After the passing of a loved one, numerous tasks need to be undertaken. If your loved one was a retired public employee in Oregon, one of these responsibilities includes notifying the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS). This ensures the cessation of benefits to the deceased and the initiation of any potential survivor benefits.
Who Should Be Notified
OPERS provides retirement benefits to public employees in Oregon. If your loved one was receiving pension benefits from OPERS, it's paramount to inform them about the passing as soon as you're able.
When to Notify
You should notify OPERS immediately after the loss of the member. Prompt notification helps prevent overpayment of benefits, which can lead to potential complications in the future.
How to Notify
You can notify OPERS about a member's death by calling them at 1-888-320-7377 or by sending a written notice to OPERS, P.O. Box 23700, Tigard, OR 97281-3700. Please include the member's full name, date of birth, and social security number in your notification. You will also need to provide a copy of the death certificate.
What to Expect After Notification
Once OPERS has been informed, they will stop the pension payments and guide you through the process of applying for any survivor benefits, if applicable. These benefits depend on the specific retirement plan chosen by your loved one. They will also provide information regarding any overpayment of benefits that may have occurred.
Tips for Notification
It's advisable to maintain a record of all correspondence with OPERS, including the date and time of your call and the name of the representative you spoke with. This can be helpful in case of any discrepancies or issues in the future.
While it can be a challenging task during a difficult time, notifying OPERS after the passing of a retired Oregon Public Employee is crucial. It ensures the cessation of pension payments and initiation of survivor benefits, where applicable. By understanding the process, you can navigate this responsibility more efficiently.
Q: Can I notify OPERS online?
A: At this time, OPERS requires either a phone call or written notice to report a death. There isn't an online process available.
Q: What if there's been an overpayment of benefits?
A: If pension payments continued after the death because OPERS wasn't notified promptly, you'd typically need to arrange for the return of these funds. Contact OPERS for more information.
Q: How long does it take to process survivor benefits?
A: The processing time can vary depending on the complexity of the case. OPERS will provide more specific information when you notify them of the death.