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(a) In either case (division (a)(1) or (a)(2) below), the death, injury, or disease resulting in death is found by the board to have been the result of his or her actual performance of duty in the service of the city, the applicable benefits provided in divisions (b)(1) through (b)(5) below shall be paid, provided that the pensions provided for (in divisions (b)(2) through (b)(5) below) shall be subject to the conditions that workers' compensation is paid on account of the death of the member; and provided further that the pensions shall be subject to division (b)(6) below and to § 39.321:
(1) If a member dies as the result of a personal injury or disease arising solely and exclusively out of and in the course of employment with the city as a firefighter; or
(2) If a disability retirant dies, within a period of five years from and after the effective date of retirement and prior to his or her voluntary retirement age, as the result of the same injury or disease for which he or she was retired.
(b) (1) If the person dies prior to retirement, his or her accumulated contributions account at the time of his or her death shall be paid to the person as he or she shall have nominated by written designation duly executed and filed with the board. If there is no designated person surviving the member, his or her accumulated contributions shall be paid to his or her legal representative.
(2) If the deceased person leaves a spouse, the spouse shall receive a pension of one-third of a firefighter's salary. Upon the spouse's death, the pension shall terminate.
(3) If, in addition to a spouse who is entitled to a pension payable from the pension fund, the deceased person leaves an eligible child or an eligible handicapped child, each child shall receive a pension of an equal share of one-fourth of a firefighter's salary. A child's pension shall terminate upon the attainment of age 18 years, or adoption or marriage or death. A handicapped child's pension shall terminate upon adoption, marriage, full recovery from handicap or death. Upon termination of a child's or handicapped child's pension, the board shall redistribute the one-fourth of a firefighter's salary to the remaining eligible children, provided, however, the minimum benefit for this division (b)(3) shall be $200 per month for each eligible child.
(4) If the deceased person does not leave a spouse, or if the spouse dies and an eligible child or eligible handicapped child survives, the child shall each receive a pension of one-fourth of a firefighter's salary, provided that, if there are more than two surviving children under age 18 years, each child shall receive a pension of an equal share of one-half of a firefighter's salary. Upon termination of a child's or handicapped child's pension as provided in division (b)(3) above, the board shall redistribute the one-half of a firefighter's salary to the remaining eligible children, provided that, in no case shall any child's pension be more than one-fourth of a firefighter's salary, provided, however, the minimum benefit for this division (b)(4) shall be $200 per month for each eligible child.
(5) If the deceased person leaves neither a spouse nor children eligible to receive pensions under this section, there shall be paid to each his or her father and mother, or either of them, a pension of one-sixth of a firefighter's salary, provided, the board finds that either or both his or her father and mother were dependent upon the person, at the time of death, for at least 50% of his or her support through absence of earning power due to physical or mental incapacity. Upon the remarriage or death of a parent, his or her pension shall terminate.
(6) Wherever the word SPOUSE is used in this section, it shall mean the person to whom the person was married at the time his or her employment with the city as a firefighter last terminated.
(7) Notwithstanding any provision in the pension fund to the contrary, distributions upon the death of a member shall be made in accordance with the following requirements and shall otherwise comply with Internal Revenue Code § 401(a)(9) and the rulings pertaining thereto. If it is determined that the distribution of a member's interest has begun and the member dies before the entire interest has been distributed to the member, the remaining portion of the interest shall be distributed at least as rapidly as under the method of distribution selected by the member at retirement. If a member dies before beginning to receive any distributions of the interest under the pension fund, then any death benefits shall be distributed to the beneficiaries by December 31 of the calendar year in which the fifth anniversary of the date of death occurs. However, the five-year distribution requirement shall not apply to any portion of the deceased member's interest which is payable to or for a designated beneficiary. In that event, the portion may be distributed over the life of the designated beneficiary (or over a period not extending beyond the life expectancy of the beneficiary), provided the distributions begin not later than December 1 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the member died.
(8) Any death benefit payable under this section shall be compared with the death benefits payable under § 39.323, and the higher death benefit shall be paid.
(1957 Rev. Ords., § 2.1123; 1992 Code, § 35-103) (Ord. 49-80, passed 6-9-1980; Ord. 110-89, passed 10-16-1989; Ord. 110-90, passed 12-3-1990; Ord. 104-92, passed 12-7-1992; Ord. 118-16, passed 12-20-2016)