Start joint pension payments
The joint pension is not automatic. Your joint pensioner will need to complete and return the paperwork from the PG&E Pension Call Center to start receiving joint pension payments.
Your joint pensioner may not get the first check for several months. After you die, there will be a delay between the last payment of your pension benefit and the start of the new joint pension in your joint pensioner’s name.
How long the delay lasts depends on how soon your death is reported to the PG&E Benefits Service Center, and how soon your joint pensioner returns the necessary paperwork. This process typically takes one full month after the retiree’s death is reported.
The joint pension is payable as of the first of the month after you die—so your joint pensioner may get two or more months’ worth of pension payments in the first check.
Be prepared financially to cover living expenses
Your spouse will need to be prepared with enough savings to bridge at least one month between the end of your pension payments and the beginning of his or her own pension payments.
If you’re married, make sure your spouse understands how much of a continuing pension he or she will receive, if any.
- If you elected a joint pension of less than 100%, your spouse will need to be prepared to live on a smaller pension payment.
- If you elected a joint pension with someone other than your spouse, or a single life pension for your own lifetime only, your spouse will have no pension income after you die.
Be prepared financially to reimburse any pension overpayments
If your death is reported late in the month—after pension payroll has already run for the following month—any overpaid pension after your death must be returned to PG&E before additional benefits (including joint pension and medical) can be paid to your spouse or joint pensioner.
- If you have direct deposit and your account is credited for the month following your death, PG&E will automatically deduct the overpaid pension from your account. If there are insufficient funds to cover the overpaid pension, your spouse or joint pensioner will need to return the overpayment to PG&E before PG&E can pay any additional benefits.
- If you get paper checks and if a check is issued for the month following your death, a stop payment will be issued on the check and your spouse will be unable to cash it. If any checks are cashed after your death, your spouse or joint pensioner will need to return the overpayment before PG&E can pay any additional benefits.