The Unmodified Plus Option is similar to the Unmodified Option. However, with the Unmodified Plus Option, you can reduce the amount of your monthly allowance to provide an increased allowance to your surviving spouse or California state-registered domestic partner in the event of your death.
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|Eligible Beneficiaries||A, B, C, D or G Survivor Benefit||Plan E Survivor Benefit||Change Beneficiary After Retirement|
|Eligible spouse or California state registered domestic partner||Custom percentage between 66% and 100% of member's reduced allowance||Custom percentage between 56% and 100% of member's reduced allowance||No|
To estimate your monthly allowance amount under the different options, log in My LACERA to use the retirement benefit estimate calculator.
If you are in Plan A, B, C, D, or G, you can customize the survivor allowance percentage to be between 66 and 100 percent of your monthly allowance. If you are in Plan E, you can customize the percentage to be between 56 and 100 percent of your allowance.
How it works: You take a lifetime reduction in your monthly allowance, the amount of which is based on how much you wish to provide to your survivor. The greater the amount above 65 percent (or 55 percent, for Plan E members), the greater the reduction to your monthly allowance. The reduction to your allowance is also based on the difference in your age and the age of your beneficiary. The greater the age difference between you and your beneficiary, the greater the reduction to your allowance.
If you are eligible to retire and will be selecting the Unmodified Plus option, it’s important to know that should you die in active service, your spouse or registered domestic partner may receive less than if you had retired. Contributory plan pre-retirement death benefits options include 65 percent of your benefit for your survivor, which may be a lower amount than the benefit you would have designated under this option.
Your spouse or California state-registered domestic partner is eligible for a survivor allowance. For your spouse or domestic partner to be eligible, you must be married or registered as domestic partners with the state of California for at least one year prior to your retirement.
Continuing benefits terminate upon the death of your eligible surviving spouse or domestic partner, unless there is a minor child. Your minor child may continue benefits after the death of your surviving spouse or domestic partner until age 18. The minor may continue survivor benefits until age 22 if he or she remains unmarried and is a full-time student in an accredited school.
Changing Your Beneficiary After Retirement
- Beneficiary of the Survivor Allowance
- With the Unmodified Plus Option, you do not have the option to change your eligible spouse or domestic partner as the beneficiary of the survivor allowance. If your beneficiary dies before you, the reduction to your retirement allowance remains in effect.
- Beneficiary of the Lump-Sum Death/Burial Benefit
- All LACERA retirees are entitled to designate someone to receive a one-time, $5,000 lump-sum death/burial benefit. This benefit is flexible, and you may change the named beneficiary after retirement.
Retiree and Survivor Healthcare
All LACERA retirees are eligible to enroll in a LACERA-administered retiree healthcare plan. Upon the death of a retired member, any survivor or beneficiary who is receiving a continuing monthly benefit from LACERA and who qualifies as a surviving eligible dependent, as defined by LACERA’s Retiree Healthcare Administrative Guidelines, is eligible to enroll in LACERA- administered healthcare coverage.
At retirement, if you do not designate your eligible spouse, domestic partner, or minor child to receive a continuing benefit upon your death, he or she will not be eligible for LACERA-administered survivor healthcare.
If you are ready to start the retirement process, call LACERA at 800-786-6464 or schedule an appointment to speak with a Retirement Benefits Specialist.