Start joint pension payments
The joint pension is not automatic. Your pension beneficiary will need to complete and return the paperwork from the PG&E Pension Service Center to start receiving joint pension payments.
Your pension beneficiary 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 pension beneficiary’s name.
How long the delay lasts depends on how soon your death is reported to the PG&E Pension Service Center, and how soon your pension beneficiary 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 pension beneficiary 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 your spouse’s own pension payments.
Make sure your spouse understands how much of a continuing pension they 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.
- If you have direct deposit and your account is credited for the month following your death, PG&E will try to reclaim it from the bank account. If there are insufficient funds to cover the overpaid pension, the executor of your estate will need to return the overpayment to PG&E.
- 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, the executor of your estate will need to return the overpayment to PG&E.