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Beneficiary coverage is optional for all members of the Fulton County Schools Employees' Pension Plan. An election to provide beneficiary coverage may be made any time during active service.
Employees who have not been paying beneficiary coverage but elect to do so must notify the Retirement Services Department in writing. In addition to the extra 1% for current pension contributions, the employee must pay into the pension fund the amount other employees have paid for beneficiary coverage, back to the date of employment, plus interest. Any amounts due for back beneficiary coverage must be paid in full before retirement.
An employee may drop beneficiary coverage upon written request to Retirement Services. Payments made for beneficiary coverage are not refundable for any period during which the employee had an eligible beneficiary. It is the responsibility of the employee to notify the Retirement Services Department if he or she no longer has eligible beneficiaries. An employee who inadvertently continues to pay for beneficiary coverage without an eligible beneficiary may make application for a partial refund of pension contributions made during the period when there was no eligible beneficiary. Proper documentation, such as a copy of a death certificate, divorce decree, or birth certificates of children must be furnished.
An employee who previously dropped beneficiary coverage may again pick up this coverage by making payments into the pension fund back to the date coverage was dropped and increasing current pension contributions.
An employee must be eligible for pension before the beneficiary is eligible. By law, beneficiary pension is payable first to a legal spouse and will continue to the spouse as long as he or she lives. If the spouse should die, the beneficiary pension will be payable to unmarried children under 21 years of age.
If an active employee with beneficiary coverage dies after attaining at least 10 years of creditable service, the pension is calculated as if the employee had become permanently disabled. The beneficiary is entitled to 70% of that amount. If the surviving spouse is more than five years younger than the participant the following schedule will be applied:
- If the surviving spouse was married to the participant for less than ten (10) years while participant was in active service with FCBOE, the spouse’s benefit shall be reduced by one-twelfth (1/12th) of two percent (2%) per month for each month the spouse was more than five (5) years younger than the participant.
- If the surviving spouse was married to participant for ten (10) years or more, but less than fifteen (15) years while the participant was in active service with the FCBOE, the spouse’s benefit shall be reduced by one-twelfth (1/12th) of one percent (1%) per month for each month spouse was more than five (5) years younger than the participant.
- If the surviving spouse was married to the participant for fifteen (15) years or more while participant was in the active service of the FCBOE, or if the surviving spouse is sixty (60) years of age at the time of becoming eligible for benefits, there shall be no reduction in benefits.
Survivor benefits to a participant’s spouse shall continue for the life of such spouse without regard to his or her remarriage.