Under the traditional pension formula, you accrue a monthly benefit starting at full retirement age. But before the pension payments begin, you MUST make an election. Whether or not you choose a survivor benefit for your spouse.
The Florida Retirement System gives you 4 choices. A full benefit with nothing left for your survivor, a 10-year certain option, 2/3 survivor for your spouse or a 100% survivor option. But what if you're not married? Normally you cannot elect a non-spouse (such as a child or sibling) as a beneficiary to your pension benefits once payments begin. So, if you were to die prematurely after the very first pension check, it's possible no one would get any of your hard-earned benefits.
This is where a "second election" might make sense. By contacting the FRS helpline, they can calculate your net present value of your pension and if you do choose to do the second election, you could roll that into an investment account and name any beneficiaries you like. Of course, the disadvantage is, the income the pension was guaranteeing you for life, is no longer guaranteed. So, it is critical that you have a plan to make sure your money lasts. For more Tips and Strategies check out our upcoming FRS Workshop at www.FRSWorkShop.com or give us a call at 386-299-2893.