The single most important decision to your family’s income is which option you choose to take. TRS provides 6 options for you to take your benefits.
Option 0: Straight Life Annuity
Option 1: 100% Joint and Survivor Annuity
Option 2: 50% Joint and Survivor Annuity
Option 3: 60 Month Term Certain Annuity
Option 4: 120 Month Term Certain Annuity
Option 5: 75% Joint and Survivor Annuity
Yes, they are out of order. It doesn't make sense to us, but that's how TRS lays it out and presents it so that's how we're presenting it to you. We don't want any suprises.
Here is a really simplified version of how selecting each option will change your benefit.
Let’s look at it graphically. In this example, the participant lives 10 years on average, and their beneficiary lives 20.
Note: we are ignoring the Term Certain options. Only rarely will they be the right option for a family. A conversation with an OWLFA adviser will help decide if Term Certain is right for you.
Each option comes with tradeoffs, but for most couples the 100% Joint and Survivor Annuity is the way to go. It covers the most bets, it is the most conservative choice, and you give up the least in your old age. Also if your spouse passes away before you, the pension automatically reverts to the straight life option. That protection is valuable.