Estate Planning 101

Notifying a Public Employee Retirement Systems After a Loved One’s Passing

September 13, 2023

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The loss of a loved one is a difficult time, filled with many responsibilities. If your loved one was a public employee and a member of a Public Employee Retirement System (PERS), you will need to notify the pension provider. This is a crucial step to prevent overpayments and to initiate any potential survivor benefits.

Who Should Be Notified

The Public Employee Retirement System that the deceased was a part of should be informed of their death. This could be a state, county, or city PERS, depending on your loved one's employment.

When to Notify

It is recommended to notify the PERS as soon as possible after your loved one's death. Prompt notification can prevent any overpayments of benefits and initiate the process for survivor benefits, if applicable.

How to Notify

Notification processes may vary depending on the specific PERS. Generally, a phone call or written notice is required. You will likely need to provide the deceased's social security number, employment information, and a certified copy of the death certificate. Check with the specific PERS for their requirements.

What to Expect After Notification

After notification, the PERS will typically stop any ongoing pension payments. They will then provide information on potential survivor benefits and the process to claim them. This may involve providing additional documentation and completing claim forms.

Tips for Notification

Keep all relevant documents handy, such as the death certificate and details of the PERS. Make sure to ask about potential survivor benefits and the process for claiming them. Remember to keep a record of all communication with the PERS for future reference.

Conclusion

While it's a challenging task, notifying the PERS after the death of a loved one is a crucial step. This ensures the cessation of pension payments and possible initiation of survivor benefits, helping to mitigate financial implications during a difficult time.

FAQ

Q: What happens if pension payments were received after the death?
A: If payments were made after the death because the PERS was not informed in time, these would typically need to be returned. Contact the PERS directly to handle this situation.

Q: What is a survivor benefit?
A: A survivor benefit is a benefit payable to the spouse, children, or other dependents of a worker who has died. The specifics depend on the terms of the pension plan.

Q: How long does it take for survivor benefits to begin?
A: The time frame varies depending on the specific PERS. Once all necessary documentation has been provided and the claim approved, benefits should begin.