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Members should check TRB Statement for Beneficiary in 2010-11 Statement

December 9th, 2011

This is an important message from CEA:

I am writing to make you aware of a retirement issue regarding pre-retirement survivorship benefits that has been problematic recently.   While CEA will be attempting to remedy the issue legislatively, in the meantime it is very important that you understand pre-retirement survivorship benefits.

If an active teacher dies and he/she was eligible for any immediate retirement benefit (i.e., normal, early or proratable – see chart below),  the pre-retirement Plan D survivor benefit is usually the greatest benefit available to a surviving spouse or civil union partner (CUP) since it pays that surviving  spouse or CUP the deceased teacher’s accrued pension (with a slight actuarial reduction) for the rest of the surviving spouse’s or CUP’s life.  However, pre-retirement Plan D is only offered if the surviving spouse or CUP was named as the sole primary beneficiary.  If a person other than the spouse or CUP (or an estate or trust) is named as the primary beneficiary, pre-retirement Plan D will not be offered as a survivorship benefit.  Please note that naming contingent or alternate beneficiaries is fine and does not affect the ability of a spouse or CUP to receive pre-retirement Plan D benefits.

Therefore, it is imperative that you check your annual TRB Member Statement to see who you have listed as the beneficiary at the bottom of the statement.  The last Statement you received is the 2009-10 statement; the 2010-11 statement is being sent from the STRB in the next few weeks. If you need to make a change to your beneficiary designation,  simply download this form:



In summary, if you are currently eligible for any type of retirement and have a spouse or CUP but have not named him/her as your sole primary beneficiary, you should know that pre-retirement Plan D would not be offered in the event of your death.  Other, less favorable death benefits would apply.  You should review the STRB”s Survivorship Benefits Before Retirement Bulletin for more detailed information.  Here is the link:


Thank you,

Robyn Kaplan-Cho

Eligibility for an immediate retirement benefit applies if you are:

  • ·         Age 55 or older and have 20 or more years (at least 15 must be CT years)
  • ·         Any age and have 25 or more years (at least 20 must be CT years)
  • ·         Any 60 or older and have at least 10 CT years


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