Customarily only workers and their surviving spouses can receive benefits from private defined-benefit plans. Thus no matter how financially dependent other household members may be on the worker, they are not eligible to share in or receive survivor benefits. The PPA permits a beneficiary who is not a spouse to transfer such distributions directly to an IRA.
Eligibility for Dependent and Nonspouse Survivor Pensions: Policy
Dependent and nonspouse survivor benefits
AARP supports programs and policies that permit people in kinship care situations and others with an insurable interest in a beneficiary to share in or receive survivor benefits from private retirement plans.