View and Update Your Beneficiaries
When you became a NYSLRS member, you should have named a beneficiary or beneficiaries. These beneficiaries may be entitled to a benefit upon your death. Sign in to Retirement Online and click “View and Update My Beneficiaries” to make sure you have beneficiaries listed on your account.
You should periodically review your beneficiary designations and update them if needed. Life circumstances sometimes change, and the beneficiary you may have named before might not be the one you would choose today. You should also make sure your beneficiary’s contact information is up to date so we can find them when needed.
If you have already retired from NYSLRS, see If You Are Retired, below.
How Do I Change My Beneficiary?
Retirement Online is the quickest and best way to manage your beneficiary information. Although you can also complete a paper beneficiary form and mail it to NYSLRS, paper forms take longer to process and it must be notarized. For the fastest service, sign in to Retirement Online and click “View and Update My Beneficiaries” to get started. Once there, you can add beneficiaries, update their contact information, or remove them.
If you submit the paper Designation of Beneficiary form (RS5127), you will need to list all your beneficiaries. Your new beneficiary designations will replace all your previously named beneficiaries. Though your designations will need to be reviewed and approved, your updated beneficiary information becomes effective when we receive your properly completed, signed and notarized form. (This form is for active/not retired members only.)
For more information about designating a beneficiary, see our publication, Life Changes: Why Should I Designate a Beneficiary? It provides more information about how to change your beneficiary and guidelines for special beneficiary designations that may require you to submit additional information.
If you are a NYSLRS retiree, your beneficiaries may be entitled to receive death benefits after you die.
If you have a post-retirement death benefit, you can change your beneficiaries for this benefit at any time. Sign in to Retirement Online, go to the ‘My Account Summary’ area of your Account Homepage and click “View and Update My Beneficiaries.”
Some retirees chose a pension payment option that provides for a continuing pension payment to a beneficiary if they die. Most option beneficiaries cannot be changed after retirement.
Visit the Death Benefits — Retirees page to learn about retiree death benefits, whether you can change your beneficiary and how to change them if needed.