What is a “Killed in the Performance of Duties” Retirement Allowance, and Will All Police Officers, Firefighters and Corrections Officers Who Die on the Job be Covered Under This Allowance?

A pension equal to the amount of regular compensation the member would have received had he or she been receiving the maximum salary for the position at the time of his or her death is payable to the spouses of some police officers, firefighters and corrections officers who die in the performance of their duties.  Such a pension will be adjusted in accordance with any salary increases granted for the position.

However, not every death of a police officer, firefighter or corrections officer will trigger this pension benefit.

Under What Circumstances Would Such a Pension Benefit be Paid?

A firefighter’s spouse will receive a pension benefit if the firefighter dies or sustains injuries which result in death while in the performance of his or her duties and as a result of an accident while responding to or returning from an alarm or fire or any emergency, or as the result of an accident involving a fire department vehicle which the firefighter is operating or in which the firefighter is riding, or while at the scene of a fire or any emergency.

A police officer’s spouse will receive a pension benefit if the officer is killed or sustains injuries that result in death while in the performance of his or her duties and as a result of an assault on his or her person or an accident involving a police department vehicle that the officer is operating or in which the officer is riding.

A corrections officer’s spouse will receive a pension benefit if the officer is killed or sustains injuries which cause death as a result of an assault on his or her person while in the performance of his or her duties.

What if the Spouse is Deceased, or the Deceased Member Had No Spouse at the Time of Death?

If there is no spouse, or if the spouse dies, then a surviving child or children will be eligible to receive 72% of the pension the spouse had been receiving on the date of death as well as $312.00 in additional pension per child.  The benefit will be paid to a legal guardian of the child or children.  A child’s eligibility will continue until age 18 or until age 22 if full-time student in an accredited educational institution.  The benefits will continue indefinitely for a child who is mentally or physically incapacitated from earning on the date of the death of their parent.

In a Situation Where the Spouse of a Police Officer, Firefighter or Corrections Officer is Eligible for This “Killed in the Performance of Duty” Benefit, What Happens to the Member's Accumulated Total Deductions?

The accumulated deductions and related interest would be paid in one sum to the member’s surviving beneficiary of record, or if there is no beneficiary living, then to the person or persons appearing in the judgment of the board to be entitled thereto.

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