May a member’s spouse elect to receive Option D benefits?

A member’s spouse may elect to receive Option D benefits if:
  • the member dies as a member-in-service and has nominated the spouse as beneficiary of his/her accumulated retirement deductions, or
  • the member has been married to the spouse for at least one year and dies as a member-in-service with at least two years of creditable service.
This type of spousal election is permitted even if the member had chosen another individual as his/her Option D beneficiary. The member must be living with his/her spouse at the time of death or if the couple is living apart, it must be for a justifiable cause other than the spouse’s desertion or moral turpitude.