Public Employees Retirement System; Optional Settlements
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article requiring attainment of the minimum age for voluntary service retirement to the member in his or her last employment preceding death, upon the death of a state member on or after January 1, 1993, who is credited with 20 years or more of state service, the surviving spouse, or eligible children if there is no surviving spouse, may receive a monthly allowance in lieu of the basic death benefit. The board shall notify the eligible survivor, as defined in Section 21546, of this alternate death benefit. The board shall calculate the monthly allowance that shall be payable as follows:
(1) To the member's surviving spouse, an amount equal to the amount the member would have received if the member had retired for service at minimum retirement age on the date of death and had elected the optional settlement in Section 21456 and Section 21459.
(2) If the member made a specific beneficiary designation under Section 21490, the monthly allowance shall be based only on that portion of the amount the member would have received described in paragraph (1) that would have been derived from the nonmember spouse's community property interest in the member's contributions and service credit.
(3) If there is no surviving spouse or the spouse dies before all of the children of the deceased member attain the age of 18 years, to the surviving children, under the age of 18 years, collectively, an amount equal to one-half of, and derived from the same source as, the unmodified allowance the member would have received if he or she had retired for service at minimum retirement age on the date of death. No child shall receive any allowance after marrying or attaining the age of 18 years. As used in this paragraph, "surviving children" includes a posthumously born child or children of the member.
(b) This section shall only apply to members employed in state bargaining units for which a memorandum of understanding has been agreed to by the state employer and the recognized employee organization to become subject to this section, members who are excluded from the definition of state employees in subdivision (c) of Section 3513, and members employed by the executive branch of government who are not members of the civil service.
(c) For purposes of this section, "state service" means service rendered as a state employee, as defined in Section 19815. This section shall not apply to any contracting agency nor to the employees of any contracting agency.
(d) For purposes of this section, "state service" includes service to the state for which the member, pursuant to Section 20281.5, did not receive credit.
(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 199, Sec. 28.)