Lump-sum death benefit

​The Board pays a lump-sum death benefit to your beneficiary(ies) if you are an active or disabled member, or a minister in transitional participation coverage; are enrolled in the Death and Disability Plan; and your dues are current at the time of your death. (Exceptions exist within the 90-day window of no-cost death coverage if you are enrolled in Pastor's Participation.)

Lump-sum death benefits do not apply if you are a retired or terminated member.

Amount of benefit

The lump-sum death benefit is equal to the lesser of the death benefit basis* or $100,000 multiplied by a percentage based on your age at the time of your death, as shown in the table below.

Lump-sum death benefit percentages ​
​Your age at death​Multiplier percentage (%)
​Under 31​400
​31​380
​32​360
​33​340
​34​320
​35​300
​36​280
​37​260
​38​240
​39​220
​40​200
​41​190
​42​180
​43​170
​44​160
​45​150
​46​140
​47​130
​48​120
​49​110
​50+​100

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.

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.

If you do not designate a beneficiary, the Board will pay the lump-sum death benefit in the following order to your

  • spouse, provided the marriage occurred at least one year before your death or any disability benefits began;
  • dependent children under age 21 who are not in a marriage, and permanently disabled children age 21 or older who are not in a marriage and depended on you for support for 12 months before and on your date of death;
  • dependent parents;
  • dependent siblings under age 21 who are not in a marriage, and permanently disabled siblings age 21 or older who are not in a marriage and depended on you for support for 12 months before and on your date of death;
  • estate, when there are no eligible dependents. The benefit equals 100 percent of the death benefit basis.

*The death benefit basis is the greater of the pension participation basis (annual effective salary or 25 percent of the congregational ministers’ median, whichever is more, up to the IRS maximum of $280,000 in 2019) or the applicable median (prorated for part-time employment).