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Legal Resources | Government Code |  GC  21548  

Public Employees’ Retirement System; Optional Settlements   

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(a) The surviving spouse of a member who has attained the minimum age for voluntary service retirement applicable to the member in his or her last employment preceding death, and who is eligible to receive an allowance pursuant to Section 21546, shall instead receive an allowance that is equal to the amount that the member would have received if the member had been retired from service on the date of death and had elected the optional settlement in Section 21456 and Section 21459.

(b) The surviving spouse of a member who has attained the minimum age for voluntary service retirement applicable to the member in his or her last employment preceding death, and who is eligible to receive a special death benefit in lieu of an allowance under Section 21546, may elect to instead receive an allowance that is equal to the amount that the member would have received if the member had been retired from service on the date of death and had elected the optional settlement in Section 21456 and Section 21459.

(c) If the member made a specific beneficiary designation under Section 21490, the allowance under this section shall be based only on that portion of the amount the member would have received described in subdivision (a) or (b) that would have been derived from the nonmember spouse's community property interest in the member's contributions and service credit.

(d) The allowance provided by this section shall be payable as long as the surviving spouse lives. Upon the death of the surviving spouse, the benefit shall be continued to minor children, as defined in Section 6500 of the Family Code, or a lump sum shall be paid as provided under circumstances specified in Section 21546 or in Sections 21541 and 21543, as the case may be.

(e) The allowance provided by this section shall be paid in lieu of the basic death benefit, but the surviving spouse qualifying for the allowance may elect before the first payment on account of it to receive the basic death benefit in lieu of the allowance.

(f) This section shall apply with respect to state members whose death occurs on and after July 1, 1976.

(g) All references in this code to Section 21546 shall be deemed to include this section in the alternative.

(h) This section shall not apply to any contracting agency nor to the employees of any contracting agency unless and until the agency elects to be subject to this section by amendment to its contract made in the manner prescribed for approval of contracts, except that an election among the employees is not required, or, in the case of contracts made after January 1, 1985, by express provision in the contract making the contracting agency subject to this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 199, Sec. 30.)