Estate Planning 101

Notifying the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) After a Loved One’s Passing

September 13, 2023

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In the difficult time following the loss of a loved one, one of the many tasks to be handled is informing relevant parties, such as the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS), if your loved one was a member. This notification is crucial to stop any ongoing benefits and to possibly start survivor benefits.

Who Should Be Notified

If your loved one was a retired public employee in Arizona and was receiving pension benefits from ASRS, it's important to notify them of the death. ASRS provides retirement, disability, and death benefits to its members, so you'll need to inform them to end ongoing payments and discuss potential survivor benefits or death benefits.

When to Notify

You should notify ASRS as soon as possible following the death of the pensioner. This will help prevent any overpayment of benefits, which could lead to potential complications later.

How to Notify

You can notify ASRS by calling their Member Advisory Center at (602) 240-2000 or (800) 621-3778. Alternatively, you can send a letter to ASRS, 3300 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85012. You will need to provide the deceased's full name, date of birth, and social security number, as well as a copy of the death certificate.

What to Expect After Notification

Upon notification, ASRS will stop pension payments and provide information about possible survivor benefits. If the deceased chose a pension payment option that includes a continuing benefit to survivors, ASRS will guide you through the process of starting these payments.

Additionally, ASRS will discuss any death benefit coverage that may have been in place, which could result in a lump-sum payment to a designated beneficiary.

Tips for Notification

When notifying ASRS about a death, maintain a record of all communications, including dates and times of calls and copies of written correspondence. This documentation can be beneficial in case of any future discrepancies or issues.

Remember to ask any questions you have during this process. ASRS representatives are there to assist and guide you during this challenging time.

Conclusion

While it's a difficult task, notifying ASRS after the death of a loved one is an essential step. It ensures the smooth handling of their account, cessation of benefits, and initiation of any survivor benefits. With understanding and preparation, you can navigate this task effectively during a difficult period.

FAQ

Q: Can I notify ASRS online?
A: Currently, ASRS does not provide an online notification service for reporting a death. You must call or send a letter.

Q: What if I don’t have the deceased's social security number?
A: If you don’t have the deceased's social security number, ASRS may still be able to locate their account using their full name and date of birth. However, having the social security number can expedite the process.

Q: What if ASRS made an overpayment after the death?
A: If ASRS was not notified promptly and continued to make pension payments, they would typically request the overpaid amount to be returned. Contact ASRS directly to discuss this situation.