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Report the Death of a SERS Member

To report the death of a SERS member and initiate the Death Benefit payment process, contact the SERS Regional Retirement Counseling Centers at 1-800-633-5461.   

You will need to provide:
  • the SERS member's name, Social Security number and date of death
  • your name and contact information 

NOTE:  SERS requires a certified death certificate for the member before initiating the process of paying Death Benefits. 


SERS will contact the Beneficiaries or Designated Survivor listed on the member's account for additional information as well as a copy of the member's death certificate. 


Using the information received from the designated Beneficiary/Survivor Annuitant and the deceased member's account, SERS calculates the Death Benefit payable, if any.  Named Beneficiaries who are entitled to less than $10,000 will be paid in a lump sum payment.  Named Beneficiaries who are entitled to a death benefit of $10,000 or more may elect to receive payments under a number of options.  The payment options are outlined in a Death Benefit Payment Option Selection (BEN66) form that SERS will send to the named Beneficiary. 


Designated Survivors will have an account established and monthly benefits will begin based on the Joint and Survivor option the SERS member selected at retirement.  



Taxes Affecting Death Benefits

Questions about federal estate taxes on Death Benefits that may be payable to your Beneficiaries should be directed to the IRS or a professional tax consultant. Beneficiaries of SERS Death Benefits are not liable for Pennsylvania inheritance tax.


Last published: 08/01/2011 08:22 PM