If a NYSLRS member dies, whether it’s before or after retirement, the member’s survivors will need to report the death to us as soon as possible. The sooner we receive this information, the sooner we can begin the process of paying out potential benefits to beneficiaries. Survivors can report a death to us by email, by mail or by phone. They will need to send us a certified copy of the member’s death certificate regardless of how they notify us.
How Survivors Can Report A Death
Survivors can use our secure email form to report a member’s death. When filling out the required fields in the form, they should:
- Enter the deceased member’s NYSLRS information into the required fields of the form. (If they don’t know the retirement or registration number, we will accept a Social Security number.)
- Enter their own address and daytime phone number in the Comment section in case we need to reach them for more information.
To report a death by mail, survivors should send us a completed Notification of Death (RS6082) form.
To report a death by phone, survivors can call us toll-free at 1-866-805-0990, or locally within the Albany, NY area at 518-474-7736. Once they reach the call menu of our automated call service, they’ll press “3” to report the death of a member or retiree, and then press “1.” Their call will be transferred to a customer service representative. Survivors will be asked for the following information when they call:
- The deceased member’s retirement, registration, or Social Security number
- The date of death
What Happens Next
Once we receive a death certificate, we will send beneficiaries or certified representatives (guardians, powers of attorney, executors) information about death benefits or continuing retirement benefits. We will also send them forms to complete. Beneficiaries should be aware that it could take 11 to 13 weeks for us to receive a certified copy of the death certificate and to process required forms.
We can accept reports of a member’s or retiree’s death from anyone, but we can only mail information about death benefits and continuing retirement benefits to named beneficiaries or their certified representatives.
If a member is retired when he or she dies, we will stop the payment of any outgoing pension benefits. Survivors should be aware that any uncashed pension checks in a deceased member’s name must be returned to us. We will automatically reclaim any direct deposit payments that went out after a member’s death.
If you’re a retiree, consider reading our publication, Getting Your Affairs in Order and A Guide for Your Survivors (VO1874). This publication includes valuable planning information for you, as well as guidance for your beneficiaries.