SAG-Producers Pension Plan SPD & Benefits

Death Before Retirement Benefits

The following benefits may be payable if you die before retirement benefits have commenced.

  • Pre-Retirement 50% Joint and Survivor Pension
  • Pre-Retirement 100% Joint and Survivor Pension
  • Pre-Retirement Death Benefits
  • Designating a Beneficiary

Pre-Retirement 50% Joint and Survivor Pension

Note: Prior to July 1, 2011, this benefit was called the Pre-Retirement Husband and Wife Pension and was only available to certain married Participants. If the Participant's death occurred prior to July 1, 2011, the provisions of the previous Pre-Retirement Husband and Wife Pension apply.

If you are married and die before retirement but after meeting the service requirements for pension (including a Pro Rata Pension), your Spouse will automatically be entitled to the Pre-Retirement 50% Joint and Survivor Pension. If you have a Same-Sex Domestic Partner, the Pre-Retirement 50% Joint and Survivor Pension is not automatic, but may be elected by your Same-Sex Domestic Partner if they have been named as your primary beneficiary on your Beneficiary Designation Form. This benefit is available even if you do not meet the age requirement for a pension at the time of death.

Your Spouse will receive these benefits regardless of who is named as your designated beneficiary on your Beneficiary Designation Form. Your Same-Sex Domestic Partner may elect this benefit only if they are named as the primary beneficiary on your Beneficiary Designation Form. Please refer to page 24 for details on designating a beneficiary. Under the Pre-Retirement 50% Joint and Survivor Pension, your surviving Spouse will receive monthly benefits for life equal to 50% of the benefits you would have received under the 50% Joint and Survivor Pension determined as if you had terminated employment on your date of death and survived until your earliest retirement date. For example, if you are 55 or older and have at least 10 Pension Credits on the date of death, benefits to your Spouse will commence the first of the month following your death. However, if you die prior to 55 and have at least 10 Pension Credits, benefits to your Spouse will commence the first of the month following the month in which you would have reached age 55 had you lived.

Benefits under the Pre-Retirement 50% Joint and Survivor Pension to a Same-Sex Domestic Partner will be paid monthly for life beginning on the first day of the month following the date of death. Benefits will be equal to 50% of the benefits you would have received under the 50% Joint and Survivor Pension as if you had terminated employment on your date of death, and reduced actuarially for early commencement. If you are age 65 or older on the date of death, benefits to your spouse or partner will commence the first of the month following your death.

Your Spouse may elect to defer the commencement of payments, but only until the date you would have reached age 70-1/2 had you lived. This election to defer commencement of payments is not available to Same-Sex Domestic Partners.

IMPORTANT: Your surviving Spouse or Same-Sex Domestic Partner may, within 90 days of receiving written notice from the Plan Office, elect to receive the Pre-Retirement Death Benefit (see page 23) or the Pre-Retirement 100% Joint and Survivor Pension (see page 23), instead of the Pre-Retirement 50% Joint and Survivor Pension. In no event will your Spouse or Same-Sex Domestic Partner receive less than the actuarial value of the Pre-Retirement 50% Joint and Survivor Pension and the amount of Pre-Retirement Death Benefit shall be adjusted, if necessary, to equal the actuarial value of the Pre-Retirement 50% Joint and Survivor Pension.

The Pre-Retirement 50% Joint and Survivor Pension is only payable if you and your Spouse have been married throughout the one-year period prior to your death or, if you have a Same-Sex Domestic Partner, the partnership has been in effect throughout the one-year period prior to your death.

Pre-Retirement 100% Joint and Survivor Pension 

The following Pre-Retirement 100% Joint and Survivor Pension is not payable if payments are payable to your Spouse under the Pre-Retirement 50% Joint and Survivor Pension, unless your surviving Spouse has elected, within 90 days of receiving written notice from the Plan, to receive the Pre-Retirement 100% Joint and Survivor Pension instead of the Pre-Retirement 50% Joint and Survivor Pension. The 100% Joint and Survivor Pension may be elected by your Same-Sex Domestic Partner within the same 90-day period provided they were named as the primary beneficiary on your Beneficiary Designation Form.

