§ 31.40  SERVICE EMPLOYEES; DEATH BENEFITS.
   (A)   Lump sum death benefit.
      (1)   A lump sum death benefit of $5,000 shall be payable to the surviving spouse of a service employee member, or if there is no surviving spouse, to the surviving dependent child(ren) in equal shares, upon the death of such service employee member; provided, however that the service employee member's death:
         (a)   Occurs due to bodily injury arising out of the course of the service employee member's employment with the town within the meaning of the worker's compensation laws of the State of Connecticut; and
         (b)   Was sustained by an injury solely through external, violent or accidental means; and
         (c)   Occurs within one year of the date injury was sustained and such death is the direct result of such injury.
      (2)   The Retirement Board shall maintain sole discretion in the determination of eligibility for a lump sum death benefit. The lump sum death benefit described herein shall be in addition to all other benefits provided under this section.
   (B)   Pre-retirement surviving spouse pension.
      (1)   Effective on and after July 1, 1991, the surviving spouse of an active service employee member who has earned at least five years of credited service, and who dies prior to retirement shall receive a monthly surviving spouse pension equal to the greater of:
         (a)   50% of the service employee member's accrued monthly benefit calculated as if the service employee member retired with a regular pension and died the next day; or
         (b)   50% of the service employee member's compensation at the time of death and divided by 12.
      (2)   For periods prior to July 1, 1991, the monthly surviving spouse pension payable to the surviving spouse of a service employee member was equal to 25% of the average annual compensation of the service employee member, divided by 12 and determined in accordance with the provisions of the plan in effect at the time the service employee member died.
      (3)   The surviving spouse of a terminated, vested service employee member who dies prior to retirement shall not be entitled to receive a monthly surviving spouse pension but shall receive a return of the service employee member's accumulated contributions in accordance with division (F) of this section.
      (4)   The former spouse of an active service employee member shall not be entitled to a pre-retirement surviving spouse pension unless a Domestic Relations Order determined to be approved by the Retirement Board requires the payment of such a benefit.
      (5)   The pre-retirement surviving spouse pension shall be payable until the death or remarriage of the surviving spouse. In the event the surviving spouse does not notify the Retirement Board within 30 days of her remarriage, the Retirement Board shall have the right to seek a return of the benefits paid to her in error after the date of her remarriage.
   (C)   Post-retirement surviving spouse pension.
      (1)   The surviving spouse of any service employee member who retires on or after July 1, 1991 with a life annuity shall receive, until his/her death or remarriage, a monthly benefit equal to 50% of the monthly benefit that the retired service employee member was receiving at the time of death.
      (2)   In the event the service employee member elected a husband and wife benefit or a ten-year certain and life benefit, death benefits shall not be payable under this division (C) but shall be payable in accordance with the terms of the form of benefit elected by the member.
   (D)   Surviving children's pension.
      (1)   Upon the death of an active service employee member, a monthly benefit shall be payable to the surviving dependent child(ren) of the service employee member in an amount equal to one-twelfth (1/12) of 25% of the service employee member's average annual compensation in addition to all other benefits hereunder. Such monthly benefit shall be divided equally in the case of more than one dependent child and shall be payable until the dependent child attains age 18. In the event the benefit is divided between multiple dependent children, the monthly benefit to such dependent children shall be increased proportionately to each remaining dependent child when the payment to a child who has reached the age of 18 ceases.
      (2)   The Retirement Board shall direct payment of this benefit on behalf of the dependent child(ren) at its discretion, to the surviving spouse of the service employee member or to the guardian of the person of such surviving dependent child(ren) or to the person with whom such child or children reside. In no event shall the benefit be paid to a state or governmental agency with custody of the dependent child(ren) unless the benefits shall be held in trust for the child until the child reaches the age of 18.
      (3)   The benefit provided under this division shall terminate upon the attainment of age 18 by the last dependent child.
   (E)   Social security offset. The death benefits provided for in divisions (B) through (D) of this section shall be offset by a percentage of social security, if applicable, determined pursuant to § 31.37(A)(4).
   (F)   Modified cash refund. If a service employee member dies and the death benefits and/or pension payments payable do not exceed the service employee member's accumulated contributions, then the amount by which the accumulated contributions exceed the death benefits and/or pension payments payable shall be paid to the member's surviving spouse, surviving dependent children equally, duly designated beneficiary, or other executor or administrator of the service employee member's estate as designated by the Retirement Board.
   (G)   Non-duplication of benefits. If a service employee member has elected a husband and wife benefit or a ten-year certain and life benefit and has retired, the election of such benefit shall be in lieu of any post-retirement survivor amounts as described in division (C) of this section.
   (H)   Burial allowance. Upon the death of an active or retired service employee member, whether before or after retirement, there shall be paid a burial allowance of $5,000, to be paid to the service employee member's executors or administrators, if any, or, if none, to such person or persons as the Retirement Board may find to have paid or assumed financial responsibility for such expenses.
(Ord. 435, passed 3-12-01; Am. Ord. 666, passed 12-7-15)