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A $1,000 lump-sum death benefit will be paid to your designated beneficiary upon your death. If you have multiple beneficiaries, this will be distributed equally among them. By law, if you do not designate a beneficiary, statutory succession will apply. Payment will be made only upon receipt of a death certificate and evidence of qualification, as required by SERS.

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If the beneficiary designated by you at retirement dies first, you should select a new beneficiary. You must designate a new beneficiary in writing on a form provided by SERS. Contact our office for this form.

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If you die early in retirement before recovering the employee contributions you made to SERS while you were working, a refund will be due.

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This will be the case if you have selected Plan B, the Single Life allowance. In this case, whatever remained of the employee contributions would be paid to your designated beneficiary or estate.

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You cannot make changes to Plan E after you have started to receive your retirement allowance.

Under certain circumstances, which may occur after you start to receive your retirement allowance, you may change a plan or beneficiaries for the other plans as detailed below.

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Death of a beneficiary

If you choose Plan A, C or D and your beneficiary dies before you do, then your benefit may be changed to a Plan B (Single Life Allowance) with an adjustment in your benefit.

If you choose Plan F and a beneficiary dies before you do, your benefit will be adjusted on the basis of the remaining beneficiary or beneficiaries.

Divorce, annulment, or marriage dissolution after retirement

If you are married at retirement, select a joint life plan with your spouse as a beneficiary, and then the marriage is terminated after retirement, your plan may be adjusted only if your ex-spouse gives written consent or by order of the court.

If you choose plans A, C, or D, your plan may be adjusted to Plan B. If you choose Plan F and your marriage is terminated after retirement, your benefit will be adjusted on the basis of the remaining beneficiary or beneficiaries.

Marriage after retirement

If you are single at retirement, select Plan B, and then marry after retirement, you can select a new plan providing for your new spouse. Or, if you were married at retirement, but later divorced and were able to select Plan B, and then remarried, you can select a new plan providing for your new spouse.

The plan can be Plan A, C, D, or F.  You must make this change within one year of the marriage.

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If you choose Plan A, C, or D for a beneficiary, and your beneficiary dies before you do, your pension will be adjusted to the Single Life amount. If you choose Plan F for multiple beneficiaries, your pension will be adjusted if one or more of the beneficiaries dies before you do.

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This can be done only under a Plan A, C, D, or F option. There is no “Pop-Up” application to a Plan E payment, where time limits apply on benefits.

If you selected Plan A, C, D, or F for your spouse, and you later divorce, your marriage is annulled, or your marriage is dissolved, your plan may be adjusted only with the consent of your ex-spouse or by an order of the court.

If you marry or re-marry after retirement, you can re-select a joint survivor plan for your new spouse. This is called a “Pop-Down.” You have only one year from the date of your marriage to Pop-Down.

If you are married, you should discuss your payment plan choice with your spouse. Upon your death, benefits stop unless you selected a Joint Survivor Allowance -- Plans A, C, D, or F. Plan E benefits continue only for the duration of the guaranteed period.

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