When the death of a retiree of a New Jersey state-administered retirement system occurs, it is the responsibility of the retiree’s family or survivor to notify the Division of Pensions and Benefits at (609) 292-7524. They need to provide the following information to the Division:
- The full name of the deceased;
- The deceased’s Social Security, pension membership, or retirement number;
- The date of death; and
- The name, mailing address and telephone number of the person handling the deceased’s affairs.
The Division will review the information received and determine what benefits if any, are due. The Division will inform the named beneficiary or beneficiaries by letter of the benefits payable and send the necessary forms. The processing time for paying a claim depends entirely upon when the Division receives the following items from the beneficiary:
- A certified death certificate; a photocopy is not acceptable;
- All claim forms, properly completed; and
- Any uncashed pension checks sent to a deceased retiree
For information on survivor benefits, each retirement system has a member handbook that explains the benefits in detail. The handbooks for all New Jersey state-administered retirement systems can be found at www.nj.gov./treasury/pensions.
It is so important that when you are completing your retirement paperwork, make sure you update your beneficiary information. Also, update your beneficiary information whenever you experience a major life event such as marriage, civil union, divorce, dissolution of a civil union or domestic partnership, birth or adoption of a child, or the death of a spouse/partner, child, or parent. The link to the DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY form/Alternate Benefit Program is http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/epbam/exhibits/pdf/eb0791.pdf
Regarding health benefits upon the death of a retiree enrolled in the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP), the Division of Pensions and Benefits will send the eligible dependents an information packet on continuing coverage with the SHBP at their own cost as SHBP coverage terminates at the end of the month in which the retiree died. The enrollee will be billed monthly for the premiums.