At Your Death – Survivor’s Benefits

What if My Death Occurs Prior to Retirement?

Should you die prior to retirement, TRS offers survivor benefits to your surviving beneficary(ies). Should your present situation call for a change of beneficiaries, please log into your account and update your beneficiaries.

When a member dies before retirement with less than 10 years of service:

A lump-sum refund of your contributions and interest will be paid to your primary beneficiary. If you have designated more than one primary beneficiary, the lump-sum refund of your account will be divided equally among those named. If your primary beneficiary(ies) has predeceased you, the lump-sum refund will be made to any surviving secondary beneficiary(ies). In the event that you have not designated a beneficiary, or if all of your primary and secondary beneficiaries have predeceased you, a refund of your accumulated contributions and interest will be made first to your surviving spouse, when applicable, and in the absence of a spouse, to your estate.

When a member dies before retirement with 10 or more years of service:

Your beneficiary(ies) will be contacted and advised of available benefits:

  • Either a monthly benefit for life, or
  • A lump-sum refund of your contributions and interest.

The monthly benefit available is the same benefit that would have been payable if the deceased member had retired and selected Plan B, Option 2 (the 100% survivorship option).

If only one primary beneficiary is designated and still living at the time of the active member’s death, that individual would receive the entire available benefit. If more than one primary beneficiary is still living, the monthly benefit for life would be divided between the beneficiaries. If there are no surviving primary beneficiaries, the secondary beneficiary(ies) would have the same option to a monthly benefit for life as the primary beneficiary(ies).