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Payment Options

Several payment options are available. All of the optional forms of payment are “actuarially equivalent” to the normal form of payment. That means the monthly benefit amount from the optional payment method is adjusted (up or down) so that the value of the payments over your lifetime and your survivor’s lifetime is the same as the value of the normal form of payment.

The normal form of payment is a single life annuity. This payment option provides you with a monthly payment for the rest of your life. When you die, all payments stop.

Under this option, you receive smaller monthly payments than under the single life annuity because payments may continue to your survivor after your death.

You can choose to have 50%, 75% or 100% of your reduced pension paid to your survivor. Of course, the higher the continuation percentage you choose, the lower your benefit will be while you are living.

If you choose this option and your survivor dies before you do, you can notify us and we will raise your benefit up to the single life annuity amount.

If you left employment after January 1, 2000, you could alternatively choose the 10-year Certain & Life annuity option. Like the joint and survivor method, this option provides a smaller monthly payment than the single life annuity. In exchange for the lower initial benefit, you have a minimum guarantee of at least 120 monthly payments (10 years) even if you die before 120 payments have been received.

You can name more than one beneficiary under this option. If you do so, you will need to designate the percentage of the benefit that each survivor should receive. If you die before the 10-year period ends and none of your beneficiaries are alive, the remaining payments will be made in a lump sum to your estate. If you die and a beneficiary survives you, but your beneficiary dies before the end of the 10-year period, the remaining payments will be made to the estate of the last surviving beneficiary.

If you choose this option and you live longer than 10 years, you will continue to receive payments for the remainder of your lifetime but no payments will be made after your death.

If you left employment after January 1, 2000 and you choose to commence benefits prior to age 62, you also have a level income option available. This option can provide you with a higher income until age 62. When Social Security begins at age 62, your CERF pension decreases so that your total retirement income from CERF and Social Security combined is level throughout your retirement years.

The level income option may be used in combination with the joint and survivor annuity option.

This payment option is a combination of the joint and survivor annuity and level income options. Choosing this option will cause a greater adjustment to your initial pension than choosing just one of the two options.