One of the crucial responsibilities following the death of a loved one is notifying various organizations and agencies, such as the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) if the departed was a retired educator in California. This notification is necessary to cease pension payments and discuss potential survivor benefits.
Who Should Be Notified
If your loved one was a retired teacher in California and receiving a pension from CalSTRS, it's important to notify this organization. CalSTRS provides retirement, disability, and survivor benefits for California's public school educators and their families.
When to Notify
Notification should be made as soon as possible following the death of the pensioner. This will help prevent any overpayments, which might need to be returned to CalSTRS.
How to Notify
You can notify CalSTRS of a death by calling the toll-free CalSTRS Contact Center at 1-800-228-5453. You can also mail a written notice to CalSTRS, P.O. Box 15275, Sacramento, CA 95851-0275. The notification should include the member's full name, Social Security number, and date of death, along with a copy of the death certificate.
What to Expect After Notification
After you have notified CalSTRS, they will stop the member's retirement benefit payments. If the deceased had chosen an option that provides for a beneficiary, CalSTRS will contact the beneficiary and inform them about any survivor benefits they may be eligible to receive. CalSTRS may also provide information about any remaining contributions in the member's account that could be payable to beneficiaries.
Tips for Notification
When notifying CalSTRS, it's important to keep a record of all correspondence, including dates, times, and the content of phone calls or letters. This can be helpful if there are any discrepancies or issues in the future. Don't hesitate to ask questions if you're unsure about any part of the process.
While it can be a challenging task, notifying CalSTRS after the passing of a loved one is a necessary step. It ensures the proper handling of the member's account and potential disbursement of survivor benefits. Understanding this process can help you navigate this task more smoothly during a difficult time.
Q: Can I notify CalSTRS of a death online?
A: Currently, CalSTRS does not offer an online process to report a death. You must call them or send a written notice.
Q: What if the deceased did not designate a beneficiary with CalSTRS?
A: If the deceased did not designate a beneficiary, any remaining contributions in their account will be paid to their estate.
Q: What if the deceased received overpayments after their death?
A: If CalSTRS continued to make payments after the member's death due to late notification, they would typically request to be reimbursed for the overpayments.