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.