Death Before Retirement


It is important to keep your beneficiary information up-to-date. Your beneficiaries should understand the benefits provided to them in the event of your death.

If you die as an active member, a death benefit may be available to your beneficiary(ies) or surviving spouse, state-registered domestic partner, or Alameda County domestic partner and eligible minor children. If you die while a deferred member, your beneficiary may receive a refund of your contributions plus accrued interest. Interest stops accruing for all member accounts upon death.

Be sure to keep your retirement plan beneficiaries up-to-date with ACERA. You can change your beneficiaries at any time. Simply complete and return an ACERA Active or Deferred member Beneficiary Designation Form.

In many cases, an employer will notify ACERA of a member’s death. Beneficiaries should be prepared to notify ACERA as well. Beneficiaries will need to take the following steps:

  • Contact ACERA and report the member’s death.
  • Provide a certified copy of the member’s death certificate to ACERA.
  • Provide the member’s birth certificate if it is not already on file with ACERA.
  • Provide a copy of his or her own Social Security card to ACERA.
  • Provide his or her own birth certificate to ACERA, if eligible for a monthly continuance benefit.
  • A spouse, state-registered domestic partner, or Alameda County domestic partner must provide a marriage license, domestic partnership registration, or Alameda County’s Affidavit of Domestic Partnership if a monthly continuance is available.

Please review the Active Member Death Benefits tables on the Death Benefits page for more details.

To report a death, use our Report a Death web form.