When an active, vested member dies before retiring, his or her spouse, children, or dependent parents may qualify for survivor benefits. Inactive members who are not vested for future benefits do not have survivor benefit protection.

Surviving Spouses

  • Spouses of deceased, vested members are automatically eligible for benefits providing they have been married to the member for at least six months before the member's death.
  • A spouse's annuity will be the greater of Option B-75 or 10% of the member's covered compensation at the time of death.
  • If the member had 20 or more years of service at the time of death, then the spouse will draw a lifetime benefit.
  • If the vested member had fewer than 20 years service at the time of death, then the following conditions can restrict the survivor benefits of a spouse:
    • A spouse will continue to draw survivor benefits as long as he or she has care of dependent children of the member.
    • The survivor benefits of a spouse without dependent children will cease when the spouse remarries.

Dependent Children

  • Dependent children will receive an annuity that depends on the number of children eligible for benefits. Up to two children will receive the greater of 10% of the member's covered compensation or equal shares of $150. Three or more children share the greater of 25% of the member's covered compensation or equal shares of $150.
  • Benefits will be continued past age 18 and beyond for any dependent child who has been deemed physically or mentally incompetent by an Arkansas court of competent jurisdiction for as long as such incompetence exists.
  • A competent dependent child's benefits terminate at age 18 unless the child continues uninterrupted as a full-time student at an accredited secondary school, college, or university.
  • No benefits will be paid to a competent dependent child past the age of 23.
  • The marriage or death of a competent dependent child terminates benefits.

Dependent Parents

If there is no eligible spouse or child, each parent who was dependent on the member for at least 50% of his or her financial support may be eligible for benefits.

Each dependent parent will receive an annuity of 10% of the member's covered compensation at the time of death or an equal share of the $150 monthly minimum, whichever is greater.

NOTE: If you die before retiring, you have employee contributions in your account, your surviving spouse is also your named beneficiary, and you have no dependent children, then your surviving spouse may opt to receive a monthly benefit or a lump sum refund.

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Arkansas public employees retirement system

Here you will find information based on your role in our system, whether you are an active member, near retirement, a retired member or an APERS participating employer.