Survivor Benefits

In this section, we will visit some key points to know about your Survivor Pension Benefits. Watch the video below as we define who may qualify to receive a pension:

Beneficiary designations are an important part of retirement planning. In the event of your untimely death prior to retirement, there will either be a Survivor’s Pension awarded or a Refund of Contributions (including any interest gained).


In the event of your death, there are three types of qualified survivors that may be eligible to receive a lifelong survivor pension.

  • Qualified Surviving Spouse/Qualified Surviving Domestic Partner (QSS/QSDP) – A surviving spouse must be legally married to you. A domestic partner must be declared with the State of California or a confidential Declaration of Domestic Partnership form must be filed with LAFPP.

    NOTE: In addition to a QSS/QSDP benefit, your QSS/QSDP may also receive additional benefits for your qualified children.
  • Qualified Children (QC) – If there is no QSS/QSDP to receive the pension benefit, the benefit allotted to the QSS/QSDP will transfer to the QC, only up to the age of 18 or 22 for minor children. Qualified Children are your children or adopted children as follows:
    • Minor Child – under the age of 18 (or age 22 if a full-time student).
    • Dependent Child – mentally or physically disabled prior to age 21 and incapable of earning a living as a result of the disability (could potentially receive a lifetime benefit).
  • Qualified Parent(s) – If no QSS/QSDP or QC are present or eligible, the benefit may be awarded to a Qualified Parent(s). 
If a survivor’s pension is paid, there is no refund of contributions.
Please consult your Summary Plan Description (SPD) and Tier 6 – Key Provisions sheet to read more and view all eligibility requirements for each category.


If it is determined that there are no qualified survivors eligible to receive a pension, then your designated beneficiary(ies) will receive a refund of your contributions (including any interest gained).

In the event that you have no eligible qualified survivors, then NO SURVIVOR PENSION benefit is payable. Your contributions plus interest will be refunded to your designated beneficiary(ies).

A refund of contributions is payable in the following scenarios:

Read the Tier 6 Summary Plan Description to learn more about Survivor Benefits.


It is important that you designate one or more beneficiaries to avoid the possible delay of probate. Download the Tier 6 Beneficiary Form and follow the instructions on How To-Fill Out a Beneficiary Designation.

It is highly recommended that you check your beneficiary designations regularly and update them as necessary, especially during major life events (i.e., marriage, new child, divorce).