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What to do when a retiree dies

Things You Should Have

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

Health and Welfare Coverage

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/domestic partner/ dependents.

Under COBRA, the spouse/domestic partner 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
22 Cortlandt Street, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10007
UFT Welfare Fund Attention: COBRA
52 Broadway – 7th floor
New York, NY 10004

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
    888-8NYCTRS (69-2877)

Welfare Fund

The Welfare Fund extends coverage to the surviving spouse/domestic partner/dependents for an additional three months beyond the month the member dies.


SHIP coverage terminates upon receipt of death certificate. If any refunds are due, same will be processed automatically. Spouse/domestic partner may purchase SHIP COBRA coverage for the maximum statutory 36-month period from the date of the qualifying event.

52 Broadway – 17th floor,
New York, NY 10004


  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/dependents or estate would be eligible for the reimbursement up to the date of death of the retiree. Write a letter to:

    City of New York/ Health Benefits Program
    22 Cortlandt Street
    12th Floor, Medicare Unit
    New York, NY 10007
  2. Optional rider reimbursement
    The surviving spouse/domestic partner/dependents are eligible for the reimbursements of the optional rider up to the date of death of the retiree. Contact:

UFT Welfare Fund
52 Broadway – 7th Floor
New York, NY 10004

UFT Legal Plan

Call the UFT Legal Plan attorneys at 800-832-5182.

NYSUT Policies

Please contact NYSUT Members Benefits at 800-626-8101 if you participate in a NYSUT benefit plan (i.e. life, long-term care, catastrophic).

Social Security Administration

  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.

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.

Please send a copy of the death certificate to:

UFT Membership Department
52 Broadway, 11th floor
New York, NY 10004


If you have any further questions please contact:

UFT-RTC Pension Department
52 Broadway – 17th floor
New York, NY 10004