Estate Planning 101

Notifying the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) After a Loved One’s Passing

September 13, 2023

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The passing of a loved one is a challenging time filled with numerous tasks, including notifying various institutions and organizations. If the deceased was a public school employee in Pennsylvania receiving a pension, the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) is one such organization that must be informed.

Who Should Be Notified

The Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) manages pensions for public school employees in Pennsylvania. If your loved one was retired from a public school and receiving a pension from PSERS, it is crucial to notify them of the death.

When to Notify

Notify PSERS as soon as possible after the death of the pension recipient. This helps prevent any overpayment of benefits, which could lead to complications down the line.

How to Notify

To report a death to PSERS, call the Member Service Center at 1-888-773-7748, or send a fax to 717-772-3860. You will need to provide the deceased's full name, date of birth, Social Security number, and date of death. You should also send a certified copy of the death certificate to PSERS via mail.

What to Expect After Notification

Upon notification, PSERS will stop pension payments. If there are eligible survivors, they might qualify for certain benefits. PSERS will assist you through the process and provide necessary forms to complete.

Tips for Notification

When notifying PSERS, ensure that you have all necessary information ready to make the process smoother. Keep a record of all correspondence, including the names of any representatives you converse with. If you're uncertain about any part of the process, don't hesitate to ask for clarification.

Conclusion

While it may seem overwhelming, notifying PSERS of a loved one's passing is a vital step in settling their affairs. By doing so promptly and thoroughly, you can ensure the process is handled correctly and potential survivor benefits are managed appropriately.

FAQ

Q: What happens if the pension was being directly deposited?
A: PSERS will stop direct deposit payments upon notification. Any overpayments made after the death will need to be returned.

Q: What survivor benefits are available?
A: Survivor benefits depend on the retirement plan the deceased was enrolled in and their chosen beneficiary. PSERS can provide detailed information based on the specific situation.

Q: Can I notify PSERS by mail?
A: Yes, you can send a letter along with a certified copy of the death certificate to PSERS at 5 N 5th Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101-1905.