If an active employee was married and was eligible to retire (i.e. had 25 years of creditable service, or was 55 or older with at least 3 years of creditable service) when the employee died, the employee's spouse would be entitled to receive a monthly benefit for life. This is called a Pre-Retirement Survivorship Option and is payable automatically unless the employee specifically requested, in writing, that it not be paid.
If the employee was either not married or was not eligible for retirement at death, the employee's designated beneficiary would receive a refund of contributions the employee made to the Plan along with interest. There is never a refund of contributions made by the Authority.