Survivor Benefits

In the event of your death, the SFERS Pension Plan provides for a continuation allowance to your qualified survivor and/or a lump sum benefit to your designated beneficiary or beneficiaries.

If you should die before you retire, and you are qualified to retire for service on the date of your death, your qualified survivor may elect to receive one of the following benefits:

a monthly continuation allowance equal to 50% of the monthly service retirement benefit you would have received had you retired on the  date of your death
a lump sum benefit equal to 6 months earnable salary plus your account balance (contributions plus interest)

A qualified spouse/domestic partner must also be designated as your sole primary beneficiary to receive a continuation allowance upon your death

A Qualified Survivor is:

1. Eligible spouse/domestic partner; or
2. Unmarried child under age 18


A continuation allowance may be paid to your qualified survivor, but only for the period that the survivor remains qualified (e.g. the earlier of age 18 or date of marriage for an unmarried child under age 18, or until remarriage for a spouse).

Select the appropriate link for a definition of “Qualified Survivor” with Survivor Benefit details: “Qualified Survivor Old Plan” or “Qualified Survivor New Plans”.

If you should die before you retire and you are not qualified to retire for service on the date of your death, your contributions will be handled in one of the following ways:

A lump sum benefit equal to six (6) months earnable salary plus your account balance (contributions plus interest) paid to your designated beneficiary(ies)
If you do not have a designated beneficiary, the lump sum benefit (mentioned above) will be paid to your estate


A Beneficiary is:

A person or persons, a trust, or an estate designated  to receive a  lump sum benefit upon your death.


To designate a beneficiary, or update your designated beneficiary, download, complete, and submit a SFERS Designation of Beneficiary Form. The completed form must be notarized if submitted to our office by mail.

If you are submitting the form in person, bring your picture ID (e.g. Driver’s License), the name and address of the person(s) you wish to designate as your beneficiary, and sign the form in the presence of a SFERS employee to witness your signature (the form does not need to be notarized if submitted in person). An appointment is not required to update beneficiary information.

Please refer to “Death prior to Retirement” in your “Summary of Key Plan Provisions” for a detailed description of survivor benefits.

Benefit provisions under SF Charter § A8.509(e)(1) and § A8.509(e)(2) for Old Plan and §§ A8.587-5(a); A8.603-5(a) and §§ A8.587-5(b); A8.603-5(b) for New Plans


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