Estate Planning 101

Notifying the New York State and Local Retirement System After a Loved One’s Passing

September 13, 2023

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In the wake of losing a loved one, it's crucial to notify the appropriate institutions to settle their affairs. If the deceased was a member of the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS), this organization should be notified promptly to make necessary adjustments to the pension benefits.

Who Should Be Notified

The NYSLRS must be notified if the deceased was a retiree receiving benefits or an active member enrolled in the pension system. This allows the NYSLRS to cease pension payments and provide any possible survivor benefits.

When to Notify

You should notify the NYSLRS as soon as possible after the death of the pensioner. Prompt notification can prevent overpayments that might later have to be returned.

How to Notify

You can notify the NYSLRS by calling their Call Center at 1-866-805-0990 or 518-474-7736. Alternatively, you can report the death through the NYSLRS website. You'll need the deceased's retirement or registration number, Social Security number, and a copy of the death certificate.

What to Expect After Notification

Once you've notified the NYSLRS, they will stop the deceased's pension payments. If there are any survivor benefits, they will guide you through the process of claiming them. The benefits and process can vary depending on the specifics of the deceased's retirement plan.

Tips for Notification

When contacting the NYSLRS, keep a record of all correspondence and interactions. This can be helpful in case of any discrepancies or misunderstandings. Be prepared for the process to take some time, as it involves administrative procedures and potentially legal requirements.

Conclusion

While it's a challenging task amidst the grieving process, notifying the NYSLRS after a loved one's passing is critical. This ensures that pension payments are properly handled and any eligible survivor benefits are provided. Understanding the process can help you navigate this task more effectively during a difficult time.

FAQ

Q: What if the pensioner was living out of state?
A: Regardless of where the pensioner was living, you should still notify the NYSLRS of their passing.

Q: Are death benefits taxable?
A: Death benefits are generally subject to federal income tax. You should consult with a tax advisor for specific details.

Q: What happens if there's an overpayment?
A: If the NYSLRS continues to pay benefits after a retiree's death, they will seek to recover these funds. You should notify them as promptly as possible to avoid this situation.