There are a number of situations in which SERS will pay a benefit in the event of your death.
Among your most important responsibilities as a SERS member is to ensure that you always have an up-to-date beneficiary nomination form on file with SERS. If you have no form on file, we will pay your estate any death benefit that may be due. Unlike other retirement programs, your SERS pension does not include any special spousal rights. Moreover, we are legally bound to honor the last properly filed beneficiary form in our possession; if it is out-of-date, we may be forced to pay someone whom you would no longer select.
If you have not yet worked long enough to meet vesting requirements - that is, you have not yet qualified for a monthly pension payment - we will refund the contributions you paid to SERS, plus 4% interest, to your beneficiary or estate.
If you have already vested, we will calculate a sum as though you had actually retired under option 1 the day before you died and will pay that to your beneficiary or estate. If it's more than $10,000, your beneficiary can choose to receive the payment in a lump sum or monthly installments.
If you have a death benefit, how much, and to whom it will be paid is determined by the choices you made when you retired. You can find some of this information on your most recent annual statement, a copy of which is available in SERS online member services.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of your account, please call 1.800.633.5461.