Survivor
SURVIVOR BENEFITS


ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

In order for a member to qualify for survivor benefits, the following conditions must be met:

  • The member must be an active member at the time of death. An *active member is currently working for an ATRS covered employer and is eligible to receive service credit.

*For the purpose of Survivor eligibility, a member is considered active for an additional fiscal year following the last fiscal year the member rendered actual service to an ATRS covered employer and obtained at least one-fourth (¼) year of service credit.

Example: If you last worked in a position at an ATRS covered employer in the 2012-2013 school year, your active status and eligibility for survivor benefits would expire June 30, 2014.

  • The member must have a minimum of five (5) years of actual service with ATRS.


SURVIVING SPOUSE


ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS AND AMOUNT OF SPOUSAL BENEFITS

Upon the death of an active member who meets the eligibility requirements stated above, the surviving spouse, who was married to the member for at least two years immediately preceding the member's death, shall receive survivor benefits as if the member had retired under annuity Option A to provide 100% survivor benefits. The surviving spouse shall be eligible for Immediate Survivor Benefits if the member, at the time of death, had:

  • reached age 60; or
  • accumulated 28 or more years of actual and reciprocal service credit; or
  • accumulated 25 to 27.75 years of service, which would qualify for an early retirement benefit with applicable reduction.

In all other cases, Deferred Survivor Benefits, the benefits become eligible to the surviving spouse the month following the member's 60th birthday.

WHEN PAYMENT OF SURVIVING SPOUSE BENEFITS COMMENCE

Immediate Survivor Benefits – The immediately eligible survivor is entitled to receive monthly benefits beginning the month after the death of the member IF the survivor application is received by ATRS within three (3) full calendar months of the death of the member.

Benefits for an immediately eligible survivor whose application is received after three (3) full calendar months of the death of the member will begin the month the application was received by ATRS.

Deferred Survivor Benefits – The deferred eligible survivor is entitled to receive benefits the month after the deceased member would have turned age sixty (60). ATRS must receive the Survivor Application no later than the month of the deceased member's sixtieth birthday in order to begin payment of survivor benefits the following month. Otherwise, once the deferred survivor is eligible, monthly benefits will begin the month that the survivor application is received by ATRS.


WHEN SURVIVING SPOUSE BENEFITS CEASE

The surviving spouse benefits are payable for the surviving spouse's lifetime. Remarriage does not cancel the spouse's survivor benefits.


SURVIVING DEPENDENT CHILDREN


ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR SURVIVING DEPENDENT CHILDREN

Dependent children are defined as minors under the age of eighteen (18) or children deemed physically or mentally incapacitated by a court of competent jurisdiction, as long as the incapacity exists, regardless of age.

A member's child eligible to receive a survivor's annuity is defined as follows:
  • A natural child of the member, or;
  • A child that has been made a child of the member by adoption or other court action prior to the member's death.

AMOUNT OF SURVIVING CHILD BENEFITS

Surviving dependent children shall each receive an annuity equal to 20% of the member's highest salary year received in covered employment, including the salary that would have been earned in the year of the member's death; unless there are more than three surviving dependent children. If there are more than three dependent surviving children, 60% of the member's highest salary year shall be divided equally.


WHEN SURVIVING CHILD BENEFITS WILL COMMENCE

The surviving dependent child benefits will begin the month after the death of the member IF the survivor application is received by ATRS within three (3) full calendar months of the death of the member.

If application is received after three (3) full calendar months of the death of the member, the surviving child benefit will begin the month the application is received by ATRS.


WHEN SURVIVING CHILD BENEFITS CEASE

The benefits are payable until the dependent child reaches eighteen (18) years of age or, up to the age of twenty-three (23), if the dependent child continues consecutively as a full-time student at an accredited secondary school, college, or university.

Surviving dependent child benefits for a child who has been deemed physically or mentally incapacitated by a court of competent jurisdiction is eligible to receive a dependent child annuity for as long as the incapacity exists, regardless of age.


Contact ATRS at 501-682-1517, 1-800-666-2877, or This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
for further information regarding Survivor Benefits.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 27 June 2013 )