Benefit Options & Terminology Explained

  • Spouse’s Consent
    • If you are married and you wish to elect a form of payment other than a Joint and Survivor Annuity with your spouse as the beneficiary, you must complete and submit a “Spousal Consent” form. Your spouse must sign this section, and the signature must be witnessed by a notary public.  A Joint & Survivor Annuity election is irrevocable even if your Joint Annuitant dies before you; you cannot designate a new joint annuitant.
  • Actuarially Reduced Benefit:
    • In general, benefit payments are actuarially adjusted to reflect the cost of providing a lifetime income for you and your joint annuitant (if applicable).  Your payments are also actuarially adjusted if you begin payments prior to the Plan’s normal retirement age of 65.
  • Beneficiary:
    • The person(s) designated to receive benefit payments following your death under a Certain & Life annuity benefit is called your “beneficiary.”  If you elect a Life and Period Certain Annuity and you die before the guaranteed payment period ends, the beneficiary will receive any remaining payments due through the end of the guaranteed payment period.
  • Joint Annuitant:
    • If you elect a Joint & Survivor Annuity benefit, the beneficiary designated to receive benefits following your death is called your “joint annuitant.”  Following your death, the joint annuitant will continue to receive all or a portion of your monthly Joint & Survivor Annuity payment for their lifetime.
  • Single Life Annuity:
    • Your full monthly benefit, reduced by any applicable early retirement factors, is paid for your life only.  No benefits are paid after your death.
  • Joint and 50% Survivor Annuity:
    • Your benefit payment is actuarially adjusted so that if you die before your joint annuitant, he or she will receive 50% of the benefit payment for the rest of his or her life.  If your joint annuitant dies before you, you cannot designate a new joint annuitant and your payment amount will not change.
  • Joint and 75% Survivor Annuity:
    • Your benefit is actuarially reduced so that if you die before your joint annuitant, he or she will continue to receive 75% of your benefit for the rest of his or her life.  If your joint annuitant dies before you, you cannot designate a new joint annuitant and your payment amount will not change.
  • Joint and 100% Survivor Annuity:
    • Your benefit payment is actuarially adjusted so that if you die before your joint annuitant, he or she will receive 100% of the benefit payment for the rest of his or her life.  If your joint annuitant dies before you, you cannot designate a new joint annuitant and your payment amount will not change.
  • Life and 5-Year Certain Annuity:
    • Your benefit payment is actuarially adjusted so that if you die before receiving 60 monthly payments, your beneficiary will receive the remainder of the guaranteed 60 payments.  If you are still living after receiving 60 monthly payments, payments will continue for your lifetime only.
  • Life and 10-Year Certain Annuity:
    • Your benefit payment is actuarially adjusted so that if you die before receiving 120 monthly payments, your beneficiary will receive the remainder of the guaranteed 120 payments.  If you are still living after receiving 120 monthly payments, payments will continue for your lifetime only.
  • Life and 15-Year Certain Annuity:
    • Your benefit payment is actuarially adjusted so that if you die before receiving 180 monthly payments, your beneficiary will receive the remainder of the guaranteed 180 payments.  If you are still living after receiving 180 monthly payments, payments will continue for your lifetime only.
  • Life and 20-Year Certain Annuity:
    • Your benefit payment is actuarially adjusted so that if you die before receiving 240 monthly payments, your beneficiary will receive the remainder of the guaranteed 240 payments.  If you are still living after receiving 240 monthly payments, payments will continue for your lifetime only.
  • Lump Sum Payment: This form of payment provides a single lump sum distribution.
    • You may elect to defer income taxes and have your lump sum payment rolled over directly to either another tax-qualified plan or another employer’s tax-qualified plan (including a governmental 457(b) plan that agrees to separately account for such amounts) or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) (excluding a SIMPLE IRA, a Coverdell Education Savings Account – formerly known as an Education IRA - or Roth IRA).
    • You may elect to have the payment made directly to you minus the mandatory 20% federal income tax and any applicable state income tax. If you are under age 59-1/2, then will also have to pay a 10% additional federal income tax (unless an exception applies).