John Hancock is committed to providing a seamless process for settling death claims related to participant retirement benefits. Death benefits for pensions are typically in the form of a continuation of retirement benefits to a spouse or contingent annuitant. Benefits may continue for the full amount or for a portion of the participant’s benefit.
When a participant elects to commence his or her retirement benefit, depending on the type of benefit chosen, there may be a benefit due to a spouse, survivor or contingent annuitant. Alternatively, if the participant elected a single lifetime benefit option or lump sum benefit, typically there will be no benefit due upon death. However, certain group contracts may also have traditional lump sum death benefits payable to a beneficiary that was designated by the participant.
Upon notification of death, a Claim Representative will verify whether a benefit is due. Benefit eligibility is determined based on a review of the group annuity contract and the participant’s benefit election history. If a benefit is due, a Claim Representative will send a claim package with the necessary forms required to be completed by the claimant, if applicable. If there is no benefit due, a Claim Representative will also reach out to notify the family of the deceased that no benefit is payable upon death.