An important benefit that many members may be unaware of is the “pre-selection of survivorship” option, which allows retirement-eligible members to select a beneficiary(ies) to receive a lifetime pension if the member should die while in active, contributory service before filing a retirement application. The advantage of filing a pre-selection is that the benefit may be more financially advantageous to the beneficiary(ies) than the NHRS pre-retirement death benefit.
To be eligible for this benefit, members must be “in service” – i.e. actively contributing to the retirement system and receiving service credit – and eligible for service retirement.
Group I members hired prior to July 1, 2011, become eligible for this option if they are in service at age 60. Group I members hired on or after July 1, 2011, are eligible for this option if they are in service at age 65.
Group II members become eligible if they are in service at age 60, or upon reaching the latter of the minimum age or minimum service requirement contained in RSA 100-A:5, II. (Note: The minimum age/service requirements differ among Group II members vested prior to January 1, 2011, those hired prior to July 1, 2011, but not vested prior to January 1, 2012, and those hired on or after July 1, 2011.)
Members with “split benefits” (creditable service in both Group I and Group II) are eligible at age 60 or when the requirements for an unreduced service retirement are met.
This is not an automatic benefit. Members must complete an Election of Maximum Survivorship Option Before Retirement form, which is available here or by calling NHRS.
Keep in mind that the beneficiary(ies) you name on the pre-selection form must match the name of the beneficiary(ies) listed on your Designation Of Death Beneficiary(ies) (Pre-Retirement) form.
The pre-selection form is superceded when NHRS receives a retirement application for the member.