Overview of Retirement Survivor Benefits

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Retirement benefits help families cope with the loss of a loved one.
Retirement benefits help families cope with the loss of a loved one. (Image: Graveyard image by Peter Jarvis from Fotolia.com)

Companies hoping for a competitive advantage over other employers may offer retirement survivor benefits. This gives a retired worker's family the security of knowing they will have some benefits even if the retired employee dies.

Types

Survivor benefits differ widely among companies, but often include survivor pension income, life insurance proceeds, long-term care policies, health care and dental coverage.

Survivor health coverage is one benefit offered by companies.
Survivor health coverage is one benefit offered by companies. (Image: Spritze image by Martina Taylor from Fotolia.com)

Significance

Survivor benefits help companies acquire and hold onto employees in a competitive work environment. Such benefits show employees that a company cares about the entire family, which can help the employee focus on work.

Retirement survivor benefits help employers retain employees for longer periods.
Retirement survivor benefits help employers retain employees for longer periods. (Image: office workers image by Tracy Martinez from Fotolia.com)

Acquiring

Survivor benefits are frequently offered at no cost through a company's employee benefits plan. Some benefits are optional and require an employee to purchase needed benefits through a cafeteria-style plan.

Read your human resources paperwork about acquiring survivor retirement benefits.
Read your human resources paperwork about acquiring survivor retirement benefits. (Image: business woman image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com)

Claims

Survivors claim benefits by bringing a death certificate and proof of identification to their company's human resources department. Some companies will then have the survivor work directly with the benefits providers.

You'll need proper identification to claim survivor benefits.
You'll need proper identification to claim survivor benefits. (Image: wallet image by Maciej Mamro from Fotolia.com)

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