Death of a Survivor or Contingent Annuitant
Report the Death of a Survivor or Contingent Annuitant
SURS should be notified as soon as possible when someone receiving survivor benefits passes away. SURS prefers to receive a report of death by phone in order to gather all necessary information; however, SURS will also accept reports of death by mail or fax.
Dial Toll Free: 800-275-7877
Dial Direct: 217-378-8800
Mail: 1901 Fox Drive, Champaign, IL 61820
The following information is needed when the death is reported:
- The date of death
Traditional and Portable Plans:
If there are other survivors receiving benefits through the original member (Traditional Plan only), SURS will request a copy of the deceased survivor’s death certificate. Survivor benefits for any remaining survivors may be recalculated.
If there are no other survivors receiving benefits through the original member, SURS will review the file to see if any of the original member’s contributions remain on file.
- If there are no remaining contributions, a confirmation letter will be sent along with a request for a copy of the death certificate.
- If there are remaining contributions to be paid, a letter and an application will be sent to the original member’s beneficiary(ies). A certified copy of the death certificate will be requested. Please note that it is rare for there to be remaining contributions.
Retirement Savings Plan:
SURS will notify the appropriate annuity provider – Principal or TIAA. In the event beneficiaries exist, each provider will mail a corresponding packet to those listed on the annuity application. Documents should be returned to the provider.
Return Requested Documents to SURS:
If assistance is needed with the materials, contact a SURS Benefits Counselor at 800-275-7877 or dial direct at 217-378-8800. SURS is unable to provide information pertaining to benefits payable to anyone but the beneficiary(ries).
Death and Survivor Benefit Assistance – This video is for Traditional and Portable plan members
State of Illinois Insurance: To be eligible for the State of Illinois Group Insurance Plan, the original member must have at least five years of service credit with a state university or an agency of the State of Illinois.
The deceased survivor’s and any dependent’s health, dental, vision, and life insurance will be terminated with Central Management Services (CMS) and MyBenefits Marketplace within 1-2 days. Within the following 3-5 days, a verification form will be sent showing the termination of insurance along with COBRA papers for any dependents that were covered under the deceased survivor.
Any dependent who was covered under the surviving spouse of the original member may only continue coverage if they are the biological/adopted/disabled child of the original member. A Change/Enrollment form will be sent to any dependent in this category.
If life insurance is payable, SURS will notify MetLife of the death within 1-2 days of the report of death. Within approximately five days, MetLife will send out life insurance applications to the beneficiaries listed on the Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation Form. MetLife will require a certified copy of the death certificate with the application for life insurance.
College Insurance Program (CIP): To be eligible for CIP, the original member must have been a full-time employee of any SURS-participating community college and eligible for benefits.
The deceased survivor’s and any dependent’s health, dental, and vision insurance will be terminated with Central Management Services (CMS) within 1-2 days. Within 30 days, MyBenefits will send COBRA papers for any dependents that were covered under the deceased survivor.
Any dependent who was covered under the survivor spouse of the original member may only continue coverage if they are the biological/adopted/ disabled child of the original member. A Change/Enrollment form will be sent to any dependent in this category.
Other Important Information
Beneficiaries: In the event that there are contributions to be paid, SURS may request information regarding the original member’s remaining beneficiaries.
Return of overpayments: SURS pays survivor benefits at the beginning of every month. If a survivor passes away in the middle of the month, the survivor is still entitled to the full month’s annuity. In the event that an overpayment occurs, SURS is required to collect the overpayment. If SURS is unsuccessful in recovering the overpayment, the amount will be recovered from any benefits payable.