97B.52  Payment to beneficiary.

1.  If a member dies prior to the member's first month of entitlement, the accumulated contributions of the member at the date of death plus the product of an amount equal to the highest year of covered wages of the deceased member and the number of years of membership service divided by the applicable denominator shall be paid to the member's beneficiary in a lump sum payment. However, a lump sum payment made to a beneficiary under this subsection due to the death of a member shall not be less than the amount that would have been payable on the death of the member on June 30, 1984, under this subsection as it appeared in the 1983 Code.

As used in this subsection, "applicable denominator" means the following, based upon the type of membership service in which the member served either on the date of death, or if the member died after terminating service, on the date of the member's last termination of service:

a.  For regular service, the applicable denominator is thirty.

b.  For service in a protection occupation, as defined in section 97B.49B, the applicable denominator is twenty-five.

c.  For service as a sheriff, deputy sheriff, or airport fire fighter, as provided in section 97B.49C, the applicable denominator is twenty-two.

Effective July 1, 1978, a method of payment under this subsection filed with the department by a member does not apply.

2.  If a member dies on or after the first day of the member's first month of entitlement, the excess, if any, of the accumulated contributions by the member as of said date, over the total gross monthly retirement allowances received by the member under the retirement system will be paid to the member's beneficiary unless the retirement allowance is then being paid in accordance with section 97B.48 or with section 97B.51, subsection 1, 4, 5, or 6.

3. a.  Other than as provided in subsections 1 and 2 of this section, or section 97B.51, all rights to any benefits under the retirement system shall cease upon the death of a member.

b.  If a death benefit is due and payable, interest shall continue to accumulate through the quarter preceding the quarter in which payment is made to the designated beneficiary, heirs at law, or the estate unless the payment of the death benefit is delayed because of a dispute between alleged heirs, in which case the benefit due and payable shall be placed in a noninterest bearing escrow account until the beneficiary is determined in accordance with this section.

4.  In order to receive the death benefit, the beneficiary, heirs at law, or the estate, or any other third-party payee, must apply to the department within five years of the member's death.

The department shall reinstate a designated beneficiary's right to receive a death benefit beyond the five-year limitation if the designated beneficiary was the member's spouse at the time of the member's death and the distribution is required or permitted pursuant to Internal Revenue Code section 401(a)(9) and the applicable treasury regulations.

In the event that all, or any portion, of the death benefit payable to the member's designated beneficiary, heirs at law, or estate, shall remain unpaid solely by reason of the inability of the system to locate the payee, the amount payable shall be forfeited after the time for making a claim has run. However, if the appropriate payee is located after the death benefit is forfeited, the benefit shall be restored.

5.  Following written notification to the department, a beneficiary of a deceased member may waive current and future rights to payments to which the beneficiary would otherwise be entitled under section 97B.51, subsections 5 and 6, and this section. Upon receipt of the waiver, the department shall pay the amount designated to be received by that beneficiary to the member's other surviving beneficiary or beneficiaries or to the estate of the deceased member, as elected by the beneficiary in the waiver. If the payments being waived are payable to the member's estate and an estate is not probated, the payments shall be paid to the deceased member's surviving spouse, or if there is no surviving spouse, to the member's heirs other than the beneficiary who waived the payments.

6.  If a member has not filed a designation of beneficiary with the department, the death benefit is payable to the member's estate. If no designation has been filed and an estate is not probated, the death benefit shall be paid to the surviving spouse, if any. If no designation has been filed, no estate has been probated, and there is no surviving spouse, the death benefit shall be paid to the heirs. Otherwise, the death benefit shall remain in the fund.

Section History: Early form

  [C46, 50, § 97.14-97.18, 97.39; C54, 58, 62, 66, 71, 73, 75, 77, 79, 81, § 97B.52]

Section History: Recent form

  84 Acts, ch 1285, § 14, 15; 90 Acts, ch 1240, § 38; 92 Acts, ch 1201, § 51-54; 95 Acts, ch 102, §9; 96 Acts, ch 1187, § 45-47; 98 Acts, ch 1183, §50-54

Internal References

  Referred to in § 97B.49A, 97B.49G, 97B.53

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Last update: Thu Mar 18 15:00:31 CST 1999
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