145.65 Payment of deposits made by deceased contributor.

(A) As used in this section, "child," "parent," and "surviving spouse" have the same meanings as in section 145.43 of the Revised Code.

(B) Should a contributor die before commencement of a benefit under section 145.64 of the Revised Code, any deposits made under section 145.62 or the version of division (C) of section 145.23 of the Revised Code as it existed immediately prior to the effective date of this section plus earnings shall be paid to the person or persons the contributor has designated in writing duly executed on a form provided by the public employees retirement system, signed by the contributor, and filed with the system prior to the contributor's death. A contributor may designate two or more persons as beneficiaries. Subject to rules adopted by the public employees retirement board, a contributor who designates two or more persons as beneficiaries under this division shall specify the percentage of the deposits that each beneficiary is to be paid. If the contributor has not specified the percentage, the deposits shall be divided equally among the beneficiaries.

The last designation of any beneficiary revokes all previous designations. The contributor's marriage, divorce, marriage dissolution, legal separation, or refund under section 145.63 of the Revised Code, or the birth of the contributor's child, or adoption of a child, shall constitute an automatic revocation of the contributor's previous designation.

If the deposits of a deceased contributor are not claimed by a beneficiary or by the estate of the deceased contributor within five years, the deposits shall be transferred to the income fund and thereafter paid to the beneficiary or to the contributor's estate on application to the system. The board shall formulate and adopt the necessary rules governing all designations of beneficiaries.

(C) If a contributor dies before commencement of a benefit under section 145.64 of the Revised Code and is not survived by a designated beneficiary, the following shall qualify with all attendant rights and privileges, in the following order of precedence, the contributor's:

(1) Surviving spouse;

(2) Children, share and share alike;

(3) Parents, share and share alike;

(4) Estate.

If the beneficiary is deceased or is not located within ninety days, the beneficiary ceases to qualify for any benefit and the beneficiary next in order of precedence shall qualify as a beneficiary.

Any payment made to a beneficiary as determined by the board shall be a full discharge and release to the board from any future claims.

(D) If the validity of marriage cannot be established to the satisfaction of the board for the purpose of disbursing any amount due under section 145.63 or 145.64 of the Revised Code, the board may accept a decision rendered by a court having jurisdiction in the state in which the contributor was domiciled at the time of death that the relationship constituted a valid marriage at the time of death, or the "spouse" would have the same status as a widow or widower for purposes of sharing the distribution of the contributor's intestate personal property.

(E) If the death of a contributor or any individual who would be eligible to receive a refund under section 145.63 of the Revised Code or an annuity payment under section 145.64 of the Revised Code by virtue of the death of a contributor is caused by a beneficiary, as described in division (F) of section 145.43 of the Revised Code, no amount due under section 145.63 or 145.64 of the Revised Code to that beneficiary shall be paid to that beneficiary in the absence of a court order to the contrary filed with the board.

Cite as R.C. § 145.65

History. Effective Date: 04-06-2007