What is a Death-in-Service Benefit?
A death-in-service benefit is a lump-sum payment of the balance in your member contribution account, if any, to your named beneficiary. If your named beneficiary is your spouse, your natural or legally adopted minor child or your parent, he or she may elect a lump-sum payment or a monthly benefit. The death-in-service benefit is in addition to any life insurance benefits you may have.
If you name a beneficiary on the Designation of Beneficiary (VRS-2), you may name the same individual for your member contribution account balance and life insurance benefits or a different individual for each benefit. You also may name more than one primary beneficiary as well as a contingent beneficiary or beneficiaries. For more information, see Naming a Beneficiary.
Note: For members in the Hybrid Retirement Plan, death-in-service benefits apply only to the defined benefit component of the plan. Name a beneficiary for the defined contribution component.
Survivor Option in Retirement
At retirement, you may choose to have a monthly benefit continue to a survivor upon your death. For more information, see Benefit Payout Options.
In the Event of Your Death
If you die while you are an active member, your beneficiary or your spouse, minor child or parent should contact your employer. The employer will assist in coordinating any benefits that may be due. If you die while you are retired, your beneficiary or survivor should call Minnesota Life toll free at 1-800-441-2258. VRS has contracted with Minnesota Life as the insurer for the Group Life Insurance Program. For more information, see Losing a Loved One: Guide for Families.