Estate Planning 101

Notifying the Alabama Retirement Systems (RSA) After a Loved One’s Passing

September 13, 2023

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When a loved one passes away, it is crucial to notify various entities to settle their affairs. If your loved one was a member of the Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA), notifying them is an essential step to stop pension payments and potentially claim any survivor benefits.

Who Should Be Notified

The Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) should be notified in the event of a member's death. The RSA manages the pensions for public employees in Alabama, including teachers, state employees, and local government employees. If your loved one was receiving a pension from the RSA, it is important to inform them promptly of their passing.

When to Notify

You should notify the RSA as soon as possible after the death of your loved one. This is to prevent any overpayment of pension benefits, which could cause complications later on.

How to Notify

You can notify the RSA by calling their Member Services department at 1-877-517-0020. Alternatively, you can submit a written notice, along with a copy of the death certificate, to the RSA's postal address. Be sure to include your contact details and your relationship to the deceased in the notification.

What to Expect After Notification

Once the RSA receives notification of a member's death, they will stop pension payments. They will also provide information on any potential survivor benefits or death benefits. The RSA may also help guide you through the process of applying for these benefits, if applicable.

Tips for Notification

It's a good idea to keep a copy of all correspondence with the RSA, along with notes on the dates and times of any phone calls. This can be helpful if there is any later confusion or dispute. Additionally, the RSA is there to assist you, so don't hesitate to ask any questions or seek further guidance during this process.

Conclusion

While notifying the Retirement Systems of Alabama of a loved one's death is a task often overlooked amidst the grief, it is a necessary step in managing their affairs. By understanding the process, you can ensure that this task is handled promptly and smoothly.

FAQ

Q: Can I notify the RSA online?
A: Currently, notification of a member's death must be done by phone or through a written notice. The RSA does not have an online notification system.

Q: What if the RSA continues to make pension payments after the member's death?
A: If the RSA is not promptly notified and continues to make payments, they will typically request reimbursement. This is why it's important to notify them as soon as possible after the death.

Q: Who is eligible for survivor benefits?
A: Eligibility for survivor benefits depends on several factors, including the deceased's years of service and their retirement plan. The RSA can provide specific information based on the individual's circumstances.