Estate Planning 101

Notifying the New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) After a Loved One’s Passing

September 13, 2023

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Following the loss of a loved one, it's important to handle their affairs with diligence and care. If your loved one was a public employee in New Mexico, one of the entities you'll need to inform is the New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA). This body manages pension benefits for public employees, and they need to be alerted about the member's passing.

Who Should Be Notified

The New Mexico PERA should be notified if the deceased was a retiree or an active public employee receiving pension benefits. Their benefits will need to be adjusted or discontinued, and potential survivor benefits may need to be arranged.

When to Notify

It is advisable to notify the New Mexico PERA as soon as possible after the death of your loved one. This helps avoid any overpayment of benefits, which may need to be returned.

How to Notify

Notification can be done by contacting the PERA directly. You can call them at (505) 476-9300 or toll-free at 1-800-342-3422. You will also need to provide a certified copy of the death certificate, either by mail or by delivering it in person to the PERA office.

What to Expect After Notification

Once you've notified the PERA, they will stop the deceased's benefits and guide you through the next steps. If applicable, they will assist you in applying for survivor benefits. They may also provide information on any due or overpaid amounts.

Tips for Notification

When you reach out to the PERA, be sure to keep a record of all communication, including the names of any representatives you speak with and the dates and times of your calls. This can be helpful if there are any discrepancies or issues later.

Conclusion

Notifying the New Mexico PERA in the unfortunate event of a loved one's passing is a vital step in handling their affairs. By understanding the process and acting promptly, you can ensure their benefits are correctly managed and any potential survivor benefits are secured.

FAQ

Q: Can I notify the PERA online?
A: Currently, the PERA does not offer an online notification option. You must call or visit their office in person.

Q: What if I'm not sure whether my loved one was receiving benefits from the PERA?
A: If you're unsure, it's still a good idea to contact the PERA. They can look up the member's information and determine if they were receiving benefits.

Q: What if my loved one received overpayments after their death?
A: In case of overpayments, the PERA generally requires the amount to be returned. However, each situation is unique, so it's best to discuss this with the PERA directly.