In the wake of a loved one's passing, numerous tasks need to be undertaken, one of which is notifying the relevant organizations. If the deceased was a participant in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), it's necessary to alert them to stop pension payments and discuss potential survivor benefits.
Who Should Be Notified
If your loved one was a retired public employee in Wisconsin and receiving a pension from WRS, it's crucial to notify this organization. WRS provides retirement, disability, and survivor benefits for Wisconsin's public employees and their families.
When to Notify
You should notify WRS as soon as possible following the death of the pensioner. This action helps to prevent any overpayments that might later need to be returned to WRS.
How to Notify
You can notify WRS of a death by calling the toll-free Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF) line at 1-877-533-5020. You can also mail a written notice to Department of Employee Trust Funds, P.O. Box 7931, Madison, WI 53707-7931. The notification should include the member's full name, Social Security number, and date of death, along with a copy of the death certificate.
What to Expect After Notification
After notifying WRS, they will stop the member's retirement benefit payments. If applicable, WRS will contact the beneficiary and inform them about any survivor benefits they may be eligible to receive. WRS may also provide information about any remaining contributions in the member's account that could be payable to beneficiaries.
Tips for Notification
When notifying WRS, it's advisable to keep a record of all correspondence, which includes dates, times, and the content of phone calls or letters. This information can be beneficial if there are any discrepancies or issues later. Don't hesitate to ask questions if you're unsure about any part of the process.
Though it can be a challenging task, notifying WRS after the passing of a loved one is a crucial step. It ensures the proper handling of the member's account and potential disbursement of survivor benefits. Understanding this process can help you navigate this task more effectively during a difficult time.
Q: Can I notify WRS of a death online?
A: Currently, WRS does not offer an online process to report a death. You must call them or send a written notice.
Q: What if the deceased did not designate a beneficiary with WRS?
A: If the deceased did not designate a beneficiary, any remaining contributions in their account will be paid to their estate.
Q: What if the deceased received overpayments after their death?
A: If WRS continued to make payments after the member's death due to late notification, they would typically request to be reimbursed for the overpayments.