Description: Certain retirement plans may contain a QJSA feature that provides a participant with a lifetime annuity plus a survivor annuity for the participant's spouse if the spouse outlives the plan participant. The participant can waive this form of benefit with spousal consent.
What it should contain: The QJSA notice is a written explanation of the terms and conditions of the QJSA, the effect of a waiver of the QJSA, the right of a participant's spouse to withhold consent to such a waiver, and the right of the participant to revoke a waiver. The notice should explain that a participant can revoke the election of the benefit (with spousal consent) during the immediate 90-day period prior to the date benefit payments begin. For additional information, please see Retirement Topics - Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity and the Department of Labor publication, What You Should Know About Your Retirement Plan.
Timing: A participant should receive an explanation of the QJSA with the payment election materials after applying for a plan benefit. It should be provided in the 90-day period ending on their benefit commencement date. If the notice was not sent, see Fixing Common Plan Mistakes - Failure to Obtain Spousal Consent.
Who is responsible for sending it: The administrator of the plan.