Upon the death of any member after retirement for service or non-service-connected disability from a retirement system established in a county subject to the provisions of Section 31676.1, 60 percent of his or her retirement allowance, if not modified in accordance with one of the optional settlements specified in this article, shall be continued throughout life to his or her surviving spouse. If there is no surviving spouse entitled to an allowance hereunder or if she or he dies before every natural or adopted child of the deceased member attains the age of 18 years, then the allowance which the surviving spouse would have received had she or he lived, shall be paid to his or her natural or adopted child or children under that age collectively, to continue until every child dies or attains that age; provided, that no child shall receive any allowance after marrying or attaining the age of 18 years. No allowance, however, shall be paid under this section to a surviving spouse unless she or he was married to the member at least one year prior to the date of his or her retirement. The right of a child or children of a deceased member to receive an allowance under this section, in the absence of an eligible surviving spouse, shall not be dependent on whether the child or children were nominated by the deceased member as the beneficiary of any benefits payable upon or by reason of the member’s death, and shall be superior to and shall supersede the rights and claims of any other beneficiary so nominated.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, the benefits otherwise payable to the children of the member shall be paid to those children through the age of 21 if the children remain unmarried and are regularly enrolled as full-time students in an accredited school as determined by the board.
If at the death of any retired member there is no surviving spouse or minor children eligible for the 60-percent continuance provided in this section, and the total retirement allowance income received by him or her during his or her lifetime did not equal or exceed his or her accumulated normal contributions, his or her designated beneficiary shall be paid an amount equal to the excess of his or her accumulated normal contributions over his or her total retirement allowance income.
The superseding rights pursuant to this section shall not affect benefits payable to a named beneficiary as provided under Section 31789, 31789.01, 31789.1, 31789.12, 31789.13, 31789.2, 31789.3, 31789.5, or 31790.
(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 132, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 1999.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018