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New York State and Local Retirement SystemOffice of the State Comptroller - Home

Basic Plan

For ERS Tier 1 Members

(Sections 70-a, 71-a and 75)

Ordinary Death Benefit

Your beneficiary may be entitled to an ordinary death benefit if you meet the eligibility requirements and your death is not attributable to an on-the-job accident. The first $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 are also payable to your beneficiary.

Eligibility

An ordinary death benefit may be payable to your designated beneficiary if you have completed at least one year of service since last joining the Retirement System and your death occurs:

  • While you are on the payroll;
  • While you are on an authorized medical leave of absence (with or without pay);
  • While you are receiving Workers’ Compensation, or other employer-funded benefits, for up to two years (which may be extended for an additional two years) following the last date you were paid on the payroll, provided your employment has not been terminated by resignation, employer action or any other means; or
  • Within 12 months of the last date you were receiving salary, on an authorized medical leave of absence or receiving Workers’ Compensation or other employer-funded benefits, provided you were not otherwise gainfully employed during that period.
The Benefit

This benefit is equal to 1/12th (8.33 percent) of your last year’s earnings for each of the first 12 years of service credit, and 1/24th (4.17 percent) of your last year’s earnings for any additional service credit, up to a total of 36 years.

Filing

Your family or employer should notify us of your death as soon as possible so we can send the appropriate forms to your beneficiary.