Reporting a Member’s or Retiree’s Death to NYSLRS

When a NYSLRS member dies, whether before or after retirement, it’s important that survivors report a member’s or retiree’s death to NYSLRS as soon as possible.

But long before that happens, you should talk to your loved ones and provide them with the information they’ll need when the time comes. Let them know your wishes, where to find important papers and what steps they need to take. And if your documents are organized and accessible, it will make things that much easier.

Our publication, Getting Your Affairs in Order and A Guide for Survivors, provides step-by-step guidance about what should be done now and after a member’s or retiree’s death.

Survivors can report a death by email, phone or mail. They will need to send us an original certified copy of the member’s death certificate regardless of how they notify us.

How Survivors Can Report a Death

To report a death by phone, survivors can call toll-free at 1-866-805-0990 (518-474-7736 in the Albany, New York area). Once they reach the call menu, they should press “2” to report the death and then press “1.” Their call will be transferred to a customer service representative, who will ask for:

  • The deceased member’s retirement, registration or Social Security number.
  • The date of death.

Please note: Our customer service representatives cannot release the identities of a member’s or retiree’s beneficiaries over the phone.

Survivors can also use our secure email form to report a member’s death. They should enter:

  • The deceased member’s NYSLRS information into the required fields. (If they don’t know the retirement or registration number, we will accept a Social Security number.)
  • The deceased member’s date of death in the Comment field of the form.
  • 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.

What Happens Next

Once we receive the death certificate, we will send beneficiaries or their certified representatives (guardians, powers of attorney, executors) information about death benefits and, if applicable, information about continuing monthly retirement benefits. We will also send them forms to complete. Beneficiaries should be aware that it could take three months from the date we are notified of the death before any death benefit is paid or any monthly benefit payment begins.

If a member is retired when he or she dies, we will stop payment of any outgoing pension benefits. Survivors should be aware that any uncashed pension checks in a deceased retiree’s name must be returned to us. We will automatically reclaim any direct deposit payments that went out after a member’s death.

15 thoughts on “Reporting a Member’s or Retiree’s Death to NYSLRS

  1. Peter Corrigan

    Unless I’m just not finding it, it would be nice to have a “print” button so that the form could more easily be printed to put with important papers.

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      Taxes on death benefits vary depending on the specific type of benefit. You can find details on our About Death Benefits page.

      If you would like account-specific information, please email our customer service representatives using our secure email form. One of our representatives will review your account and address your questions. Filling out the secure form allows us to safely contact you about your personal account information. Please allow five to seven business days for a response.

    1. NYSLRS

      We are sorry for your loss. If you haven’t already done so, please call our customer service representatives (1-866-805-0990) to let them know that your brother has died. You can provide the agent with his daughters’ mailing addresses.

      After we receive a certified death certificate, we contact and provide forms to any named beneficiaries or to the executor of the estate.

  2. George M.

    My Mom was a NYS worker. She retired in 1999 and she passed away August 15th, 2018. I don’t see anything on the “About death Benefits” page for retirees. any info would help out alot. Thank you.

    1. NYSLRS

      We are sorry for your loss. If you haven’t done so already, please call our customer service representatives (1-866-805-0990) to let them know that your mom has died. They will be able to walk you through the next steps.

      There are a few possible death benefits that may be available to NYSLRS retirees, depending on her retirement plan, her employer and the pension payment option she chose at retirement. Once we receive a certified death certificate, we contact any named beneficiaries or the executor of the estate to let them know what death benefits are payable.

      You may also find the second part of our Getting Your Affairs in Order and A Guide for Survivors publication useful.

  3. Scott Bibb

    My mom passed away on July 3rd, 2018. Every step of the retirement death benefit process has taken longer than the posted timeline. I sent off the signed and notarized letter claiming my benefits (the last step before receiving the check) last week and was told today that it would take ANOTHER 4 weeks to process the check. That will make it 18 weeks since my Mom passed. The lady that I spoke with in customer service just told me that the usual timelines don’t apply because they are backed up. Then why not let us know that? But 18 weeks for a death benefit? That’s outrageous. I need help. I sent a fax to the survivor services unit as advised by customer services. What now?

    1. joan martin

      Wow….I am going threw the same husband died September 17 2018 and I have no idea how to pay for all the bills without a check, I sent out all the paperwork on September 20th and 18 weeks is a very long time

  4. tlu

    My loved one died on August 8, 2018. I notified them on August 15th. They were able to stop his retirement benefits in Sept. I was told it would take about 3 weeks to process the forms that I would need to complete, get notorized & return; then another couple weeks until benefits would start. It’s December 10th (about 16 weeks later) and I have not received the forms to complete or other information about getting beneficiary monthly payments. I’ve called about 6 times and customer service says that they have everything they need, but to call back in 2 to 3 weeks, if I do not receive the forms yet.


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