FAQs About Supplemental Benefits

We want to answer some commonly-asked questions about supplemental benefits:

Q: How do we calculate the supplemental benefit?

A: When a lump-sum service pension is paid, the supplemental benefit is equal to 10 percent of the pension amount, not to exceed $1,000. Alternatively, when a lump-sum survivor benefit is paid to a survivor of a deceased active or deferred volunteer firefighter, the supplemental benefit is 20 percent of the survivor benefit amount, not to exceed $2,000.  The supplemental survivor benefit is payable to the surviving spouse, or, if none, to the surviving child or children. A 2019 law change allows a supplemental survivor benefit to be paid to a designated beneficiary or to an estate if the deceased firefighter had no surviving spouse or surviving children. The new law applies to supplemental benefits paid in 2019 and, thereafter, for the death of an active or deferred firefighter that occurred on or after January 1, 2019.

Q: Do we include deferred interest when we calculate the supplemental benefit?

A: No. Supplemental benefit amounts are based on the pre-tax lump-sum distribution, and must exclude any interest credited during a member’s period of deferral.

Q: Are supplemental benefits restricted to members with at least 20 years of service?

A: No. Supplemental benefits are payable both to fully-vested members and to members who are partially vested.

Q: Are members who elect to rollover their distribution to an Individual Retirement Account eligible for a supplemental benefit?

A: Yes. Supplemental benefits are payable to qualified recipients regardless of how they elect to receive their distribution.

Published last in the January 2016 Pension Newsletter