The financial payment in the event of your death, if any, could amount to a significant sum of money. Identifying a beneficiary and keeping it up-to-date is one of your most important obligations as a SERS member. To establish or update your beneficiary, please complete and submit a beneficiary nomination form.
You may designate one person, many people, an organization, many organizations, or any combination you choose. It's up to you.
You should send SERS a beneficiary nomination form as soon as possible after you are hired. Then, each year, check your annual statement to ensure that the beneficiaries listed reflect your current wishes. If you'd like to check right now, sign in to SERS online member services and review your most recent statement.
It's important to update your beneficiary after major life changes such as marriages, divorces, births , deaths, or changes to your current beneficiary's name or address.
Unlike some other retirement plans you may be used to, SERS will not automatically pay any death benefits to which you may be entitled to your current spouse. Federal pension statutes and Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requirements don't apply to governmental plans like SERS.
First, we will pay whomever you have indicated on your most recent beneficiary nomination form. If you don't have a form on file, we will pay your estate and the proceeds will be settled and distributed that way.
In the event of a divorce, it is particularly important to update your beneficiary. Whether your pre-divorce designation of your former spouse remains effective will depend on the date you named them and the state you live in at the time of your death.
SERS must receive and acknowledge your beneficiary nomination form while you are still alive. Forms received after your death cannot be honored.
As you consider your long-term and emergency financial planning, you may also wish to learn more about and file a power of attorney specifically with SERS.