What You Should Know About Survivor Benefits
In general, if you should die prior to being retirement eligible, your beneficiary will receive a survivor benefit equal to double your contributions, including interest accrued, plus any service purchase payments at the time of your death.
Spousal Consent Legislation
Legislation passed in 2012 specifies that community property statutes in Arizona apply to ASRS benefits. Effective July 1, 2013, ASRS members who are married will be required to name their spouse as a primary beneficiary with at least 50 percent of the benefit. The law provides for a waiver of this requirement if the ASRS receives a notarized signature from the spouse waiving rights to a portion of the ASRS benefit. The spousal consent form is available here.
When you submit your retirement application, change your beneficiary, or if you pass away and before any survivor benefits are paid, the ASRS will review your account to ensure compliance with the law.
At the time of retirement, you may choose an annuity option that passes to a beneficiary at the time of death. Retirees who choose this option will have their monthly annuity actuarially reduced.
You may also choose to receive an actuarially reduced Health Insurance Premium Benefit (if eligible) that passes to a beneficiary at the time of your death.
Reporting a Death
To report the death of a member, contact the ASRS by Email, phone, or in writing. Once the ASRS has been notified, a packet will be sent to the primary beneficiary(ies) on file. Please note that before the ASRS can process a Survivor Benefit payment, the following documents must be received:
- A certified death certificate.
- A copy of the beneficiary's Social Security card.
- A notarized ASRS application to claim survivor benefits.
- If the beneficiary is an estate or trust, a copy of the court appointed personal representative, a copy of the trust and a completed W-9 form.
Log in to Check Your Estimate
If you are not yet retired, you can check your current estimated survivor benefit, including estimated interest through today, by logging in to your myASRS secure account.
If you are retired, you log in to your myASRS account to view an estimate of remaining survivor benefits under 'Benefit Details'. This estimate is based on your retirement election and benefits paid to the retiree to date.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I pass away, who is the ASRS going to pay?
If I don't name a beneficiary, who will the ASRS pay?
What if my beneficiary pre-deceases me?
What if I had named my spouse, but later divorced?
How long will the survivor benefits last?
- Non-Retired members: Depending on how many years of service you have and your account balance, your beneficiary may be eligible for a monthly benefit for his/her lifetime
- Retired members: This depends on the option you chose when you retired.
Log in to your myASRS account for an estimate.