• Legal heirs of deceased GSIS member entitled to 5-year lump sum benefit

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    Dear PAO,
    My husband died a few months after he retired from the government. He wasn’t able to receive any retirement benefits from the GSIS as his application was still pending when he died. What shall happen to his retirement benefits? Are we also entitled to receive other benefits on account of my husband’s death?
    Estella

    Dear Estella,
    Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8291 or the Government Service Insurance Act of 1997 grants its members certain benefits such as the retirement benefits and the survivorship benefits. Retirement benefits are given to members who retire from government service who met the following conditions: 1) the member has rendered at least fifteen (15) years of service; 2) he is at least sixty (60) years of age at the time of retirement; and 3) he is not receiving a monthly pension benefit from permanent total disability (Section 13-A, R.A. No. 8291). On the other hand, the beneficiaries of a deceased GSIS member shall be entitled to survivorship benefits which shall consist of the basic survivorship pension and the dependent children’s pension (Section 20, R.A. No. 8291).

    The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. No. 8291 provides for the rules that should be applied in case a retired member of the GSIS died while his claim for retirement benefits is being processed. Section 20.5 thereof provides that if the deceased member opted for a five-year lump sum benefit as indicated in his claim for retirement application, his legal heirs shall be entitled to a five-year lump sum benefit equivalent to sixty (60) months basic monthly pension. However, the survivorship pension to qualified primary beneficiaries, if any, shall be granted after the end of the 5-year guaranteed period, but the filing of claim for survivorship benefit should be done before the end of the 4-year prescriptive period. If the deceased member opted for immediate pension as indicated in his claim for retirement benefit, his legal heirs shall be entitled to retirement benefits equivalent to eighteen (18) months of the basic monthly pension plus accrued pension, if any, up to the date of death of the retiree. The corresponding survivorship pension shall be paid to the qualified primary beneficiaries, if any, and shall be computed from the date of death of the retiree, subject to the filing of the claim. In case the deceased member failed to indicate in his retirement option, it shall be computed as if he opted for immediate pension. The proceeds of retirement benefits shall be paid and distributed to the legal heirs in accordance with the law on succession under the Civil Code of the Philippines.

    We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

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