Your eligible survivors, beneficiaries, or estate may qualify for death benefits. If you contributed to the survivor’s annuity provision, your surviving spouse may be eligible for a survivor’s benefit.
The survivor benefit is reduced by any amounts received under the Workers’ Compensation Act or Occupational Diseases Act.
Death Before Retirement
If you die while serving as a judge and have at least 18 months of service credit, your survivors will be eligible for a monthly survivor’s annuity benefit.
If you die after termination of service, but before receiving a retirement annuity, you must have at least 10 years of service credit for your survivors to qualify for the survivor’s benefit.
If you die prior to retirement or while receiving a temporary disability benefit with no qualified survivors, your named beneficiary or estate will receive your JRS contributions.
Death After Retirement
If you die with no qualified survivors while receiving a permanent disability benefit or retirement benefits, your named beneficiary or estate will receive your total contributions, less any benefits paid.
Your Surviving Spouse
If you are survived by your spouse age 50 or over and you were married for at least one year prior to your death, (s)he will receive a survivor’s benefit.
A surviving spouse under age 50 can receive a survivor’s benefit if (s)he supports your unmarried children under age 18 (22 if full-time student), or a disabled child over age 18.
This benefit is payable until the last child reaches age 18 (22 if full-time student), marries, dies or is no longer disabled. At that point, the benefit is suspended until (s)he reaches age 50.
Unmarried children under age 18 (22 if full-time student), or disabled child over age 18, can receive a child’s annuity. Your child may apply for the child’s annuity, even if you did not contribute to the survivor’s annuity benefit. The child’s annuity is equal to 5% of your last annual salary. If multiple children survive, the total benefit may be subject to limitation and cannot exceed the greater of 20% of your last annual salary or 66 2/3% of the annuity received or earned by you.
Annual Survivor Increase
The survivor benefit is increased and compounded by 3% each January 1 following the first full year of receiving this benefit. If the deceased member was an annuitant, the 3% increase is effective on January 1 after the benefit began. Eligible survivors who receive a child’s annuity will become eligible for an increase of 3%, payable on the January 1 following the first anniversary of receiving the benefit. If the deceased member was an annuitant, the increase is effective on the Jan 1 after the benefit began.
Amount Of Spouse And Child Annuity