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Procedures Manual

13.0: Survivor Benefits

Last Revised: Nov 1, 2010


Purpose

This section should be used when a member of TRSL dies. There are procedures for (1) reporting the death of a retired member; (2) applying for monthly survivor benefits; and (3) requesting a refund of the deceased member’s contributions. Any reference to minor or other eligible children applies only to members of the Regular Plan and Plan A. Refer to page 5, Additional Note Number 3, of this index for the definition of a minor child.
Sections

Action to be Taken

Additional Notes

Employer Checklist

Survivor Application Process

Beneficiary Refund Checklist
Related Forms

Beneficiary/Survivor Checklist

Application for Survivor Benefits 
(Form 13)

Application for Refund of
Deceased Member Contributions 

(Form 13A)

Application by Spouse for
Refund of Deceased
Member Contributions
 (Form 13AS)

Student Attendance Certification 
(Form 13C)

Affidavit for Payment to Surviving
Spouse/Children
 (Form 13E)

Statement of Dependent’s
Marital Status
 (Form 13M)

Renunciation of Beneficiary (Form 13R)

Action to be Taken

  1. Procedures for reporting deaths of TRSL retired members
    • TRSL should be contacted immediately with the following information concerning the deceased member:
      1. Full name,
      2. Social Security number,
      3. Date of death, and
      4. Full name, address, and telephone number of survivor or other person to be contacted.
         
    • The retired member’s benefit will be discontinued upon notification of death.
       
    • The survivor or contact person should forward to TRSL the following:
      1. Copy of the death certificate,
      2. Reimbursement of any retirement benefits paid by TRSL after the date of death, and
      3. Names of surviving minor or other eligible children (Regular Plan and Plan A only). If the retiree chose a beneficiary other than the spouse, the election of the retirement option shall be void if there are minor or other children eligible for survivor benefits.
      •  
  2. Procedures for applying for monthly survivor benefits of deceased active/inactive members
    • An Application for Survivor Benefits (Form 13) must be completed and forwarded to TRSL.
       
    • As required by Louisiana law (LSA-R.S. 11:815), members who begin receiving a benefit on or after January 1, 2002, must have benefit payments made by electronic funds transfer. The survivor must complete and submit a Direct Deposit of Benefits (Form 15D) before any benefit will be issued.
       
    • The following documents are necessary to process survivor benefit claims (Put deceased member’s Social Security number on each copy.):
      1. Copy of the death certificate,
         
      2. Copies of Social Security cards (as issued by the Social Security Administration) of the surviving spouse and minor or other eligible children,
         
      3. Copy of the marriage certificate,
         
      4. Copies of birth certificates of the surviving spouse and minor or other eligible children,
      5. Certified copy of the legal court document confirming the name of tutor/tutrix of minor or other eligible children, if applicable,
         
      6. Student Attendance Certification (Form 13C) for each unmarried child over the age of 21, but not yet age 23, who is a full-time student enrolled in an accredited secondary or post-secondary educational institution,
         
      7. Statement of Dependent’s Marital Status (Form 13M) for each unmarried child age 18-23.
         
    • If monthly survivor benefits are payable, the additional forms listed below must be submitted:
      1. Agency Certification (Form 11B) from all employers,
         
      2. All questionable years, sick leave used, and annual leave (when applicable) must be certified using the online update process.
         
  3. Procedures for requesting a refund of deceased active/inactive member contributions
    • A spousal beneficiary, whose name is on file at TRSL, must complete the Application by Spouse for Refund of Deceased Member Contributions (Form 13AS).
       
    • If the beneficiary(ies) is someone other than the spouse, each beneficiary, whose name is on file at TRSL, must complete the Application for Refund of Deceased Member Contributions (Form 13A).
       
    • If the beneficiary (spouse or non-spouse) wishes to have the refund sent by direct deposit, the beneficiary must complete TRSL’s Direct Deposit for Refund of Contributions (Form 7D).
    • Agency Certification (Form 11B) from employer.
       
    • The following documents are necessary to process a request for the refund of contributions. Put deceased member’s Social Security number on each copy.
      1. Copy of the death certificate,
         
      2. Copy of Social Security card(s) (as issued by the Social Security Administration) of the beneficiary(ies),
         
      3. Certified copy of the legal court document confirming the name of tutor/tutrix of minor children who were named as beneficiaries, if applicable, and
         
      4. If the refund is payable to an estate, TRSL will need one of the following:
        • If the refund is payable to an estate and the entire estate is $50,000 or less, and there is no immovable property, the survivor may use the procedure for small estates as provided in LSA-R.S. 47:2410, which is only applicable to Louisiana residents. This law is administered by the Louisiana Department of Revenue.
           
        • If the heir(s) of the estate is the surviving spouse or child(ren) age 18 or older, the Affidavit for Payment to Surviving Spouse/Children (Form 13E) must be completed and forwarded to TRSL.
           
