First Steps

Beneficiary Designation at Retirement

At the time of retirement, the member may name only one person, his or her estate, or a trust as beneficiary of the monthly retirement allowance. A member cannot change the beneficiary designation after the first day of the month in which he or she receives the first retirement payment. If the beneficiary dies or divorces the retired member, state law provides that the member’s estate becomes the beneficiary. An estate or trust cannot be eligible for a lifetime payment upon death of a retired member.  

Death after Retirement

You should inform your family or the person you have named to be responsible for your estate of the need to immediately inform the retirement office of your death. Your estate is liable for any monthly payments paid after your death. The member/recipient or the member’s/recipient’s estate is entitled to the payment that is sent during the month in which death occurs.  

Benefits provided

Upon notification of a retired member’s death, KRS will notify the individual named as beneficiary regarding his or her status as beneficiary. The beneficiary must complete and file the proper forms along with a death certificate listing the cause of the member’s death.
The retired member’s estate is entitled to the member’s retirement payment for the month of the member’s death. If the retired member selected the Basic Option or Annuitized Payment and had not recovered all the member contributions and interest which had accumulated in his or her retirement account, the beneficiary would receive the remaining account balance.
If the retired member selected a Survivorship Option at the time of retirement, the beneficiary will receive monthly benefits beginning in the month following the member’s death. Monthly benefits will not continue if the member’s estate has become the beneficiary because the beneficiary has died or divorced the member.