A retiring member of the Fairfax County Employees’ Retirement System may elect a Joint and Last Survivor Option if he or she retires under normal, early or deferred vested retirement provisions.
If you make this election, you will receive a reduced retirement benefit. However, after your death, your surviving spouse will continue to receive a percentage (50% 662/3%, 75%, or 100%) of your reduced benefit for life. This Joint and Last Survivor Option does not include the Pre-Social Security Benefit.
The amount of reduction to your benefit depends on the difference between your age and your spouse’s age, and on the percentage of your benefit that your spouse will receive. The Retirement Systems office can give you additional information about how the joint and last survivor option affects the amount of your benefit.
The Joint and Last Survivor Option may not be changed once you have retired except in the event of the death of your spouse or in the event of divorce.
- Death – If your spouse should die before you, your benefit will be increased to an amount equal to the monthly benefit you would have received if you had not elected the Joint and Last Survivor Option. A member who elects a Joint and Last Survivor option at retirement is required to provide notice and proof of his or her spouse’s death before the Retirement System will increase the amount of his or her retirement allowance to what he or she would have received in the absence of his or her earlier election of a Joint and Last Survivor Option for the spouse.
- Divorce – If you and your spouse divorce following your retirement, you may elect to discontinue the joint and last survivor option provided that your divorced spouse’s rights under the joint and last survivor options have been extinguished pursuant to the final decree of divorce or the final property order entered in connection with your divorce case. Your benefit will be increased to an amount equal to a monthly benefit you would have received if you had not elected the joint and last survivor option. Once it has stopped, you may not elect the joint and last survivor option again, even if you remarry.