41.26.150  <<  41.26.160 >>   41.26.161

Death benefitsDuty or military service connected.

(1) In the event of the duty connected death of any member who is in active service, or who has vested under the provisions of RCW 41.26.090 with twenty or more service credit years of service, or who is on duty connected disability leave or retired for duty connected disability, or upon the death of a member who has left the employ of an employer due to service in the national guard or military reserves and dies while honorably serving in the national guard or military reserves during a period of war as defined in RCW 41.04.005, the surviving spouse shall become entitled, subject to RCW 41.26.162, to receive a monthly allowance equal to fifty percent of the final average salary at the date of death if active, or the amount of retirement allowance the vested member would have received at age fifty, or the amount of the retirement allowance such retired member was receiving at the time of death if retired for duty connected disability. The amount of this allowance will be increased five percent of final average salary for each child as defined in *RCW 41.26.030(7), subject to a maximum combined allowance of sixty percent of final average salary: PROVIDED, That if the child or children is or are in the care of a legal guardian, payment of the increase attributable to each child will be made to the child's legal guardian or, in the absence of a legal guardian and if the member has created a trust for the benefit of the child or children, payment of the increase attributable to each child will be made to the trust.
(2) If at the time of the duty connected death of a vested member with twenty or more service credit years of service as provided in subsection (1) of this section or a member retired for duty connected disability, or at the time of the death of a member who has left the employ of an employer due to service in the national guard or military reserves and dies while honorably serving in the national guard or military reserves during a period of war as defined in RCW 41.04.005, the surviving spouse has not been lawfully married to such member for one year prior to retirement or separation from service if a vested member, the surviving spouse shall not be eligible to receive the benefits under this section: PROVIDED, That if a member dies as a result of a disability incurred in the line of duty or while honorably serving in the national guard or military reserves during a period of war as defined in RCW 41.04.005, then if he or she was married at the time he or she was disabled or left the employ of an employer due to service in the national guard or military reserves during a period of war as defined in RCW 41.04.005, the surviving spouse shall be eligible to receive the benefits under this section.
(3) If there be no surviving spouse eligible to receive benefits at the time of such member's duty connected death, then the child or children of such member shall receive a monthly allowance equal to thirty percent of final average salary for one child and an additional ten percent for each additional child subject to a maximum combined payment, under this subsection, of sixty percent of final average salary. When there cease to be any eligible children as defined in *RCW 41.26.030(7), there shall be paid to the legal heirs of the member the excess, if any, of accumulated contributions of the member at the time of death over all payments made to survivors on his or her behalf under this chapter: PROVIDED, That payments under this subsection to children shall be prorated equally among the children, if more than one. If the member has created a trust for the benefit of the child or children, the payment shall be made to the trust.
(4) In the event that there is no surviving spouse eligible to receive benefits under this section, and that there be no child or children eligible to receive benefits under this section, then the accumulated contributions shall be paid to the estate of the member.
(5) If a surviving spouse receiving benefits under this section remarries after June 13, 2002, the surviving spouse shall continue to receive the benefits under this section.
(6) If a surviving spouse receiving benefits under the provisions of this section thereafter dies and there are children as defined in *RCW 41.26.030(7), payment to the spouse shall cease and the child or children shall receive the benefits as provided in subsection (3) of this section.
(7) The payment provided by this section shall become due the day following the date of death and payments shall be retroactive to that date.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: RCW 41.26.030 was alphabetized pursuant to RCW 1.08.015(2)(k), changing subsection (7) to subsection (6).
Purpose1999 c 134: "The purpose of sections 1 through 4 of this act is to clarify that the intent of the legislature in enacting RCW 41.26.160, insofar as that section provides benefits to members or surviving spouses for deaths incurred in the line of duty, was to provide a statute in the nature of a workers' compensation act that provides compensation to employees or surviving spouses for personal injuries or deaths incurred in the course of employment. Accordingly, this act amends and divides RCW 41.26.160 into two separate sections. Section 2 of this act clarifies and emphasizes the legislature's intent that the death benefits granted by RCW 41.26.160, as amended, are granted only to those members who die or become disabled by any injury or incapacity that is incurred in the line of duty. Section 3 of this act continues to provide death retirement benefits to members or surviving spouses for deaths not incurred in the line of duty." [ 1999 c 134 § 1.]
Retroactive application1999 c 134 § 2: "The provisions of section 2 of this act apply retrospectively to all line of duty death retirement allowances granted under chapter 41.26 RCW prior to April 28, 1999." [ 1999 c 134 § 4.]
Effective date1999 c 134: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [April 28, 1999]." [ 1999 c 134 § 5.]
PurposeEffective dates1991 sp.s. c 11: See notes following RCW 41.26.090.
FindingsEffective dates1991 c 343: See notes following RCW 41.50.005.
Intent1991 c 35: See note following RCW 41.26.005.
Severability1974 ex.s. c 120: See note following RCW 41.26.030.
Severability1972 ex.s. c 131: See note following RCW 41.26.030.
PurposeSeverability1971 ex.s. c 257: See notes following RCW 41.26.030.
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