Life Events

Life Event - Death of Participant

The passing of a loved one is perhaps the most painful event in life. No one should have to grieve alone. At this time of a loss it is important to surround yourself with your personal support group who can help console and counsel you. Your personal support group includes family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and your religious community. In some cases you may wish to seek the guidance of a professional counselor. In coming to terms with your loss, you will take some time to recollect your loved one. You can appreciate the blessings that their presence brought to your life, even if the time they could stay with you seems to have ended too soon.

"Nothing is so strong as gentleness and
nothing is so gentle as real strength"
--Ralph W. Sockman

With the support of your friends and family you will be able to gather the strength to complete the necessary details that must be faced by the survivors. There is much to do; the linked check list gives you a starting point from which to work. It is advisable that the tasks be divided up, if possible, between loved ones. In this manner, the necessary steps can be completed, without any one person bearing the entire burden. It is natural and normal that the pain and grief of the survivors will take time to heal. Make full use of your personal support network.

Plan Checklist

  • In the event of the death of a participant, the Plan Office should be notified. Staff at the Plan Office are ready to help as much as possible, and to make sure the survivors understand the benefits, obtain the necessary forms and know how to submit the required documentation.
  • If you are the participant and are planning for what must come, the following plan issues will be pertinent. You will want to make sure that your beneficiaries have been properly designated for Plan benefits using the Beneficiary Designation Form.
  • A death benefit for active participants is in the amount of $50,000 with an additional $50,000 for Accidental Death. Application forms are available from the Plan Office.
  • If the participant was already retired before death, benefits to the beneficiary will depend upon the form in which the pension had been taken (refer to the links to the Pension and Retirement Savings Plan SPDs).
  • If the participant was not already retired before death, benefits to the beneficiary will be according to the rules governing the Pre-Retirement Death Benefits.
  • In the event of the death of the retired participant, (or of a pre-retiree who met the rules for retiree coverage), the participant's dependent spouse and children may continue to be covered by the Health Plan by making the appropriate election and monthly self-payments.

Also Consider...

Contact the Plan Office if you have any questions.