(a) A surviving spouse of a member who is killed in the performance of duty or who dies as the result of an accident or an injury caused by external violence or physical force, incurred in the performance of the member’s duty, now or hereafter entitled to receive a death allowance under Section 31787, shall be paid an additional amount for each of the member’s children during the lifetime of the child, or until the child marries or reaches the age of 18 years, as follows, subject to the limitation in subdivision (b):
(1) For one child, twenty-five percent (25%) of the allowance provided in Section 31787.
(2) For two children, forty percent (40%) of the allowance provided in Section 31787.
(3) For three or more children, fifty percent (50%) of the allowance provided in Section 31787.
(b) If a benefit payable under this section, when added to a benefit payable under Section 31787, exceeds the maximum benefit payable by a tax-qualified pension plan under the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C.A. Sec. 401 et. seq.), the benefit payable under this section shall be reduced to the amount required to meet that benefit limit.
(c) If the surviving spouse does not have legal custody of the member’s children, the allowance provided by this section shall be payable to the person to whom custody of the children has been awarded by a court of competent jurisdiction for each child during the lifetime of the child, or until the child marries or reaches the age of 18 years.
(d) The allowance provided by this section shall be payable to the surviving spouses of members whose duties consist of active law enforcement or active fire suppression or any other class or group of members as the retirement board shall fix. The allowance provided by this section is not payable to the surviving spouses of members described in Section 31469.2.
(e) Any child whose eligibility for an allowance pursuant to this section commenced on or after October 1, 1965, shall lose that eligibility effective on the date of his or her adoption.
(f) This section shall become operative in any county, which has adopted the provisions of this chapter but which has not previously adopted the provisions of this section on October 1, 1965. Each surviving spouse of a member or other person having legal custody of a member’s child or children who is paid an additional amount for each of the member’s children because of the amendments to this section enacted at the 1965 or 1967 Regular Session shall receive those payments as they accrue from and after October 1 of the year during which this section was amended to provide for the payment to him or her of that allowance, but the surviving spouse or other person shall not be given a claim for any increase in those benefits for a time prior to that date.
(g) 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 years if the children remain unmarried and are regularly enrolled as full-time students in an accredited school as determined by the board.
(Amended by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1152, Sec. 13. Effective January 1, 2003.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018