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Guide Reporting a Death

You must report the death of an individual receiving public pension benefits as soon as possible to avoid overpayment of benefits or to begin collecting your survivor benefits.

If the individual was not retired yet

Over $2 Million The amount returned by the MSRB that had been left unclaimed

If the individual was retired

  • Make sure to contact their retirement system to report the death. 
  • The retirement system will need a copy of the death certificate. 
  • Depending on the option selected at retirement, there may be survivor benefits available.

Key Actions for If the individual was retired

If the individual was a survivor

  • If the individual was receiving survivor benefits, you must report the death to avoid overpayment of benefits. 
  • If the individual was an Option B beneficiary who died before the retiree, the retiree can name another Option B beneficiary.
  • If the individual was an Option C beneficiary who died before the retiree, the retiree is entitled to an Option C "pop up" where the monthly pension benefit is adjusted to a higher amount. 
  • You cannot name another Option C beneficiary
  • Report the death to the appropriate retirement system and provide them with a copy of the death certificate. 
  • Minor children of the employee or retiree will continue to receive benefits until they turn 18 (or 22 if a full-time student at an accredited educational institution)
  • Please refer to PERAC's Survivor Benefit Guide for more detailed information.

Understanding the retirement options

Option A

  • There are no survivor benefits. 
  • Beneficiaries can inquire about the balance of the final pension payment, which is paid out to the estate.
  • There may be benefits for surviving minor children. 

Option B

  • Individuals may have funds remaining in their annuity savings account.
  • Any funds remaining are paid out to the beneficiary(ies) on file. 
  • There may be additional benefits for surviving minor children. 

Option C

  • An individual retired under Option C selected a survivor at retirement.
  • The survivor will begin to receive a monthly pension benefit upon the retiree's death.
  • There may be additional benefits for surviving minor children. 

Downloads and Resources

While we understand this is a stressful time, it is important that you contact key stakeholders to ensure a smooth process. 

  • If applicable, contact the Group Insurance Commission to inquire about any life insurance benefits available and to cancel or adjust health insurance coverage.
  • Contact the individual's human resource officer to inquire about any final payroll payments or other benefits available.
  • If the individual was collecting or was eligible for Social Security, you must contact them separately as well. 
  • Review the guides below for detailed information.  

Key Actions for Downloads and Resources

Additional Resources for Downloads and Resources

Image credits:  natacha dunker

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