Death benefits coverage

​Death benefits protect your eligible survivors against sudden loss of income.

​Benefits are available for active, disabled, retired, and terminated vested members and may include salary continuation, lump-sum death benefits, and/or children's education and living needs benefits.

For active and disabled members

Death benefits coverage can protect your eligible survivors against loss of income and may include the following: 

If you are covered by death benefits or group term life coverage and your employer offers it, you may also have supplemental death benefits coverage available.

For retired members

If you retired directly from active employment with Pension Plan enrollment, your survivors are eligible for the following:

For terminated vested members

If you are a terminated vested member of the Pension Plan who met the Rule of 70 at termination, your beneficiaries are eligible for the salary continuation benefit, which pays them a lump sum of $10,000.*

Terminated vested members are vested members who were enrolled in the Pension Plan and did not begin pension benefits when they terminated service.

*Reflects plan provisions effective January 1, 2020. The benefit was $9,000 in 2019.


Once your employer enrolls you for death benefits coverage, you do not need to take any action when first hired other than to assign a beneficiary.


Your employer pays the full cost for death benefits (combined with disability coverage dues) under the Death and Disability Plan. You may not contribute.

Applying for and receiving benefits

Generally, when your family member or survivor reports your death to the Board of Pensions, the Board sends a Death Benefits Claim form to your spouse, beneficiary, and, when applicable, covered dependents. The Board will pay benefits once it receives a completed form, a copy of the death certificate, and any outstanding pension and/or disability overpayments, as applicable.

Designating beneficiaries

The Board pays benefits to your beneficiary(ies) on file with the Board of Pensions at the time of your death as designated through Benefits Connect.

You should log on to Benefits Connect to designate beneficiaries when you are first enrolled in death benefits, or to add, change, or verify designated beneficiaries and the percentage of the benefit assigned to each.


If the Board does not process all or part of a death benefits claim, it will send the beneficiary a written notice. If a beneficiary disagrees with the decision, he or she may appeal. All appeals must be in writing to the Board at the address below and received within 180 days of the initial notice. The appeal must include the reasons for disagreeing with the decision and any supporting information. The Board aims to respond within 60 days, but it may take longer if additional information is required.

Vice President, Income Security
The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
2000 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-3298
Fax: 215-587-6215