Retirees can name beneficiaries for the following benefits
payable upon the retiree’s death:
A continuance payment. The value is based on
the retirement option
you nominated at retirement.
A one-time lump-sum death benefit. This
benefit is vested. Currently, the maximum benefit provided is
Any retirement allowance earned but not yet paid to the
retiree at the time of the retiree’s death. This
benefit is pro-rated to cover the amount payable for the
portion of the month prior to the retiree’s death.
A refund of excess contributions. This benefit
is provided if the total payments made to the beneficiary are
less than the retiree’s
contributions and interest on deposit with ACERA. This is
not paid out if the beneficiary receives a continuance.
A refund of prepaid health payments that will not be
used. If a member’s check is not large enough to cover
health care premiums, in some instances he/she may be paying
ACERA two months in advance for the cost of those premiums. The
beneficiary will receive a refund of any payment not used.
These benefits are taxable. Beneficiaries will receive Form
1099® for income reporting purposes.
When you’re ready to retiree, during your Ready-to-Retire Counseling Session you will complete an Election of Retirement Allowance on which you will choose one of the five retirement options. Your selection is permanent, and cannot be changed after ACERA has received your signed, completed retirement election—so it’s important to understand your benefits and your beneficiary(ies)’ benefits under each option.
ACERA asks its members to name a beneficiary or beneficiaries, to whom benefits are payable in the event of death. It is important to keep your beneficiary designations current (addresses and phone numbers) to ensure timely payments are made to the appropriate individuals.
After the death of a loved one, many people find themselves
overwhelmed with the tasks to be completed.
ACERA has created this checklist to assist survivors with issues
they may need to address. This checklist is not a definitive list
of all matters of immediate concern upon death, so you may want
to add your own items. You may also want to create a contact list
of banks, insurance companies, and all other applicable
It is important to know which death benefits your beneficiary is
entitled to receive. ACERA Member Services can help you make this
determination. To assist and expedite the processing and payment
of any potential death benefit, ACERA must have the