What to do when a retiree dies

  1. Things You Should Have

    1. Collect all relevant papers and documents. This includes wills, insurance policies, annuities, deeds, statements of ownership, bills and loans.
    2. Originals or copies of death certificates are needed for most agencies you need to notify; e.g. NYC Teachers’ Retirement System, Social Security, etc.
  2. Health and Welfare Coverage

    Please note: NYC health benefits (which provide medical, hospital and prescription drug coverage) terminate for all dependents on the day of the member's death. The UFT Welfare Fund (which provides supplemental health benefits) extends dependent coverage for three months following the month in which the member died.

    The federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reduction Act – COBRA, Public Law 99-2721, Title X – requires the New York City Employee Benefits Program to offer the opportunity for a temporary extension of group health and welfare coverage. This continuation coverage pertains to ALL health benefits, including optional benefits and Welfare Fund benefits. The rates charged for continuation coverage are 102% of the group rates for a surviving spouse or dependent.

    Under COBRA, the spouse or dependent child has the responsibility to notify the Employee Benefits Program and the UFT Welfare Fund within 60 days of the death of the retiree, divorce, legal separation, or a child losing dependent status. Notification should be sent by certified mail to:

    NYC Employee Benefits Program
    Attention: COBRA
    40 Rector Street, 3rd Floor
    New York, NY 10006

    UFT Welfare Fund
    Attention: COBRA
    52 Broadway – 7th floor
    New York, NY 10004
    (212) 539-0500

  3. Retirement Allowance

    1. Return the last check received after the death of the retiree. The Retirement System will return to the beneficiary the pro-rated amount due for the days prior to the member’s death.
    2. Send an original death certificate to the Teachers’ Retirement System, which will begin procedures to notify the beneficiary(ies) if the retiree had selected an option when he/she retired. Send the information to the address below:

      NYC Teachers’ Retirement System
      55 Water Street
      New York, NY 10041
      1-888-8NYCTRS (69-2877)
  4. Welfare Fund

    The Welfare Fund is extending coverage to surviving spouse/dependents for an additional three months beyond the month the member dies.
  5. SHIP

    You can terminate insurance and receive refunds of any balances of the Supplemental Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) premium. Your spouse may continue to be covered by SHIP with proper health coverage (SHIP will explain). Write to:

    52 Broadway
    New York, NY 10004
    (212) 228-9060
  6. Reimbursements

    1. Medicare, Part B.
      If the retiree and/or the spouse/domestic partner were Medicare eligible and paid for Medicare, Part B, the surviving spouse/domestic partner or estate would be eligible for the reimbursements up to the date of death of the retiree. Write a letter to:

      City of New York
      Health Benefits Program
      40 Rector Street
      3rd Floor, Medicare Unit
      New York, NY 10006
    2. Optional rider reimbursement
      The surviving spouse/dependents are eligible for the reimbursements of the optional rider up the date of death of the retiree. Contact:

      UFT Welfare Fund
      52 Broadway – 7th Floor
      New York, NY 10004
      (212) 539-0500
  7. NYSUT Catastrophe

    Contact Catastrophe Insurance in order to maintain your coverage by:
  • calling 1-888-386-9788 (9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday; or 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern time, Saturdays and Sundays) 
  • emailing: customerservice.service@mercer.com; or
  • writing to: 
    Mercer Consumer
    P.O. Box 9186
    Des Moines, IA 50306-9186
  1. Social Security Administration

    (Contact your local office)
    1. Return the check received after the death of member. Social Security does not reimburse any part of the check.
    2. Only the spouse may apply for $255 toward burial from Social Security.
    3. Send a death certificate.
  2. Veterans Administration

    (Contact your local office)
    1. Reimbursement of up to $150 toward a purchased cemetery plot.
    2. All other veteran benefits the member may have been entitled to.
  3. Please send a copy of the Death Certificate to:

    UFT Membership Department
    52 Broadway – 11th floor
    New York, NY 10004
    (212) 598-6855
  4. UFT-RTC

    For additional information contact:

    UFT-RTC Pension Department
    52 Broadway – 17th floor
    New York, NY 10004
    (212) 598-9536
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