Estate Planning 101

Notifying the Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MainePERS) After a Loved One’s Passing

September 13, 2023

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In the unfortunate event of a loved one's passing, it's necessary to notify various organizations and entities that were a part of their life. If your loved one was a public employee in Maine and a member of the Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MainePERS), you must alert them to ensure that benefits are appropriately handled.

Who Should Be Notified

MainePERS should be notified if the deceased was a retiree receiving benefits or an active or inactive member of the system. This will allow them to stop pension payments, if applicable, and provide information on any survivor benefits.

When to Notify

It is best to notify MainePERS as soon as possible following the death of a loved one. Early notification helps prevent overpayment of benefits and allows survivor benefits, if any, to be processed promptly.

How to Notify

To notify MainePERS, you can call their office at 1-800-451-9800 or 207-512-3100. You can also send a written notification to MainePERS, P.O. Box 349, Augusta, ME 04332-0349. Additionally, you will need to provide a copy of the death certificate.

What to Expect After Notification

Once you've notified MainePERS, they will cease any ongoing pension payments. If the deceased was eligible for survivor benefits, MainePERS will provide information about these benefits and how to apply for them. This could include a spouse's pension or a lump sum payment.

Tips for Notification

Have the deceased's social security number and MainePERS membership number ready when you contact them. Keep a record of your communication, including the date and time of contact, as well as the name of the representative you spoke with.

Conclusion

Notifying MainePERS of a loved one's death is a necessary step that ensures the proper handling of their pension and any survivor benefits. While it may seem daunting, understanding the process can help make it a smoother and more manageable task during a difficult time.

FAQ

Q: What if I don't have the deceased's MainePERS membership number?
A: If you don't have the membership number, MainePERS can still locate the member's account using their full name and social security number.

Q: What if MainePERS continues to make pension payments?
A: If MainePERS wasn't notified promptly and continued to make payments, they will typically request the money back. Contact them immediately if you notice ongoing payments.

Q: Who is eligible for survivor benefits?
A: Survivor benefits eligibility varies depending on the deceased's specific plan with MainePERS. The spouse, minor children, or designated beneficiaries are often eligible.