§ 16-168. Pre-retirement death.  


Latest version.
  • (a) Prior to eligibility for deferred benefit or retirement. The beneficiary of a deceased member who was not receiving monthly benefits, or who was not yet eligible for a deferred benefit under subsection (g) of section 16-166, early retirement, or normal retirement, shall receive a refund of one hundred (100) percent of the member's accumulated contribution, or in the event an annuity or life insurance contract has been purchased by the board on such firefighter, then the beneficiary shall receive instead the death benefits available under such contract, subject to the limitations on such benefits set forth in F.S. § 175.081, whichever amount is greater.

    (b) Deceased members eligible for deferred benefit or retirement benefit. The beneficiary of any member who dies and who, at the date of his or her death was eligible for a deferred benefit under subsection (g) of section 16-166, or early retirement, or normal retirement, shall be entitled to a benefit as follows:

    (1) If the member was eligible for a deferred benefit, but not eligible for normal or early retirement, the beneficiary shall receive a benefit payable for ten (10) years, beginning on the date that the deceased member would have been eligible for early or normal retirement, at the option of the beneficiary. The benefit shall be calculated as for normal retirement based on the deceased member's, date of birth, credited service and average final compensation as of the date of his or her death and reduced as for early retirement, if applicable. The beneficiary may also elect to receive an immediate benefit, payable for ten (10) years, which is actuarially reduced to reflect the commencement of benefits prior to the early retirement date.

    (2) If the deceased member was eligible for normal or early retirement, the beneficiary shall receive a benefit payable for ten (10) years, beginning on the first day of the month following the member's death or at the deceased member's otherwise normal retirement date, at the option of the beneficiary. The benefit shall be calculated as for normal retirement based on the deceased member's credited service and average final compensation as of the date of his or her death and reduced as for early retirement, if applicable.

    (3) A beneficiary may, in lieu of any benefit provided for in (1) or (2) above, elect to receive a refund of the deceased member's accumulated contributions.

    (c) Optional death benefit for members killed in line of duty. In lieu of the benefits described in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the surviving spouse of any member who dies as a direct result of an occurrence arising in the performance of service, or if there is no surviving spouse, the legal guardian of the youngest living child, may elect a benefit payable as follows:

    (1) To the spouse, a monthly benefit payable until death equal to fifty (50) percent of the member's average final compensation.

    (2) To each minor child, in equal monthly installments in an amount equal to ten (10) percent of the member's average final compensation, subject to a limitation of a total of eighty (80) percent of average final compensation for the spouse and children combined. Each child's pension shall terminate at death or upon attaining eighteen (18) years of age, unless such child continues to be a full-time student at an accredited institution of higher learning or at an accredited institution providing vocational or technical training, in which case such payments may continue until such child attains the age of twenty-one (21).

    Upon death of the spouse, the allowance for each child shall be paid in trust or as otherwise determined by the board, to eligible children, not to exceed a combined total of fifty (50) percent of the member's average final compensation. The manner of handling and administering the pension to any child or children shall be determined by the board. No survivor pension shall be paid to any stepchild of a deceased member who had not been legally adopted by such member.

    (3) There shall be in any event a minimum total service-incurred death benefit equal in amount to four (4) times the member's average final compensation. If such amount has not yet been paid in total at such time as benefits cease under subsections (c)(1) and (c)(2) above, then the balance shall be payable in a lump sum to the member's designated beneficiary, and if there be none, then to such member's estate.

    (4) Notwithstanding the above, neither a surviving spouse, nor minor children may elect the optional death benefit described in this subsection (c) if the member has designated someone other than his spouse as his beneficiary.

(Ord. No. 98-18, § 2, 10-20-98)