        • Federal tax identification number and a certified copy of the documents by which the succession representative was appointed.
           
        • Certified copy of the Judgment of Possession.
Additional Notes
  1. The accumulated contributions of a deceased member shall be paid in a lump sum to the named beneficiary(ies) or estate only if no survivor benefits are payable.
     
  2. If the deceased member has completed less than three years in PIP, the PIP contributions are refundable to the named beneficiary(ies).
     
  3. “Minor child” means an unmarried child under the age of 21 years, an unmarried student under the age of 23 years who is the issue of a marriage of a member of TRSL, the legally adopted child of a member of TRSL, a child who is born outside of marriage of a female member of TRSL, or the child of a male member of TRSL if a court of competent jurisdiction has, pursuant to the provisions of Louisiana Civil Code, Article 209, made an order of filiation declaring the paternity of such member for the child. An unmarried child who becomes totally and permanently physically or mentally disabled, as certified by the medical board, prior to age 21 shall be considered a “minor child” for the purposes of the benefit provisions of LSA-R.S. 11:701(25) and shall remain a “minor child” provided the medical board certifies the child is mentally disabled or totally and permanently physically disabled and provided the child remains unmarried.
     
  4. Eligible minor-child benefits are paid to the person having legal custody of the property of the child, except that the member may establish a trust for the child to which benefits would be paid by TRSL after the death of the member. In the event that the trust is contested by any party, TRSL shall withhold all survivor benefit payments or deposit them in the registry of the court if a concursus proceeding is filed, until there is a final, binding legal agreement or judgment regarding the proper payment of survivor benefits.
     
  5. “Student” means a person enrolled in a high school, a technical college, or a college or university, in a sufficient number of courses and classes in such institution to be classified as full-time regular student under the criteria used by the institution in which he is enrolled. The educational institution shall provide written notification to TRSL that the student is in full-time status.
     
  6. The employer should provide the spouse and/or nonspousal beneficiary(ies) of a deceased DROP participant with the appropriate forms for DROP account withdrawals. Refer to Index 11.2 for these forms.
Employer Checklist

If a member dies while in active service, the surviving spouse and/or minor children are entitled to survivor benefits.  An Application for Survivor Benefits (Form 13) should be completed.  If the member has less than 5 years of service credit, or no surviving spouse or minor children, or less than 10 years of service credit and a surviving spouse but no minor children, the last officially named beneficiary or estate will receive a lump-sum payment of the deceased member’s contributions.
 
Application for Survivor Benefits (Form 13)
  • Determine if the member has at least 5 years of service credit in TRSL.
     
  • Determine if the member has a surviving spouse and/or minor children entitled to a survivor benefit.
     
  • Have the surviving spouse or children’s legal guardian complete the Application for Survivor Benefits (Form 13). If there is no surviving spouse or minor children, only a lump-sum payment of the deceased member’s contributions will be paid to the named beneficiary(ies) or estate.
     
  • Attach supporting documentation:
    • Member’s death certificate.
    • Copy of Social Security cards for deceased member’s spouse and each child. Put member’s Social Security number on each copy.
    • Birth certificates for deceased member’s spouse and each child. Put deceased Social Security number on each copy.
    • Copy of member’s and spouse’s marriage license. Put deceased member’s Social Security number on each copy.
    • Statement of Dependent’s Marital Status (Form 13M) for unmarried children between the ages of 18–21.
    • Student Attendance Certification (Form 13C) for unmarried full-time students between the ages of 21–23.
       
  • Certify all questionable years, sick leave used, and annual leave (when applicable) via the online update process.
     
  • Attach a completed Direct Deposit of Benefits (Form 15D).
     
  • Attach a completed federal Form W4-P, Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments.
     
  • Keep a copy of all completed forms for the member’s personnel file.
     
  • Give a copy of all completed forms to the surviving spouse or children’s legal guardian.
     
  • Send TRSL all forms and required documents.

Survivor Application Process (click to enlarge)



Beneficiary Refund Check List

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required documents are submitted to the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL).

Use this check list as a guide in gathering the documents necessary to process your application for the refund of a deceased member’s accumulated contributions.

Each named beneficiary must submit:
Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana must also receive:
  • Certified copy of the death certificate.

The following documents must also be submitted for a beneficiary under the age of 18:
  • Copy of the beneficiary’s birth certificate,
     
  • Certified copy of the court document confirming the name of tutor/tutrix of a beneficiary under the age of 18 if there is no parent responsible for the minor child.

Related Forms

Beneficiary/Survivor Checklist

Application for Survivor Benefits  (Form 13)

Application for Refund of Deceased Member Contributions  (Form 13A)

Application by Spouse for Refund of Deceased Member Contributions (Form 13AS)

Student Attendance Certification  (Form 13C)

Affidavit for Payment to Surviving Spouse/Children (Form 13E)

Statement of Dependent’s Marital Status (Form 13M)

Renunciation of Beneficiary (Form 13R)
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