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State of Delaware Office of Pensions

New State Police Pension Plan - Death Benefits


If you die leaving no eligible survivors, your beneficiary will be paid a lump sum equal to the excess, if any, of your accumulated contributions with interest less all pension payments made, including survivor's benefits. You may designate a beneficiary by completing an Contributory Designation / Change of Beneficiary (BEN-1) form. If there is no designated beneficiary, the sum will be paid to your estate.


At the beginning of your retirement, you will be / were asked to complete a Burial Benefit Designation/Change of Beneficiary form to designate a beneficiary to receive a burial benefit payment of $7,000. This is not a life insurance policy. It has no policy number and no cash value during your lifetime. This sum will be payable to the designated beneficiary upon your death.

Please be aware that that this is a taxable benefit to whomever you name as beneficiary.

The beneficiary will have the right to take the monies in several different ways. The beneficiary may choose to take the monies as a cash payment or to assign the monies to a funeral home. Both of these options create a taxable event for the beneficiary. The beneficiary will receive tax form 1099R and be required to claim the monies on their income tax return as taxable income. The beneficiary has the option to avoid a taxable event by rolling monies over to an IRA or other eligible plan. If a spouse is the named beneficiary, the monies can be rolled into a traditional IRA or any other plan that will accept them. If anyone other than a spouse is named beneficiary, they are limited to rolling the monies only to an Inherited (or Beneficiary) IRA.

If you have named a beneficiary only so that person can use the burial benefit monies to pay funeral expenses, please be aware the release of these monies will create a taxable event for that person.

If it is your intention for the burial benefit to be used to pay for your funeral expenses, you have the option to name the funeral home as the beneficiary.

In order to do this, you must contact the funeral home to get their Tax Identification Number so you can complete the Designation of Beneficiary form in its entirety. If you choose this option, the Pension Office will, after being notified of your death, release all burial benefit paperwork to the funeral home, the funeral home will complete the paperwork, and then payment will be released directly to the funeral home. In this way, no taxable event is created for a relative or friend who is doing nothing more than completing paperwork and assigning the monies to a funeral home.

Regardless of who you name as beneficiary, you should always make sure the Pension Office has up-to-date contact information for that individual or individuals. Payment cannot be made if we are unable to contact your beneficiary to provide them with the necessary paperwork to be completed and/or request appropriate documentation.

SEPP Pre-Retirement Workshops

No workshops at this time.

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State of Delaware Office of Pensions
McArdle Building, 860 Silver Lake Blvd., Suite #1
Dover, DE 19904-2402
Toll Free: (800) 722-7300, Local: (302) 739-4208
SLC 570A
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