At the time you retire, you will make an irrevocable election of one of the following benefit payment options. The various options determine the amount of your benefit during your lifetime and whether any benefits will be payable to your beneficiary upon your death. You may not change your option choice after retirement, even if your life situation changes. These descriptions summarize the options established in the County Employees Law of 1937 (CERL). These options are reviewed in the Planning to Retire seminar.
Unmodified - Highest benefit available
Option 1 – Reduced benefit
Option 2 – Most reduced benefit
Option 3 – Reduced benefit
Option 4 – Reduced benefit
- A continuance terminates upon the death of the eligible surviving spouse, state registered domestic partner, or named beneficiary. Surviving minor children are eligible for a continuance only when there is no surviving spouse or state registered domestic partner, and continue until the child is no longer eligible. Lump sum payments are only in the amount of the member’s remaining contributions and interest at the time of the member’s death.
- Married or state registered domestic partners for at least one year prior to your retirement date.
- Under the age of 18, or under the age of 22 if unmarried and in school full time.
- The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) limits the percent of continuance that can be paid to a non-spouse beneficiary under Option 2. The percent allowed depends on your age at retirement, and the adjusted age difference between you and your beneficiary. The difference between the IRC limit and 100% is converted to a present value lump sum at the time of your death and is paid in a lump sum to your sole beneficiary.
Benefit Payment Option Information
For a printable version of the Benefit Payment Options click here to download a copy.