What is the test for using the term "surviving spouse" in the context of a claim under the California Retirement Act?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from Irvin v. Contra Costa Cnty. Employees' Ret. Ass'n, 13 Cal.App.5th 162, 220 Cal.Rptr.3d 510 (Cal. App. 2017):

Because we find the term "surviving spouse" susceptible of more than one meaning in these circumstances, we " 'look[ ] "to a variety of extrinsic aids, including the ostensible objects to be achieved, the evils to be remedied, the legislative history, public policy, contemporaneous administrative construction, and the statutory scheme of which the statute is a part." ' " ( Lopez v. Superior Court , supra , 50 Cal.4th at p. 1063, 116 Cal.Rptr.3d 530, 239 P.3d 1228.) Most helpful here are the treatment of "surviving spouse" in other statutory provisions and the public policy governing retirement benefits.11

[220 Cal.Rptr.3d 522]

[13 Cal.App.5th 175]

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