Survivor Benefits Upon the Member's Death

Reporting a Death

The loss of a loved one is a very difficult time for a surviving spouse, immediate family member and loved one.  Please report the death as soon as possible to (312) 236-2065.

Benefits Payable

A survivor of an employee should contact LABF to determine if there are any benefits payable to a spouse (including a civil union partner), child or heirs. The plan does not have a general “death” benefit or burial benefit.  The types of benefits payable to survivors are:

  • A lifetime annuity payable to an eligible surviving spouse.
  • A limited benefit payable to surviving dependent child(ren) up until the age of 18.
  • If there is a "refundable" benefit in the event of a member's death, it would be paid according to the most current beneficiary form  on file or according to the order of heirship.
  • A reversionary annuity for an immediate family member is a lifetime benefit payable according to the provisions of the plan.

Survivors will need to meet eligibility requirements to qualify for benefits.  Required Certified documents that will need to be provided are as follows:

  • Death certificate
  • Survivor's marriage certificate
  • Survivor's birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate
  • Civil union certificate or the return provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health as evidence of a civil union
  • Divorce Decrees
  • Other documents as requested by LABF

Benefits Available for Parties to a Civil Union

Effective June 1, 2011, the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act confers the rights of marriage available under Illinois law to parties to a civil union. Therefore, all pension benefits previously made available to a married member and his or her spouse, are now also available to a member and his or her civil union partner.

The eligibility requirements for benefits are the same for a civil union partner and married spouse. As in the case of divorce, if a member with a civil union dissolves the union, a QILDRO will be necessary in order for the Fund to divide the member’s benefits.

A copy of the completed certificate from the county clerk or the return provided to the Illinois Department of Public Health is evidence of a civil union. As with marriage certificates, LABF will only accept certified copies of the civil union certificate or the return.

As of June 1, 2011, any LABF publication or communication which includes the word spouse or widow, or any word that denotes the spousal relationship, also means and includes parties to a civil union.


Refunds To Heirs

  • A refund may be available to a designated beneficiary(ies), heirs or an estate. 
  • The refund may be a portion or all of a member's contributions not already received as annuity payments. 
  • If there is no designated beneficiary(ies) or the beneficiary does not survive the employee, the amount can be refunded to the employee's children in equal parts with the children of a deceased child taking the share of the parent. 
  • Please contact LABF for a detailed explanation of this benefit.

Refund of Small Estates

A family member can receive payment of an uncashed check that was due to the deceased employee. 

Refund In the Event of a  Death

  • In the event of an active member's death or that of a recent retiree, any accumulated contributions for annuity purposes that have not been paid out to a member, their spouse, minor child(ren) or a designated reversionary would be refunded according to the current beneficiary designation form on file with LABF.
  • In general, an employee will collect back all of their contributions in the form of their retirement annuity within the first two years of their retirement.

Tax Consequences

There are specific tax consequences associated with the payment of benefits to a survivor or beneficiary. For specific details, please contact LABF for general information and contact your tax advisor regarding specific tax consequences.




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