If you die before retirement but after meeting the age and service requirements for pension, your surviving Spouse or Same-Sex Domestic Partner may elect to receive the Pre-Retirement 100% Joint and Survivor Pension. The monthly amount payable to the surviving spouse or partner is equal to the monthly benefit that would have been payable to you under the 100% Joint and Survivor Option as described on pages 18 through 19 had you retired on the day before your death. If this benefit is elected, no benefits are payable under the Pre-Retirement 50% Joint and Survivor Pension or the Pre-Retirement Death Benefits.

Benefits to your spouse or partner will commence with the month following the month in which you died.

Pre-Retirement Death Benefits

The following Pre-Retirement Death Benefits are automatically payable to your beneficiary if you are not legally married or do not have a Same Sex Domestic Partner listed on your beneficiary form. They are not payable if payments are payable to your Spouse under the Pre-Retirement 50% Joint and Survivor Pension, unless your Spouse has elected, within 90 days of receiving written notice from the Plan, to receive the Pre-Retirement Death Benefit instead of the Pre-Retirement 50% Joint and Survivor Pension. The following benefits are available as an option to your Same-Sex Domestic Partner provided they have been named as the primary beneficiary on your Beneficiary Designation Form.

  1. Death Before Age 65. If you are younger than age 65 and have at least 5 Pension Credits without a Permanent Break in Service (or at least 8 Pension Credits including Pension Credits prior to a Permanent Break in Service), a Lump Sum Death Benefit is payable to your beneficiary. The amount of Death Benefit is equal to four times the annual Current Service Benefit earned at the time of death, but not less than $1,500. The beneficiary may, within 90 days after receiving written notice from the Plan, elect to receive this benefit in 60 equal monthly installments instead of a lump sum. The amount of the monthly payment is determined by dividing the lump sum payment by 60.
  2. Death After Age 65. If you are age 65 or older and have at least 10 Pension Credits, a Death Benefit of 60 monthly payments is payable to your beneficiary. The monthly amount of each payment is equal to the monthly amount of Regular Pension you would have been entitled to receive if you had retired on your date of death. The beneficiary may, within 90 days after receiving written notice from the Plan, elect to receive these benefits in a single lump sum payment instead of 60 monthly installments. The lump sum payment is determined by multiplying the monthly payment by 60. If you are age 65 or older and have at least 5 Pension Credits without a Permanent Break in Service (or at least 8 Pension Credits, including Pension Credits prior to a Permanent Break in Service), the Lump Sum Death Benefit described under 1. above is payable to your beneficiary. The beneficiary may, within 90 days after receiving notice from the Plan, elect to receive this benefit in 60 equal monthly installments instead of a lump sum. The amount of the monthly payment is determined by dividing the lump sum payment by 60.

Designating a Beneficiary

You may designate a beneficiary to receive any payments due upon your death that are not automatically payable to your surviving Spouse by completing a Beneficiary Designation Form. You will be asked to list at least one primary and one secondary beneficiary. However, you may list more if you wish. You may change your beneficiary at any time prior to your retirement by completing a new Beneficiary Designation Form and filing it with the Plan Office.

If you want your Same-Sex Domestic Partner to receive benefits payable from the Plan if you die before retirement, you must name them as your sole primary beneficiary. If you do not designate a beneficiary, death benefits will be paid to the first surviving of the following: (1) your surviving Spouse, (2) your surviving children, (3) your surviving brothers and sisters, (4) your surviving parents, (5) any other person who is the object of your natural bounty as determined by the Board of Trustees.

Special Note: The beneficiary you list on the Beneficiary Designation Form will not be entitled to receive the benefits payable from the Pension Plan upon your death if:

  1. Your Spouse is entitled to the automatic Pre-Retirement 50% Joint and Survivor Pension; or
  2. You die after beginning to receive pension benefits. When you apply for a pension, you will be required to complete a separate beneficiary designation form that applies to post-retirement death benefits.

Please contact the Plan Office if you have any questions about designating a beneficiary.