New York State and Local Retirement Systems
Survivor’s Benefit Program
In 1966, legislation was enacted establishing a $2,000 death benefit for State employees who retired on or after October 1, 1966. In 1970 the benefit was increased to $3,000 for those who retire on or after April 1, 1970. Payment is made from State funds State funds without cost to the employee.
Are you Eligible?
You will be eligible to have a survivor’s benefit paid on your behalf if
1. While in State service, you either
a. Retire from any retirement system or pension plan supported by State funds, other than the State University optional retirement program, OR
b. Retire from the State University optional retirement program after age 55, OR
c. Leave state service after age 62.
2. You had at least 10 years of full-time State service with in the 15 years immediately prior to leaving or retiring from State service. State service includes only employment for which salary is paid directly by the State.
Amount of Benefit
If you retired between October 1, 1966 and March 31, 1970, the benefit is $2,000. If you retired on or after Aril 1, 1970, the benefit is $3,000.
Who is Your Beneficiary?
If you are a member of a retirement system and have selected a retirement option for which you designated a beneficiary to receive retirement benefits after you die (any retirement option other than 0), the survivor’s benefit will be paid to that beneficiary.
If you are not a member of a retirement system or if you are a member and have selected retirement option 0, you must designate a beneficiary for this program on Form RS 6355. Eligibility of Retired Employee for Survivor’s Benefit, or on Form RS 6361-B. Designation of Beneficiary.