You are a Basic Plan member if you were employed prior to July 1, 1978 with SPPS or SPC and you did not elect to convert to the Coordinated Plan from the Basic Plan in 1978. Basic Plan members contribute 8.0% of their pre-tax salary and the employer contributes 11.64%.
Vested membership means that you or your survivors are guaranteed a benefit other than a refund of your contributions. To be vested, you must have at least five years of allowable retirement service credit.
The SPTRFA mails an annual fiscal year end update of your retirement service credit balance.
You will receive an estimate of benefits if you are at least age 40, vested and actively employed. Otherwise, you will receive a statement of account.
You may also request information on your retirement service credit and projected benefits by contacting the SPTRFA office.
For vested members, in the event of your death prior to retirement, there may be a survivor benefit payable. For non-vested members or for members who have no eligible survivor, your beneficiaries will receive a lump sum refund of your contributions.
Active Member Death
In the event of your death prior to retirement, two types of survivor benefits may be payable:
- Family Benefit
Survivor benefits are payable to an eligible survivor defined as:
- Your spouse, to whom you’ve been legally married for at least three years; and if none,
- Your dependent parent; and if none,
- Your dependent sibling.
The amount of the monthly benefit your survivor will receive is based on your age and the age of your survivor at the time of your death. The benefit is subject to early retirement reductions. The monthly benefit is payable for the life of your survivor.
If no eligible survivor exists, a lump sum refund of your contributions plus 6% interest will be paid to your beneficiary or beneficiaries.
2. Family Benefit
A family benefit may be available to your eligible children and surviving spouse.
Eligible children are natural or legally adopted children who are unmarried and one of the following:
- Under age 18, or
- Mentally or physically incapacitated, or
- A full-time student under age 22.
The family benefit, for up to two eligible children, is 25% of the maximum B.A. salary in effect during the year in which the death occurs. The benefit ends when the child no longer meets these requirements.
Your surviving spouse may be entitled to a family benefit of an additional 15% of the maximum B.A. salary if your surviving spouse is maintaining a home for your eligible children. Your surviving spouse is entitled to receive the greater of the survivor benefit or the family benefit, but not both.
Retired Member Death – Spousal
Persons eligible for a monthly survivor benefit are your surviving spouse, your dependent parent, or your dependent sibling. Your survivor must be named at the time you retire, and your spouse is only eligible if you have been legally married at least three years at the time you retire.
There is no reduction in your monthly benefit by naming a survivor. You will receive your full earned pension for life. If you predecease your survivor, he or she will receive a lifetime monthly benefit calculated using joint and survivor actuarial tables.
If you die without having an eligible named survivor and you have not received as much in benefits as you paid into the SPTRFA, the remainder of your contributions plus interest will be paid to your designated beneficiary or to your estate.
You may apply for a disability retirement if you become totally and permanently disabled.
Bylaws, Article IV, Section 3, Paragraph 2(c).
“… total and permanent disability means the inability to engage in any occupation or employment for remuneration or profit for which the member is reasonably qualified by reason of the member’s education, experience and training, on account of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which is expected to result in death or to be of long continued and indefinite duration, and which has continued for at least six consecutive months.”
Conditions for application require that you be vested and have 60 or fewer sick days remaining at the time of application.
Certificates from two licensed physicians, chiropractors or psychologists of the member’s choosing and concurrence by the SPTRFA’s Independent Medical Examiner are required to support the existence of the disability.
The disability retirement benefit is 75% of your earnings for the last full year of service less the amount of any workers compensation or social security benefits you receive.
A member who recovers prior to age 65 and is not reappointed in SPPS or SPC, is eligible for any plan benefits for which they are qualified.
At age 65, the amount of the disability retirement benefit is recomputed to equal an age 65 retirement benefit. Any years in disability status count toward retirement service credit.