employee.

 

Surviving Spouse of Deceased Active Employee

 

Service Connected Death

 

-  The qualifying surviving spouse will be pensioned at 75 percent of the salary being received by the employee at the time of decedent’s death or injury.
-  This benefit is payable until the death of the surviving spouse, and is exempt from federal income taxes.

 

Non-Service Connected Death
The qualifying surviving spouse of a member who has less than 20 years of service credit with the department, will be pensioned at:

 

-  25% of the average salary if the officer, at the time of death, had less than five years of service credit.
-  30% of the average salary if the officer had at least five years but less than 10 years of service credit.
-  40% of the average salary if the officer had at least 10 years but less than 15 years of service credit.
-  50% of the average salary if the officer had at least 15 years but less than 20 years of service credit.
-  If the officer had 20 years of service or more, the surviving spouse will receive a pension equal to the retirement benefit the employee would have received had the employee elected to retire at the time of death.
-  This benefit ceases upon the surviving spouse’s remarriage.

 

Surviving Spouse of Deceased Former Employee


For those former employees hired on or before December 31, 2010 and who died on or before this date, the surviving spouse of the deceased former employee who was married to the deceased for at least two years prior to the deceased’s death and was living with him at the time of death shall receive a pension equal to the monthly retirement pay that would have been payable to the decedent, provided the following conditions exist: 1) The decedent had terminated employment covered by this system prior to attaining the requisite age for retirement eligibility, and 2) The decedent has credit for at least ten years of service in this system and has contributions credited to his account.

 

For those former employees hired on or before December 31, 2010 and who died after this date, the surviving spouse of the deceased former employee who was married to the deceased for at least two years prior to the deceased’s death shall receive a pension equal to the monthly retirement pay that would have been payable to the decedent, provided the following conditions exist: 1) The decedent had terminated employment covered by this system prior to attaining the requisite age for retirement eligibility, and 2) The decedent has credit for at least ten years of service in this system and has contributions credited to his account.

 

Child’s Pension; Deceased Active/Retired Employee

 

Service Connected Death

 

-  If there is no qualifying surviving spouse, the minor children will receive a pension equal to 75% of the final average compensation of the deceased employee.
-  This benefit may be entirely or partially exempt from income tax.

 

Non-Service Connected Death


-  If there is no qualifying surviving spouse, the minor children will receive a pension equal to the greater of 60% of the final average compensation, or the pension that would have been received by the spouse.

 

The monthly pension shall be divided equally among all minor children. As each minor child reaches 18 years of age, or 23 years of age if a student, the benefit will cease. If a minor child is over the age of 18, LSPRS requires certification each semester of full-time attendance at an accredited college or university.

 

Pension of Physically or Mentally Disabled Children


The surviving totally physically or mentally disabled child(ren) of a deceased member, whether under or over the age of 18 years, will be entitled to the same benefits, payable in the same manner as are provided for surviving spouses. LSPRS requires an approved physician’s certification of the disability. This benefit is payable even though a surviving spouse benefit is also payable for the same death.

 

Pension of Parents of Deceased Employee

 

If there is no surviving spouse and no minor children, a monthly pension of 25% of the average salary of the deceased employee will be paid to the parent or parents of the deceased employee, if they, or either of them, derived their main support from the employee.

 

Trust for Minor Children


When there is no surviving spouse or when the surviving spouse does not have legal custody, the benefit due a surviving minor child(ren) may be paid to a testamentary trust created under Louisiana law for the benefit of that minor child(ren).

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