is required to be funded with only one-half of the participant's account balance, leaving the remaining one-half free for the participant to give away as he or she may wish, without the need for consent.
As with the QPSA
, the survivor annuity percentage is specified by the plan; again, it must be at least 50%-but no more than 100%-of the annuity benefit that was payable when the participant was alive.
First, with respect to survivor benefits, rather than having a married participant forfeit her entire account balance at her death, a tontine pension could provide QJSAs and QPSAs
OPSAs: A QPSA
under a defined contribution plan is a life annuity payable to the surviving spouse of a participant who dies before his or her annuity starting date.
The first spouse will receive the benefits in the form of a QJSA or QPSA
unless he or she agrees to another option proposed by the participant.
In plan years beginning after December 31, 2007, a plan will satisfy the QJSA requirements only if a participant who has waived the QJSA or QPSA
form of benefit (or both) may elect a qualified optional survivor annuity.
Although an employee may select another form of annuity or a lump sum distribution, the waiver of the QJSA and/or QPSA
usually requires the written consent of the employee and the employee's spouse.
The surviving spouse of a participant who dies before the annuity starting date must receive a QPSA
, unless, once again, both the participant and the spouse made a qualifying election to waive the QPSA
or to receive some other form of benefit in the event of the participant's death before the annuity starting date.
Thus, under the terms of ERISA and of the plan, the wife was absolutely entitled to the QPSA
death benefit unless the wife waived that right.
In the case of a QPSA
, the participant must have been vested in his or her retirement plan benefits, have died before retirement, and have a surviving spouse.
First, Claudia, as the surviving spouse, was entitled to a QPSA
for fifty percent of the plan benefits; (58) and second, Barbara had waived her right to the other half of the plan benefits through the waiver clause in the property settlement agreement.
Benefits may be paid from a plan subject to these survivor annuity rules in a form other than a QJSA or QPSA
(such as a lump sum payment) only if the participant's spouse waives the QJSA or QPSA