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Member death-benefit payments to increase for third time in five years

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The board approved an increase to CalSTRS members’ lump-sum death benefit payments, effective July 1, 2024.

With the increase, the payment following the death of a retired member will be $7,093 (up from $6,903), an increase of $190. Payment for the death of a member before retirement depends on what type of coverage a member has.

The lump-sum death benefit is a one-time payment made to a beneficiary upon the death of a CalSTRS Defined Benefit Program member under conditions specified in statute. See information on survivor benefits for more details.

This was the third increase in the last five years and the first under a policy approved by the board in March 2024. The board considers a death benefit increase only if the Defined Benefit Program is on or ahead of schedule to reach full funding by 2046. Increases are tied to inflation in California from the previous calendar year and capped at the long-term assumed inflation rate of 2.75%. California inflation in 2023 was 3.48%. When inflation exceeds 2.75%, the excess inflation is made available for future increases.