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When a PERS member dies

A family member, beneficiary, or caregiver must immediately notify PERS of the death of a member.

PERS will ask them to provide the date of death, city and state where the death occurred, a photocopy of the death certificate, and their contact information.

Swift notification is key to stopping benefit payments and preventing overpayments. Beneficiaries may be required to repay PERS for any overpayments.

Processing death benefits typically can take one to two months. Processing delays can be avoided if members keep their beneficiary designations up to date.

If the PERS member participated in the PERS Health Insurance Program (PHIP) or the Oregon Savings Growth Plan (OSGP), these entities will need to be notified as well.

Membership type and the timing of a PERS member’s death can impact the death benefits available to beneficiaries.

PERS membership types are Tier One, Tier Two, or Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan (OPSRP).

Criteria for who is in which plan can be found on our Tier One/Tier Two and OPSRP overview pages.

Timing refers to whether a member died before or after retirement. Preretirement death benefits also are impacted by whether the member had reached their earlier retirement eligibility date.

Read our Member Death webpages for more detailed information:

When PERS learns of a member’s death, the agency attempts to contact all beneficiaries. Sometimes PERS is unable to locate any beneficiaries.

Learn more about what happens in these situations — especially if you think you may be entitled to a deceased member’s remaining benefits — on our Unclaimed Deceased Member Benefits page.