As an active member, you contribute a portion of your salary to your retirement each time you are paid. Upon reaching eligibility and retiring, you will receive a monthly retirement allowance for life. The amount of this allowance is directly based on your age, salary and number of years in the system.
There are three options to choose from when retiring. Once you retire you cannot change your option.
This option provides the largest benefit. All benefits will cease upon your death. There will be no benefits for your survivors under this option.
Under this option you will receive slightly less than under Option A. Your beneficiary(s) will receive as a one-time payment, your remaining annuity balance, if any, upon your death. There is no lifetime benefit for your beneficiary under this option. Under an Option B retirement, you may elect any person or persons to be your beneficiary. They need not be related to you.
Your annuity balance starts with your total accumulated deductions upon retirement, and decreases each month by the annuity portion of your monthly allowance (non-pension portion).
This is the only option that provides a lifetime benefit for your survivor. Upon your death, your survivor will receive 2/3 of your allowance for the remainder of her or his life. Your survivor must be your parent, child, sibling, spouse, or former spouse (who has not remarried at the time of your retirement).
If your survivor predeceases you, you are not allowed to select a replacement. Instead, what is commonly referred to as the "pop-up" provision kicks in, and your allowance will automatically be switched to that of an Option A.
For those who retired before January 12, 1988, the "pop-up" provision does not apply.