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Indiana Public Retirement System

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Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS) > My Fund > Teachers > TRF Member Handbook: Death of a Member TRF Member Handbook: Death of a Member

When you pass away, we will begin paying your pension benefit to your beneficiaries. We will pay them based on the options you chose at retirement. It is important that someone contacts us to report your death. If not, within three years of your death, you will lose your death benefits. We will consider your death benefits as given up. We will credit the money back to TRF.

When you pass away, your beneficiary or someone who represents you must contact us at (888) 286-3544.

Here are the steps:

  1. Your representative contacts us to let us know of your death.
  2. We review your account. We send the appropriate paperwork to your representative.
  3. Your representative sends in the completed paperwork, along with your death certificate.
  4. We calculate what money is due to your beneficiaries.[1]

Your beneficiary can claim your benefit at the time of your death. Your beneficiary must be named and on file at INPRS before your death. If you change your beneficiary, that change must be on file before your death. We cannot accept a change of beneficiary after you pass away.

Please see the “Disability Benefits” section of this handbook for details on what happens if you die while on disability.

Death While in Service

If you pass away while working, we will pay the money in your Annuity Savings Account (ASA) and Rollover Savings Account (RSA) to your beneficiary.[2]

If you are married for at least two years, your spouse may be entitled to a survivor benefit. If you have children, they may qualify for a benefit.

Your spouse or children can receive your pension benefit if you:

  • have at least 15 years of service, or
  • are 65 and have between 10 to 14 years of service, or
  • are a member of the Indiana General Assembly with at least 10 years of service.

Death While Out of Service

If you are no longer working in a TRF-covered job when you pass away, you do not lose your ASA or RSA. Whether or not you qualify to retire when you die, your beneficiaries will receive the money in your ASA and RSA.

If you are married for at least two years, and have at least 15 years of service, your spouse may be entitled to a survivor benefit. You must be qualified to retire when you pass away. You cannot have already started receiving your retirement.[3]

Trust as a Death Beneficiary

You can leave your death benefit to a trust. A member cannot name a trust for a survivor benefit. To do so, you must designate a trustee for the trust. Please fill out and send in State Form 43567 Active Member Data Change.[4]

There is no restriction on what type of trust you can name as your beneficiary. However, you cannot make a trust your survivor beneficiary[5].

[1] If you do not name a beneficiary, it will go to your estate.

[2] If you do not name a beneficiary, it will go to your estate.

[3] If you have applied for your pension benefit when you die, then your benefit will be paid based on your payment choice at the time you retired.

[4] All forms are available here.

[5] A “survivor beneficiary” is a payment choice you make when you want someone to get a lifetime pension benefit after you die. See the “Payment Options” section of this handbook for more details.

TRF Member Handbook: General Information