Survivor Benefit Information

Benefits Upon Your Death

When you become a member of OCERS, you will be asked to designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries, who may be entitled to receive lifetime and/or lump sum benefits that may be payable upon your death.

Survivor benefits are based on the retirement option selected, status at the time of your death, and designated beneficiaries. For specific information or to report a death, please call OCERS at (714) 558-6200.

Additional Benefits

Beneficiaries of active and deferred members with 10 or more years of service will receive a one-time $750 (gross) death benefit when the member dies; beneficiaries of retirees will receive a one-time $1,000 (gross) death benefit at the time of the member’s death.

NOTE:  Because of community property laws in the State of California, your spouse, ex-spouse, or qualified domestic partner may have certain rights that supersede those of designated beneficiaries.

Please consult your Summary Plan Description and/or consult a Member Services Specialist for more information.


Beneficiary Designation

When you become a member of OCERS, you will be asked to designate a beneficiary who will be entitled to receive certain benefits that may be payable upon your death. You may designate anyone you choose as your beneficiary, and you may change your beneficiary at any time. However, it is important to note that your spouse, ex-spouse, registered domestic partner, ex-registered domestic partner and/or children may have legal rights that supersede the rights of any other beneficiaries you designate. In addition, for members who are retired under Option 2, Option 3, or Option 4, the beneficiary/ies designated at retirement cannot be changed.

It is your responsibility to notify OCERS’ Member Services department of a life event change, such as a marriage, domestic partnership registration or death, including the death of a designated beneficiary. Upon receipt of this information, your new beneficiary designation will supersede all previous designations.

Naming or Changing Your Beneficiary


Login to myOCERS to name, review, or change your beneficiary.

By Mail

Download the Beneficiary Change Form and mail it to the address listed on the form.

To request that a form be mailed to you, please call (714) 558-6200.


Survivor Checklist

Upon an OCERS member’s death, certain benefits may be payable to a surviving spouse, domestic partner, or designated beneficiary(ies). Use this section as a guideline and allow us to help you through a time of sorrow with any death benefit(s) related matters.