Lump-sum death benefit

If you are enrolled in the Death and Disability Plan when you die, the Board of Pensions pays a lump-sum death benefit if you are an active or disabled member, or a minister in transitional participation coverage. This benefit is not available after you retire or end your PC(USA) employment.

Amount of benefit

The lump-sum death benefit is equal to the lesser of the death benefit basis* or $110,000, multiplied by a percentage based on your age when you die, as shown in the table below.

Lump-sum death benefit percentages ​
(if you have eligible survivors)
​Your age at death​Multiplier percentage (%)
​Under 31​400
​31​380
​32​360
​33​340
​34​320
​35​300
​36​280
​37​260
​38​240
​39​220
​40​200
​41​190
​42​180
​43​170
​44​160
​45​150
​46​140
​47​130
​48​120
​49​110
​50+​100

Retired and vested members who are no longer employed by a PC(USA) employer do not receive lump-sum death benefits.

How lump-sum death benefits are paid

Generally, when your family member or survivor reports your death to the Board of Pensions, the Board sends a Death Benefits Claim form to your spouse, beneficiary, and, when applicable, covered dependents. The Board will pay benefits once it receives a completed form, a copy of the death certificate, and any outstanding pension and/or disability overpayments, as applicable.

The lump-sum death benefit is paid to your survivors in the following order:

  • your surviving spouse, provided the marriage occurred at least one year before your death or before any disability or retirement benefits began;
  • your unmarried dependent children under age 21, and your unmarried permanently disabled children age 21 or older who were disabled before age 21 and depended on you for support for 12 months before and on your date of death;
  • your dependent parents;
  • your unmarried dependent siblings under age 21, and your unmarried permanently disabled siblings age 21 or older who were disabled before age 21 and depended on you for support for 12 months before and on your date of death;
  • your estate, when there are no eligible dependents. The benefit equals the lesser of your death benefit basis or $110,000.

*The death benefit basis is the greater of the pension participation basis (annual effective salary or 25 percent of the congregational ministers’ median, whichever is more, up to the IRS maximum) or the applicable median salary (prorated for part-time employment). The IRS maximum for 2023 is $330,000, up from $305,000 in 2022. The maximum lump-sum death benefit basis is $110,000.