In the event of the death of a loved one who was a teacher in Texas and a member of the Texas Teacher Retirement System (TRS), one of the important tasks is to notify TRS. This ensures the cessation of pension payments and the potential release of any benefits to beneficiaries.
Who Should Be Notified
The Texas Teacher Retirement System should be notified as they are responsible for managing the retirement benefits of Texas public education employees. If your loved one was receiving a pension from TRS, it's crucial to inform the organization to prevent overpayments and to discuss potential survivor benefits.
When to Notify
You should inform the TRS as soon as possible after the death of the retiree. Prompt notification can help avoid any overpayments that may later need to be returned.
How to Notify
To report a death to the TRS, you can call the toll-free number at 1-800-223-8778. Alternatively, you can mail a written notification to TRS, P.O. Box 149150, Austin, TX 78714-9150. You'll need to provide the deceased's full name, social security number, date of death, and a copy of the death certificate.
What to Expect After Notification
After the TRS has been notified, they will stop any pension payments. If your loved one had a survivor benefits plan, the TRS will guide you through the process of claiming those benefits. In some cases, there may also be a death benefit payment available.
Tips for Notification
Remember to keep copies of all correspondence with the TRS, including dates and times of phone calls, for future reference. Always ask for a confirmation of the notification of death. If the retiree was receiving direct deposit payments from TRS, you should also notify the bank of the death.
The notification of a retiree's death to the Texas Teacher Retirement System is a crucial step to prevent overpayments and to potentially claim survivor benefits. With an understanding of the process, you can successfully navigate this task during a difficult time.
Q: Can I notify the TRS online?
A: Currently, the TRS does not have an online process for reporting a death. You must call them or send a written notification.
Q: What if I don’t have the retiree's TRS member ID or social security number?
A: The TRS can often locate the retiree's record using their full name and date of birth. However, having the TRS member ID or social security number can expedite the process.
Q: What if pension payments continue after the retiree's death?
A: If the TRS continues to make payments after being notified of the death, contact them immediately. Any overpayments will typically need to be returned.