I think it would be 250 if the wife waits to get anything until then, not “get x now and it increases to 250”.
I had a similar situation, years back. My company (also an accounting firm!) had gone from defined benefit to defined contribution. At the time our group was sold to another firm, I was vested in both, and I could have elected to collect a monthly annuity starting right then - this was about 15 years back. The cashout value would have been something like 5K. The annuity starting them would have been about 55 dollars a month. If I’d waited until 65 it would work out to about 250 a month.
5K wasn’t enough to mess with. I don’t recall whether I even had the option to take a lump sum payout. So I left it in place. There is some joint survivorship option available when I do take it. I figure it’ll be almost enough to pay my MediGap coverage when the time comes.
I have another retirement bucket from that same employer - defined contribution. When I retire, I have the choice of having it converted all or in part to an annuity (with some survivor benefits), but that amount depends on how the market performs. If it does well between now and then, the annuity is more. If not… oh well. It’s different from a 401(k) in that I could NOT take a distribution without spousal approval, even to roll it into an IRA. I wound up leaving it in place - I figure it wouldn’t do any better (or worse) than in an IRA.
Re the OP: You’re (almost) guaranteed that 250 a month if you leave it in place. “almost” because of course sometimes pensions are… underfunded. If you take the cashout and invest it in an IRA, anything could happen to the market.
On the other hand, you’re 25+ years away from retirement. As others have said, anything could happen between now and then that would mean that 250 doesn’t show up - it’s part of their underwriting / actuarial process, in that they assume a certain amount will never have to be paid. While I’m normally a big proponent of “blind and crazy” (out of sight, out of mind), in this case I’d agree that taking a distribution makes more sense - ASSUMING IT IS TREATED CORRECTLY FOR TAX PURPOSES.
If the organization reports it to the IRS as a regular payout, vs a rollover, you could get a nasty tax bill. I had a bank once report an inherited IRA as rolled over to a regular account vs an IRA - and had to get them to issue corrected paperwork as the taxes would have wiped out half the balance.