If You Die Before You Retire
Secondary Beneficiary
You must complete a Pre-Retirement Beneficiary Designation Form if you wish to name a secondary or non-spouse/contingent beneficiary for your Retirement Plan benefit in the event you die before you retire. Contact the PG&E Benefits Service Center or visit the PG&E@Work intranet site to obtain this form.
The Retirement Plan may provide a pension benefit for your spouse or a designated beneficiary if your death occurs before you retire. If eligible, the amount of your Pre-Retirement Survivor's Pension benefit will depend on your age, years of credited service and employment status at the time of your death.
Pre-Retirement Survivor's Pension A
If you are an employee earning credited service under the Retirement Plan and:
  • you are age 55 or older when your death occurs, or
  • your age plus years of credited service total to 70 or more,
your survivor is entitled to a pension benefit equal to 50 percent of the basic pension you would have received had you elected retirement as of the first day of the month after your death. There is no reduction for early retirement. However, pension benefits will be reduced if your survivor is more than ten years younger than you. Your survivor's pension benefit will be reduced by 1/20 of one percent for each full month that your survivor is more than ten years younger than you. However, if your survivor is your spouse, the total reduction cannot result in a smaller pension benefit than what your spouse would have received under a 50 percent joint pension with applicable early retirement reductions.
The Survivor's Pension A is payable on the first day of the month after your death and continues for the life of your surviving spouse or beneficiary.
Pre-Retirement Survivor's Pension B
If you have at least five years of credited service when your death occurs, and if your survivor does not qualify for Survivor's Pension A, your survivor will be entitled to a pension benefit calculated under the formula for Survivor's Pension B.
For an Active Employee Who Dies Before Age 55
Your survivor will be entitled to a 50 percent joint pension. This benefit will be calculated as if you had terminated employment on the date of your death.
Your survivor can elect to begin receiving this benefit on the first day of the month after you would have reached age 55.
For a Former Employee Who Dies Before Age 55
Your survivor's benefit will be calculated as if you had survived until age 55 and elected a 50 percent joint pension. Your survivor can elect to begin receiving this benefit on the first day of the month after you would have reached age 55.
For a Former Employee Who Dies at Age 55 or Older
Provided you have not yet begun receiving pension payments from the Plan, your survivor's benefit will be equal to the 50 percent joint pension that would have been payable to your joint pensioner, had you made such an election as of the first of the month following your death. The benefit is effective the first day of the month following the month in which your death occurs.
If You Die Within 30 Days of Your Retirement Date
If your death occurs within 30 days of your retirement date and:
  • You are married and have submitted completed retirement paperwork to PG&E electing a joint pension with your spouse, your spouse will receive the greater of the joint pension you have elected or the Pre-Retirement Survivor's Pension, described above.
  • You are not married and have elected a joint pension with someone who is not on your Pre-Retirement Beneficiary Designation Form, or if you are married and have elected a joint pension with someone other than your spouse, your joint pensioner will receive the joint pension percentage that you elected.
  • You are single and you have elected a joint pension with your pre-retirement beneficiary, your beneficiary will receive the greater of the joint pension you have elected or the Pre-Retirement Survivor's pension. If you have elected someone other than your pre-retirement beneficiary to be your joint pensioner, your named joint pensioner will receive the joint pension percentage you elected.