When someone passes away, the family often has a lot of things to deal with. Because we pay monthly benefits to retirees for their lifetime, and in many cases post retirement death benefits as well, APERS is one of those things.
Post-retirement death benefits are based on the option that retirees choose when they apply for retirement. Most retirees choose the Straight Life option which provides them with the maximum monthly benefit possible during their lifetime. However, that option does not provide continuing benefits to a beneficiary, so monthly benefits end when those retirees die.
If you have chosen the Straight Life option, it is important that your family members understand this. We rely on them notifying us when a member passes so that we can stop monthly benefit payments. If we are not notified, we may make ineligible monthly benefit payments which result in overpayments.
APERS has a financial and legal responsibility to prevent losses to the plan, so if ineligible payments are made we are obligated to pursue recovery of those overpayments. You can help prevent the burden of overpayments for your family by making them aware if you do have Straight life benefits that will end upon your passing. Keeping your new Annual Payee Statement in your records is a good way for them to have details about your benefit and know who to contact when that time comes.
Source: Article from 'APERSpective' Summer 2021 Retirees Edition Newsletter