What Does Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity (QJSA) Mean?
A qualified joint and survivor annuity (QJSA) is a portion of a qualified retirement plan that pays a regular income to the annuitant or to the survivor of the deceased annuitant (often a spouse or a child).
The survivor beneficiary typically only receives a portion of the annuity. In most jurisdictions, it must equal at least half of the annuity's monthly payments.
Insuranceopedia Explains Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity (QJSA)
Qualified joint and survivor annuities are part of most qualified plans, like 401(k)s and profit-sharing plans.
If a plan features a QJSA, the annuitant's surviving beneficiary (often a spouse or a child) will receive a portion of the annuity (usually at least 50%).
The owner of the plan may opt for a lump sum instead of a regular income, but this is allowed only if the beneficiary consents to this in writing.
The surviving beneficiary may also waive their QJSA benefit, which they might choose to do if there is another plan that will pay them a post-retirement income instead.