MMC Benefits Handbook
Survivor Benefit if You Die Before Your Benefit Commencement Date
If you have a vested Accrued Benefit and die before your Benefit Commencement Date, a survivor benefit is paid to your eligible Spouse or Domestic Partner.
If the Present Value of the survivor benefit does not exceed $1,000, a lump sum payment will be paid following your death.
The Plan does not pay a benefit upon your death if you:
  • are not married to a Spouse or do not have a Domestic Partner,
  • are married to a Spouse for fewer than twelve consecutive months at the time of your death,
  • have a partner but do not meet the Domestic Partner requirements as defined by the Plan or
  • do not have a vested Accrued Benefit in the Plan.
Employees who contributed to the Sedgwick Retirement Plan (which was merged into the Marsh & McLennan Companies Retirement Plan on January 1, 2000) may have a beneficiary on file to receive a refund of their contributions plus interest in the event they die before benefits commence and have not been married for at least 12 months at the time of death. This beneficiary election may be updated at any time.
Your Eligible Survivor must contact the Employee Service Center to apply for the survivor benefit. Monthly benefit payments are made at the beginning of each month. The first payments will be made up to 90 days following receipt of the required documentation in good order.
If you have an Eligible Survivor, be sure to inform your Eligible Survivor of his or her potential survivor benefit under the Plan and urge him or her to contact the Plan as soon as possible in the event of your death.
Survivor Benefit if You Die While Actively Employed
If you die before age 50 while married to a Spouse:
If you are an Active Participant, have a vested Accrued Benefit and die before age 50, your Spouse will be eligible for a survivor benefit. The survivor benefit will be 50% of the monthly benefit payment that you would have received, had you elected a 50% Contingent Annuity Option on the day before your death. Your Spouse's monthly benefit payments will commence on the first of the month following the month in which you would have attained age 65, unless your Spouse elects to commence the benefit earlier. Your Spouse can elect to commence monthly benefit payments as early as the first of the month following the month when you would have attained age 55, however, the monthly benefit payment will be reduced by applying the Plan's early commencement reduction factors.
If you die on or after age 50 while married to a Spouse:
If you are an Active Participant, have a vested Accrued Benefit and die on or after age 50, your Spouse will be eligible for a survivor benefit equal to 50% of your vested Accrued Benefit calculated as if you had terminated employment on your date of death. Monthly benefit payments will commence as of the first of the month following your death.
If you die before age 50 and have a Domestic Partner:
If you are an Active Participant, have a vested Accrued Benefit and die before age 50 your Domestic Partner will be eligible for a survivor benefit. The survivor benefit will be 50% of the monthly benefit payment that you would have received, had you elected a 50% Contingent Annuity Option on the day before your death. Monthly benefit payments to your Domestic Partner will commence as of the first of the month following your date of death. The monthly benefit payment will be reduced to reflect what your age would have been at the time monthly benefit payments commence.
Payments to your Domestic Partner must begin no later than the last day of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year of your death. If payments are delayed beyond that date, an excise tax of 50% may be applied to the late payment amount pursuant to IRS rules.
If you die on or after age 50 and have a Domestic Partner:
If you are an Active Participant, have a vested Accrued Benefit and die on or after age 50 your Domestic Partner will be eligible for a survivor benefit equal to 50% of your vested Accrued Benefit calculated as if you had terminated employment on your date of death.
Payments to your surviving Domestic Partner must begin no later than the last day of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year of your death. If payments are delayed beyond that date, an excise tax of 50% may be applied to the late payment amount pursuant to IRS rules.
Survivor Benefit if You Die after Termination but Before Your Benefit Commencement Date
If you die while married to a Spouse:
If you are a Terminated Vested Participant and die after you terminate employment but before your Benefit Commencement Date, your Spouse will be eligible for a survivor benefit. The survivor benefit will be 50% of the monthly benefit payment that you would have received, had you elected a 50% Contingent Annuity Option on the day before your death. Your Spouse's monthly benefit payments will commence on the first of the month following the month in which you would have attained age 65, unless your Spouse elects to commence the monthly benefit payments earlier. Your Spouse can elect to commence monthly benefit payments as early as the first of the month following the month when you would have attained age 55, however, the monthly benefit payment will be reduced by applying the Plan's early commencement reduction factors.
If you have a Spouse, elect a contingent annuity option but die before your Benefit Commencement Date:
If you completed an election to commence monthly benefit payment in the form of a contingent annuity with your Spouse as the designated beneficiary and your election was received by the Plan Administrator in good order, and you die before your Benefit Commencement Date, your Spouse will receive the contingent annuity percentage (e.g., 50%, 66-2/3%, 75%, or 100%) that you elected in lieu of the Plan's survivor benefit.
If you completed an election to commence monthly benefit payments in the form of a contingent annuity with someone other than your Spouse as the designated beneficiary, or you elect to commence monthly benefit payments in any other form of payment and you die before your Benefit Commencement Date, your form of payment election will be voided and your Spouse will receive the Plan's survivor benefit. The survivor you designated in your voided form of payment election will not receive a benefit from the Plan.
If you die and have a Domestic Partner:
If you are a Terminated Vested Participant and die after you terminate employment but before your Benefit Commencement Date, your Domestic Partner will be eligible for a survivor benefit. The survivor benefit will be 50% of the monthly benefit payment that you would have received, had you elected a 50% Contingent Annuity Option on the day before your death. This benefit will commence as of the first of the month following your date of death. The monthly benefit payment will be reduced to reflect what your age would have been at the time monthly benefit payments commence.
Payments to your surviving Domestic Partner must begin no later than the last day of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year of your death. If payments are delayed beyond that date, an excise tax of 50% may be applied to the late payment amount pursuant to IRS rules.
If you have a Domestic Partner, elect a contingent annuity option but die before your Benefit Commencement Date:
If you completed an election to commence monthly benefit payment in the form of a contingent annuity with your Domestic Partner as the designated beneficiary and your election was received by the Plan Administrator in good order, and you die before your Benefit Commencement Date, your Domestic Partner will receive the contingent annuity percentage (e.g., 50%, 66-2/3%, 75%, or 100%) that you elected in lieu of the Plan's survivor benefit.
If you completed an election to commence monthly benefit payments in the form of a contingent annuity with someone other than your Domestic Partner as the designated beneficiary, or you elect to commence monthly benefit payments in any other form of payment and you die before your Benefit Commencement Date, your form of payment election will be voided and your Domestic Partner will receive the Plan's survivor benefit. The survivor you designated in your voided form of payment election will not receive a benefit from the Plan.