Death Benefits for Deferred Member

Deferred Member Death Benefit Options

If you die as a deferred vested member, your designated beneficiary will only be eligible for a lump-sum refund or rollover of your refundable contributions and interest in your retirement account. Nonrefundable contributions cannot be refunded.

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If you die as a deferred reciprocal member, your beneficiary, if eligible, will receive one of the active death benefit options available based on their selection with the reciprocal system. You can create estimates for these benefit options using our online benefit estimator.  Contact SBCERA regarding other benefit options that may be available.

Designating a Beneficiary

Keeping your beneficiary up-to-date is important. A beneficiary is the person or persons that you (the member) name to receive SBCERA death benefits upon your death. You may name any person or persons as your beneficiary/beneficiaries. In addition, you may name your estate, but you cannot designate a trust. You can choose primary and alternate beneficiaries. A primary beneficiary is the first-named person or persons who would receive these benefits from SBCERA. The alternate beneficiary is the person or persons who would receive these benefits from SBCERA if you had no living primary beneficiaries at the time of your death.

As a deferred member, you can change your beneficiary at any time. SBCERA encourages you to review your designated beneficiary from time to time to make sure it is up-to-date. To update your beneficiary or beneficiaries, you must complete and submit a Beneficiary Designation/Change form.  This form requires a spouse or domestic partner’s signature; if you do not have one or they are unable to sign the form, you must also complete a Justification for Non-Signature of Spouse or Domestic Partner form.

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A surviving spouse, domestic partner or minor child, if not the named beneficiary, may have certain rights superseding the rights of the beneficiary you have designated. If you only have surviving unmarried children under the age of 18, a legally-appointed guardian of the children will make the election for death benefits. The court must appoint a legal guardian over the estate of the minor children. If a biological parent exists, they must still be appointed the guardian of the estate of the minor children.