For Beneficiaries

Overview

For Beneficiaries

The loss of a family member or loved one can be a very difficult time. We understand this and will assist our member’s beneficiaries to expedite the payment of benefits. 

 Report Death to ALL Plans

Deaths must be reported to ERSGA for all pension plans and GTLI benefits and to GaBreeze for benefits from the PSR 401(k) or 457 Plan accounts and for Flexible Benefits. Death certificates will be required by both ERSGA and GaBreeze for benefit processing.

Reporting a Death

  • ERS and/or GTLI: Call 404‐350‐6300 or 1‐800‐805‐4609 if outside of metro‐Atlanta area
  • Peach State Reserves: 1‐877‐342‐7339*

Important steps:

  • It is very important beneficiaries do not cash or deposit any member benefit checks after the member’s death. The beneficiary may be responsible for the repayment of these funds.
  • To facilitate a quicker payment process to your beneficiaries and to ease the stress during this difficult time, it is helpful to keep an organized file outlining:
    • A legible death certificate. (An original copy or notarized copy is not required.)
    • All accounts, including account numbers
    • Beneficiaries of each account
    • Contact information for all beneficiaries
    • Contact information for all institutions holding your accounts

What to Expect

Designated beneficiaries will be notified by ERSGA and the PSR plan administrator (if applicable) upon receipt of a death certificate or sooner when possible. In cases where a beneficiary has not been designated by the member, the payment may either be due to the spouse* [for 401(k)] or the estate (for 457 and pension plans) of the deceased.

*If the deceased was married at the time of death and had a 401(k) plan, the account will automatically be designated to the surviving spouse. For non‐spousal beneficiaries to claim a 401(k) plan from a married deceased member or retiree, the member/retiree’s spouse must complete and have on file a 401(k) spousal beneficiary waiver prior to the member/retiree’s death.

Privacy Laws

Any benefit payment that may be due to a beneficiary cannot be disclosed to any party other than the beneficiary (other parties include executors of the estate and/or any co‐beneficiaries named on the account). 

Estate as Beneficiary**

In the event that the deceased’s estate is named as a beneficiary, the executor or executrix of the estate must provide ERSGA with Letters of Testamentary / Administration, and the required establishment of an Estate Federal Tax ID number, for any payment to be processed to the deceased’s estate.

In the case of the estate being named as a beneficiary for a Peach State Reserves 401(k) or 457 account, the same documents should be provided to GaBreeze for processing. Note: Certain benefit payment options (e.g., Option 2 100% Survivor Benefit) cannot be paid to an estate, only to a beneficiary.

**For benefits under $10,000, an estate may not have to be established. Please contact our office for more information.