Surviving Spouse Information

The following is a list of things that a surviving spouse needs to do when a retiree dies. I hope the information will be of some assistance to you.
  1. Notify the appropriate retirement system in writing and include a certified copy of the death certificate. Can telephone and inquire regarding the retirement check disposition- whether need to return the check, etc.

    New York State Teacher's Retirement System
    10 Corporate Woods Drive
    Albany, NY 12211-2395
    (800) 356-3128 or (518) 447-2666

    New York State Employee's Retirement System
    Governor Smith State Office Building
    Albany, NY 12244-0001
    (518) 474-7736

    For a retiree who was a member of TIAA/CREF, contact TIAA/CREF directly at (800) 842-2733.

  2. Notify Social Security.

  3. Send a letter with a certified copy of the death certificate to the:

    Retiree Unit-Division of Employee Benefits
    Department of Civil Service
    State Campus
    Albany, NY 12239

    This is to inform that department of death and to request paperwork if necessary to continue the health insurance for the surviving spouse.

    NOTE: The surviving spouse is covered for three months following the death of the retiree to allow for the necessary paperwork to be completed. Experience has shown that the process sometimes takes the full three months.

  4. All retirees should note that addresses need to be kept current with the retirement system as well as the Department of Civil Service, Employee Benefits at the above addresses. Address changes must be done in writing to the above addresses.

  5. Beneficiary information needs to be kept current.

  6. If there is any life insurance coverage with a private carrier, contact the local agent of that insurance company.

  7. If the deceased left a will, it may be with an attorney, in a safe deposit box or among personal papers. Be prepared to do a new will.

  8. If there is a savings account, check with the bank to find out what happens to the account.

  9. For information on State Income Tax call (800) 225-5829 or your tax consultant.

  10. For information on Federal Income tax, contact the Internal Revenue Service in the city where you normally file your Federal Income Tax Return.