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Teachers Retirement System

Death Benefits and Death Claim Information

​Being familiar with how to request TRS death benefits can greatly ease matters for your beneficiaries at a difficult time in their lives. The following information should assist with this process:

  1. ​​When a TRS member dies, a close family member or friend should notify TRS. The member’s employer or funeral home may offer to assist in this process. Prompt notice allows TRS to disburse valuable death and survivor benefits.
    TRS may be notified by calling toll-free at 1-800-223-8778. TRS will require the name, address, and telephone number of a family member, friend, or other person who can act as a contact for TRS, as well as the TRS participant’s date of death. At that time, TRS will request that a copy of the death certificate be provided when it becomes available.
  2. After receiving notification of death, TRS will mail out benefit information and forms to the beneficiary(ies). If the member’s death occurs while employed by a TRS-covered employer, then TRS must receive salary documentation from the employer before information is sent out in order to accurately determine the benefit to be paid.
  3. The beneficiary(ies) should complete and file the claim forms and related documents before the first anniversary of the death of the member to avoid adverse tax consequences.
  4. When TRS receives all properly completed documents, the claim will be processed and the death benefit will be paid.

NOTE: TRS benefits, including death benefits, are not assignable and may not be assigned to a funeral home to cover burial expenses.  TRS death benefits are not life insurance payments; therefore, they are subject to federal income tax.