A: There are pros and cons to both options. This needs to be analyzed on a case-by-case basis, including such variables as recipient’s health, the family’s financial needs, and other assets and income streams. Monthly payments will provide you with the most financial security, but then there will be no death benefit to pass on to your heirs. A lump sum can be rolled over into an IRA, invested however you see fit, and enables you to control the timing and amount of distributions. Read: Pension Decision – Lump Sum or Lifetime Payments?