Human Resource Administration

Leadership on all human resource-related issues

80 Lower College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

urihr@ucs.uri.edu401.874.2416 - 401.874.5741 (fax)

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Section 2.1

Date:  May 1, 2006 (revised)



To advise the family of a deceased employee on what steps to take to obtain survivor benefits associated with employment at the University.


All employees


The Director, Personnel Services will administer the policy and advise the family of a deceased employee via the Employee Benefits Section of the Office of Human Resource Administration.


The University offers members of the surviving family special assistance during what is often a difficult and trying time in initiating the process of obtaining survivor benefits.


A personalized letter is sent to the family of a deceased employee outlining the specific survivor benefits and the procedures required to obtain them, as well as offering the assistance of the Office of Human Resource Administration.  Samples of survivor benefits follow:

1.      Employee’s Retirement System of Rhode Island:

a.       In Service:

In the event of an employee’s death while in service for any cause other than occupational, the designated beneficiary of the employee’s estate is entitled to receive a lump-sum refund of the employee’s accumulated contributions (if the optional annuity protection plan was not elected).  In addition to the refund, a death benefit equal to $800 a year, subject to a maximum of $16,000 is payable to the beneficiary.

b.      Accidental:

If the employee’s death is a direct result of the performance of duties or occupation, a refund of total contributions to the system will be made to the designated beneficiary.  In addition, the board may grant an annuity of one-half of the deceased employee’s salary, which was received upon the date of death to the spouse until the spouse’s death or remarriage.  If there is no surviving spouse, the monthly benefit is payable to minor children until they attain the age of 18.  If there is no surviving spouse, or children under the age of 18, the monthly benefit is payable to a dependent father or mother for life.  The monthly amount of this benefit is to offset any Workers’ Compensation payment that may be made to an eligible survivor.

The Employees Retirement System of Rhode Island requires notification and a copy of the death certificate in order to process benefits.

2.      RI Board of Governors Defined Contribution Retirement Plan:

The full current value of the deceased employee’s accumulations, including the University’s contributions, is payable to the beneficiary.

There are several beneficiary options for payment of the retirement accumulations.

Family of the deceased employee should contact the appropriate retirement carrier listed below in order to process benefits and to arrange for more detailed information concerning the beneficiary options.  All carriers require the deceased employee’s death certificate.

TIAA-CREF, P O Box 1268, Charlotte, NC 28201-1268


AIG/VALIC, 1000 Winter St., Suite 3750 South, Waltham, MA 02451


MetLife Financial Services, 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02887


3.      Social Security:

Social Security should be notified as soon as possible.

Rhode Island’s Social Security offices may be reached at 822-1463 or visit their website at

4.      Health and Life Insurance:

The family of a deceased employee may maintain the employee’s family health insurance coverage for 36 months by paying for it at the State’s group rate through COBRA.  The family should contact the State COBRA Office located at One Capitol Hill, Providence, RI  02908 (401) 222-3279.  At the end of the 36-month period, the family may convert to a direct payment plan.

If the deceased employee carried the group life insurance offered by the State, the family should contact the Office of Human Resource Administration, Employee Benefits Section for the phone number and/or address of the current life insurance carrier.

5.      Final Check(s):  Salary and/or Unused Vacation, etc.:

The immediate family will need to go to the General Treasurer’s Office at 40 Fountain Street, Providence RI  02908, in order to obtain any remaining check(s) that are due.  A copy of the employee’s death certificate, as well as one of the following three forms, is required:  (1) Release form, (2) Affidavit of Claimant Under Small Estate Law, and (3) Affidavit of Heirs.  These forms may be obtained from the General Treasurer’s Office or the Office of Human Resource Administration, Employee Benefits Section.

6.      Savings Bonds:

Contributions will stop.  Monies left over after the death of the employee will be refunded by check to the employee’s home address.  As noted above, the immediate family member who has the appropriate forms will be able to cash this check.  Questions can be directed to Fran Cirillo, State Personnel Administration/Savings Bonds division at (401) 222-6699.

7.      Legal:

Coverage ends.  Family of deceased employee should contact carrier directly if they are currently receiving legal services.

8.      AFLAC:

Coverage ends.  Immediate family member should contact AFLAC at (401) 521-7700 with any questions.

9.      CollegeBoundfund:

Contributions will stop.  The immediate family should contact Collegeboundfund directly at 888-324-5057 for options.

10.  Supplemental Retirement Annuity:

Immediate family member should contact the appropriate carrier directly for benefit options.

11.  Deferred Compensation (IRC – 457)

Immediate family member should contact the appropriate carrier directly for benefit options.

12.  Tuition Waiver:

In the event of an employee’s death, the tuition waiver benefit shall be provided for the spouse and legal dependents who have been accepted or are enrolled at the time of such death and who maintain continuous enrollment.  Questions can be directed to Dawn Smith at (401) 874-5567.


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