Our members should be aware of a sickness death benefit that is available to those members who were on the ATT/New York Telephone/NYNEX active payroll as of August 9, 1986.
The retiree’s beneficiary will receive a death benefit from AT&T/New York Telephone/NYNEX equal to the retiree’s compensation in the year of retirement. This includes salary plus any AT&T/New York Telephone/NYNEX and team and performance awards.
The death benefit is paid from the pension plan. It is a benefit, not an insurance policy and is in fact separate from any insurance payments to which you are entitled. The death benefit is paid only to surviving dependents at the time of death. If you have no dependents, there will be no death benefit paid. This benefit will be paid only when the survivor notifies the benefit office of the retiree’s death. A form will be mailed to the survivor who will then fill out the form and return it along with a copy of the death certificate to the benefit office. The benefit must be claimed within a year of the members death.
The death benefit is taxable. However, the benefit could be taken over a 5-year period, instead of in a lump sum, thereby decreasing the tax due in any one year.
- spouse, if legally married
- unmarried children under age 23
- unmarried children over age 23 who are disabled and incapable of self support
- dependent parents, if they live with you or in a separate household that you provide in the vicinity of your home
NOTE: If retiree doesn’t have a mandatory beneficiary, the pension plan will not pay a death benefit. If the retirement occurred after 1/1/98, check that you have this benefit.
Call VZ Benefits 855.489.2367 to see if your’re eligible and then ask for a letter of eligibility and put it with family papers. Those members who elected the lump sum payment upon retirement ARE eligible for this benefit.