Survivor Benefit Present Value Calculator

This page calculates the present value of survivor benefits of a defined benefit pension. It also calculates the present value of the participant’s pension benefits, including the value of the “pop up” feature, which is paid if the survivor beneficiary dies before the participant. This double calculation costs $75, or you can purchase three of them, to be used within a month, for $150.

Calculating the present value of a pension survivor benefit can be useful for a divorcing couple who a) are locked into, or committed to, maintaining the ex-spouse as the survivor beneficiary and b) would like to use the “immediate offset method” for the pension participant to buy out the ex-spouse and keep all future, life time pension benefit payments for him- or herself.

You can see a sample survivor benefit present value report here. In the example in this report, the present value of the survivor benefit is over 20% of the total present value of the pension. It is this high because a) the beneficiary is female, and females have lower mortality rates at any given age; b) the beneficiary is 4 years younger than the pension participant, and is thus likely to survive him; and c) the beneficiary monthly benefit is 2/3 of the standard monthly benefit, which is more generous than some survivor benefits.

  Disclaimer. Before filling out the form, check this box to indicate that you understand and agree with the disclaimer below.

The information contained within this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for obtaining professional legal or accounting advice. ValueYourPension.com is not associated with any lawyer, actuary, or accountant, and it does not provide legal or accounting advice. The results provided by this calculator are calculations that depend on assumptions about future interest rates, cost of living adjustments, and life expectancies as well as other numbers you enter into this calculator.

A. Optional information for .pdf report

B. Required information for coverture ratio ("marital portion") calculation

Yes No
Yes No

Questions 3) and 4) are designed to gather information about when you earned or purchased pension credits, in order to calculate what percent of your pension credits were earned during marriage. You can enter up to six different periods of work and indicate for each what percent of pension credit you were receiving ("Percent of full-time credit earning"). For many pensions, the amount of pension credit you earn is prorated for part-time work. Thus, if you work 80% time, you might earn 80% of the normal pension credit for that period of work.

Only enter work periods when you were earning pension credits. For example, if you have worked 40% time and working 40% time does not earn pension credits from your employer, do not include this work period here.

You can enter pension credits (typically "years of service") that you have purchased under 4).










  Allow me to enter more periods of work













C. Required information for present value calculation

Yes No
7a) My pension has no COLA. (If your pension has an occasional, one-time COLA, you should choose this one.)  Many pensions today have no COLA. If you have a COLA that will only be applied occasionally, then choose 7a), "no COLA".
7b) My pension has a fixed dollar-amount COLA. Many pensions have a COLA that is a fixed dollar amount, i.e., the same, fixed amount each year. Some pensions call this “simple interest” on a specific amount, e.g., 2% of your first annual benefit. Enter the amount of this COLA and indicate how many years and months after retirement the COLA will first be applied. Many pension COLA’s start one year after retirement or on a specific date after a one year waiting period after retirement. Some pension COLA’s have five year waiting periods or waiting periods that depend on your specific age or date of hire.
The first COLA adjustment to my pension will be applied years and months after my retirement date.
7c) My pension has a COLA that is a percentage of the entire benefit. This is for COLA’s that have compounding interest. If your COLA has simple interest, you should choose 7b). If your compounding COLA interest rate varies from year to year, you might find the geometric mean of the COLA's from the last 20-30 years, and use that number. More simply, you might find the arithmetic mean from the last 20-30 years and subtract about 10%. Compounding interest can increase future benefits dramatically, so choosing a high percentage rate can exaggerate the future benefits, and present value, of your pension.
The first COLA adjustment to my pension will be applied years and months after my retirement date.
7d) For some pensions, the cost of living adjustment applies to only part of your entire annual benefit. My pension has a COLA that is a percentage of part of my total benefit amount. Some large pension systems, such as the MA State Employee Retirement System, have COLA percentages that apply to only part of the benefit. In MA, for example, pension benefits receive a 3% COLA but with a maximum benefit of $390 per year. These COLA’s can function like compounding interest COLA’s until a certain threshold is reached and then function like a fixed dollar amount. If one has a MA pension that starts at $10,000 per year, it will receive a compounding COLA of 3% until the annual benefit is greater than or equal to $13,000. After that, it will receive a fixed amount COLA of $390 annually. ValueYourPension.com calculates this correctly when you choose this 7d) COLA option.
The first COLA adjustment to my pension will be applied years and months after my retirement date.

Please report any bugs to me and please pass along suggestions on how to make it more comprehensive or user-friendly: [email protected]

Below is the information you have input. To make changes, simply scroll up and make changes, then press "CONFIRM MY INPUTS" again.
Total pension credits (typically "years of service"):
Pension credits accumulated during marriage:
Projected Age of Pension Participant ("Employee") at Retirement:
Projected Age of Beneficiary ("Spouse of Employee") at Pension Participant’s Retirement:
Mortality Table for Pension Participant:
Mortality Table for Beneficiary:
Predicted COLA:
Projected Monthly Benefit:
Survivor Benefit: of Participant Benefit
Pension "Top Up" Feature:

To make any changes to what you have input, simply scroll up, make changes, and click the CONFIRM MY INPUTS button again.

AgeYearBasic annual pension payment before any cost of living adjust (COLA), if anyCost of living adjustment (COLA), if any
Please pay with A) a coupon code or B) through PayPal
A present value pension valuation and report costs $35. The next best price on the web for an instant present value calculation is $175. You can pay with a credit card or PayPal. If the calculator does not work properly for you, email me for a full refund.

A) To pay with a coupon code:

    i) Enter your coupon code
    ii) Click the blue “APPLY” button
    iii) Click the large green button “GIVE ME THE PRESENT VALUE”.

B) If you do not have a coupon code, i) purchase the number of calculations you desire through PayPal, and then ii) click the large green button “GIVE ME THE PRESENT VALUE”:

Paypal can take up to a minute to process your payment. If the button "These inputs are correct. Give me the present value" does not respond, please wait and then try again.
Results
Present Value of Pension for Pension Participant ("Employee") as of :
Marital portion of present value of pension:
Present Value of Survivor Benefit for Beneficiary ("Spouse of Employee") as of :
Pension Buy Out Cost (Assuming the ex-spouse remains the Beneficiary, the Participant could pay ex-spouse this amount in order to keep 100% of future pension payments during Participant’s life):
Coverture ratio (portion of the pension present value earned during marriage):
Total pension credits (typically "years of service"):
Pension credits accumulated during marriage:
Projected Age of Pension Participant ("Employee") at Retirement:
Projected Age of Beneficiary ("Spouse of Employee") at Pension Participant’s Retirement:
Mortality Table for Pension Participant:
Mortality Table for Beneficiary:
Predicted COLA:
Projected Monthly Benefit:
Survivor Benefit: of Participant Benefit
Pension "Top Up" Feature:


Participant Present Value
AgeYear during which Age startsPartial YearGross Annual BenefitDollar value of annual COLA in Gross Annual BenefitInterest discount rateProbability of Surviving each yearPresent Value of Pop UpPresent Value of Annual Benefit

Sum of the present values of erach annual benefit including "top up" benefits:

Survivor Benefit Present Value
Age of ParticipantAge of BeneficiaryYear during which Participant Age startsPartial YearGross Annual BenefitDollar value of annual COLA in Gross Annual BenefitInterest discount rateProbability that Beneficiary Survives each yearProbability that Participant Dies each yearPresent Value of Survivor Beneficiary Annual Benefit

Sum of the present values of each annual survivor beneficiary benefit: