Death Benefit

DEFINITION of 'Death Benefit'

The amount on a life insurance policy or pension that is payable to the beneficiary when the annuitant passes away.

Also known as "survivor benefit."

BREAKING DOWN 'Death Benefit'

A death benefit may be a percentage of the annuitant's pension. For example, a beneficiary might be entitled to 65% of the annuitant's monthly pension. Alternatively, the benefit may be a large lump-sum payment from a life insurance policy. The size and structure of the payment is determined by the type of policy the annuitant held at the time of death.

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