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Direct deposit is required for all SERS retirees. Direct deposit of your funds is the only way to assure that your payment will be available on the first of every month.

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You may be eligible to receive an Estimated Monthly Payment that will be deposited into your bank account on your effective retirement date. If you are not eligible for an Estimated Monthly Payment, your first payment can take 45 to 60 days after your retirement effective date. After your initial payment, all payments will be available on the first of every month, with the exception of the January payment. The January payment will be in your account on the first business day following Jan. 1.

All retirees receive a quarterly Focus publication, which will include a quarterly statement detailing your current gross monthly pension and deductions, and these amounts for the year-to-date. You also will receive a statement if there are any changes to your monthly payment amount, such as when you receive a cost-of-living increase.

 

Monthly Benefit Payments Direct Deposit Dates
January 01/04/16
February 02/01/16
March* 03/01/16
April 04/01/16
May 04/29/16
June* 06/01/16
July 07/01/16
August 08/01/16
September* 09/01/16
October 09/30/16
November 11/01/16
December* 12/01/16

 

 

*Direct deposit notice or check stub will be mailed to all benefit recipients during these months; you also will receive a notice or check stub any time your monthly amount changes.

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You cannot make changes to Plan E after you have started to receive your retirement allowance.

Under certain circumstances, which may occur after you start to receive your retirement allowance, you may change a plan or beneficiaries for the other plans as detailed below.

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Death of a beneficiary

If you choose Plan A, C or D and your beneficiary dies before you do, then your benefit may be changed to a Plan B (Single Life Allowance) with an adjustment in your benefit.

If you choose Plan F and a beneficiary dies before you do, your benefit will be adjusted on the basis of the remaining beneficiary or beneficiaries.

Divorce, annulment, or marriage dissolution after retirement

If you are married at retirement, select a joint life plan with your spouse as a beneficiary, and then the marriage is terminated after retirement, your plan may be adjusted only if your ex-spouse gives written consent or by order of the court.

If you choose plans A, C, or D, your plan may be adjusted to Plan B. If you choose Plan F and your marriage is terminated after retirement, your benefit will be adjusted on the basis of the remaining beneficiary or beneficiaries.

Marriage after retirement

If you are single at retirement, select Plan B, and then marry after retirement, you can select a new plan providing for your new spouse. Or, if you were married at retirement, but later divorced and were able to select Plan B, and then remarried, you can select a new plan providing for your new spouse.

The plan can be Plan A, C, D, or F.  You must make this change within one year of the marriage.

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Under current law, you will receive a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) increase of 3% of your base pension amount every year on the anniversary date of your retirement.

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All SERS pension increases should be reported to Social Security if you are receiving Social Security benefits based on your spouse’s Social Security earnings.

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When you write to SERS, please make sure to give your full name and the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Also, make sure you advise SERS of any change in address. Even if SERS deposits your check directly into your bank account, we still need your current home address.

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You also must notify us when circumstances change, such as the death of a spouse if the spouse was covered by our health plan or if you chose a Joint Life plan of payment.

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In some instances, such as a hospital or nursing home stay, a retiree may not be able to cash the monthly check. Again, in such instances, direct deposit is safe and convenient. At times like these, many persons find it helpful to have a trusted friend or relative act on their behalf and handle pressing financial matters. If you, as a retiree, want someone other than yourself to handle your SERS retirement, you must provide SERS with either a General or a Limited Power of Attorney form.

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This is necessary because, in addition to the retiree, SERS’ pension checks may only be cashed by authorized individuals. In order for another person to have authority to handle a SERS pension, the retiree must grant Power of Attorney to someone, or a probate court must appoint a guardian for the retiree.

A Limited Power of Attorney form is available upon request from SERS. The filing of a Limited Power of Attorney form will also allow the designated person to change the address to the location where the payment is being sent.

Guardianship

A guardian might need to be appointed by a probate court when a retiree becomes unable to handle financial matters.

A copy of the appointment of the guardian must be filed with SERS. This information is necessary so that we know how to prepare future payments and where to send them.

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