When prior to commencement of retirement benefits any firefighter participating in the retirement system dies in the line of duty or in case death is caused by or is the result of injuries received while in the line of duty and such firefighter is not survived by a spouse or minor children, the entire retirement value shall be payable to the beneficiary or beneficiaries specified by the deceased firefighter prior to his or her death or to the deceased firefighter's estate in the event that no beneficiary was specified. The retirement value or portion thereof may be paid in the form of a single lump-sum payment, a straight life annuity, or any other optional form of benefit specified in the retirement system's funding medium. For a firefighter who is survived by a spouse or minor children, a retirement pension of fifty percent of regular pay shall be paid to the surviving spouse or, upon his or her remarriage or death, to the minor child or children during such child's or children's minority subject to deduction of the amounts paid as workers' compensation benefits on account of death as provided in section 16-1032. Each such child shall share equally in the total pension benefit to the age of majority, except that as soon as a child attains the age of majority, such pension benefit to such child shall cease and be reallocated among the remaining minor children until the last remaining child dies or reaches the age of majority.
Any payments for the benefit of a minor child shall be made on behalf of such child to the surviving spouse or, if there is none, to the legal guardian of the child.
In the event the surviving spouse or minor children of such deceased firefighter die before the aggregate amount of pension payments received by the firefighter and his or her survivor beneficiaries, if any, equals the total amount in the firefighter's employee account at the time of the first benefit payment, the difference between the total amount in the employee account and the aggregate amount of pension payments received by the retired firefighter and his or her surviving beneficiaries, if any, shall be paid in a single sum to the firefighter's beneficiary or, in the absence of a surviving beneficiary, his or her estate.
To the extent that the retirement value at the date of death exceeds the amount required to purchase the specified retirement pension, reduced by any amounts paid as workers' compensation benefits, the excess shall be paid in the manner provided in subsection (1) of section 16-1029.