§7-14D-19. Awards and benefits to surviving spouse -- When member dies from nonservice-connected causes.

(a) In any case where a member who has been a member for at least ten years, while in covered employment after the effective date of this article, has died or dies from any cause other than those specified in section eighteen of this article and not due to vicious habits, intemperance or willful misconduct on his or her part, the fund shall pay annually in equal monthly installments to the surviving spouse during his or her lifetime, a sum equal to the greater of: (i) One half of the annual compensation received in the preceding twelve-month employment period by the deceased member; or (ii) if the member dies after his or her early or normal retirement age, the monthly amount which the spouse would have received had the member retired the day before his or her death, elected a one hundred percent joint and survivor annuity with the spouse as the joint annuitant, and then died. Where the member is receiving disability benefits under section fifteen of this article at the time of his or her death, the most recent monthly compensation determined under section seventeen of this article shall be substituted for the annual compensation in (i) of this section.

(b) Benefits for a surviving spouse received under this section, section twenty and section twenty-one of this article are in lieu of receipt of any other benefits under this article for the spouse or any other person or under the provisions of any other state retirement system based upon the member's covered employment.