New York State Retirement Benefits

New York State and Local Retirement System Death Benefits

Ordinary Death Benefits.

If you pass away while in active service prior to retirement (but not as a result of an on-the-job accident), your beneficiary may be entitled to an ordinary death benefit. Your beneficiary is listed on your annual Member Statement. Up to $50,000 of this benefit is paid in the form of Group Term Life Insurance, which is currently exempt from Federal income tax. Your accumulated contributions (if any) are also payable to your beneficiary. Your death should be reported to the Retirement System as soon as possible. If you are a Tier 1 member, you may find it helpful to review your plan booklet for specific ordinary death benefits information.

If you are a Tier 2, 3 or 4 member covered by a regular retirement plan, this benefit is equal to your salary multiplied by your full years of service credit not to exceed three years' salary. Your benefit is subject to reductions of 4 percent per year starting at age 61. However, your benefit cannot be reduced below 60 percent of the original benefit payable.

Accidental Death Benefit.

An accidental death benefit is available if you pass away as a result of an on-the-job accident. Your employer or survivors should submit an Accidental Death Application (RS6046) within two years of your death. The accidental death benefit is a lifetime pension of approximately 50 percent of salary and is payable to your spouse. Other beneficiaries may be eligible if there is no spouse. For tier 1 and 2 members, this benefit is subject to reduction by the amount of any Workers' Compensation paid or payable on account of your death. You may find it helpful to review your plan booklet for specific accidental death benefits information.

If you participated in the World Trade Center Site rescue, recovery or clean up efforts, certain family beneficiaries may be eligible for an accidental death benefit if you die from a qualifying condition.