§15-2-35. Awards and benefits to dependents of retirant or after an employee serves twenty years.
(a) When any employee of the agency has completed twenty years of service or longer as an employee of the agency and has died or dies from any cause or causes other than those specified in this article before having been retired by the board, and when a retirant has died or dies after having been retired by the board under the provisions of this article, there shall be paid annually in equal monthly installments from the fund to the surviving spouse of the employee or retirant during the lifetime or until remarriage of the surviving spouse, an amount equal to three-fourths the retirement benefits the deceased retirant was receiving or would have been entitled to receive while in status of retirement, or would have been entitled to receive to the same effect as if the employee had been retired under the provisions of this article immediately prior to the time of his or her death and in no event to be less than five thousand dollars, unless otherwise required under this article, and in addition the surviving spouse shall be entitled to receive and shall be paid from the fund the sum of one hundred dollars monthly for each dependent child or children. If the surviving spouse dies or remarries or if there is no surviving spouse, there shall be paid monthly from the fund to each dependent child or children of the deceased employee or retirant a sum equal to twenty-five percent of the surviving spouse's entitlement. If there is no surviving spouse or no surviving spouse eligible to receive benefits and no dependent child or children, there shall be paid annually in equal monthly installments from the fund to the dependent parents of the deceased employee or retirant during their joint lifetimes a sum equal to the amount which a surviving spouse without children would have been entitled to receive: Provided, That when there is only one dependent parent surviving, the parent shall be entitled to receive during his or her lifetime one-half the amount which both parents, if living, would have been entitled to receive.

(b) A surviving spouse or dependent of an employee meeting the requirements of this section is entitled to receive beneficiary payments on the first day following the date the deceased employee is removed from payroll by the agency. A surviving spouse or dependent of a retirant meeting the requirements of this section is entitled to receive beneficiary payments on the first day of the month following the date of the deceased retirant's death. Upon receipt of properly executed forms from the agency and the surviving spouse or dependent, the board shall process the surviving spouse or dependent benefit as soon as administratively feasible.