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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 10-321



[4 PA. CODE CH. 247]

Death Benefits

[40 Pa.B. 973]
[Saturday, February 20, 2010]

 The State Employees' Retirement Board (Board) amends § 247.7(a) pertaining to the priority of death benefit payments in the event these payments cannot be made to a designated beneficiary or the member's estate.

 This amendment sets priorities for the payment of death benefits in the event a member dies without a valid designation of beneficiaries.

A. Effective Date

 The amendment will go into effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin as a final rulemaking.

B. Contact Person

 For further information contact Robert Gentzel, Director of Communications and Policy, State Employees' Retirement System, 30 North Third Street, Suite 150, Harrisburg, PA 17101-1716, (717) 787-9657 or Salvatore A. Darigo, Jr., Counsel, State Employees' Retirement System, 30 North Third Street, Suite 150, Harrisburg, PA 17101-1716, (717) 783-7317.

C. Statutory Authority

 This final rulemaking is being made under the authority of 71 Pa.C.S. §§ 5902(h) and 5953 (relating to administrative duties of the board; and taxation, attachment and assignment of funds).

D. Summary of the Final-Form Rulemaking

 This final-form regulation clarifies the priority for payment of a member's death benefit in the event that payment of the benefits cannot be made to a member's designated beneficiary or estate. The amendment enables consistent application of the statute and the avoidance litigation of priority issues.

E. Summary of Comments and Responses

 No comments were received regarding this rulemaking.

F. Benefits, Costs and Compliance

 Executive Order 1996-1 requires a cost/benefit analysis of the proposed regulation.


 The amendment is intended to alleviate confusion and prevent possible disputes with regard to conflicting demands on members' death benefits.


 There are no costs to the Commonwealth, its citizens or State employees associated with this proposal.

Compliance Costs

 The amendment is not expected to impose any additional compliance costs on State employees.

G. Sunset Review

 A sunset date has not been established for this regulation.

H. Regulatory Review

 Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on July 25, 2008, the Board submitted a copy of the proposed amendment, published at 38 Pa.B. 4396 (August 9, 2008) to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and the House State Government Committee and the Senate Finance Committee (Committees). In addition to submitting the proposed amendment, the Board has provided IRRC and the Committees with a detailed Regulatory Analysis Form prepared by the Board in compliance with Executive Order 1996-1, ''Regulatory Review and Promulgation.'' A copy of this material is available to the public upon request.

 Under section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, the Board is required to provide IRRC and the Committees with copies of the comments received during the public comment period, as requested. No comments from IRRC, the Committees, or the public were received.

 Under section 5.1(j.2) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(j.2)), on December 9, 2009, this final-form regulation was deemed approved by the Committees. Under section 5(g) of the Regulatory Review Act, the final-form regulation was deemed approved effective December 9, 2009.

I. Findings

 The Board finds that:

 (1) Public notice of intention to amend this regulation was given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2 by publication at 38 Pa.B. 4396.

 (2) The final-form rulemaking is necessary and appropriate for the administration of 71 Pa.C.S. Part XXV (relating to State Employees' Retirement Code).

J. Order

 The Board, acting under the authorizing statutes, orders that:

 (a) The regulations of the Board, 4 Pa. Code Chapter 247, are amended by amending § 247.7 to read as set forth in Annex A.

 (b) The amendment shall be submitted to the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality as required by law.

 (c) The Secretary of the Board shall certify this order and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

 (d) This order shall take effect immediately upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.


 (Editor's Note: For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission relating to this document, see 39 Pa.B. 7271 (December 26, 2009).)

Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 31-12 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.

Annex A




§ 247.7. Death benefits.

 (a) Manner of payments. In the event the member does not designate a beneficiary before death or the designation is not valid for any reason or no validly designated beneficiary survives the member by 30 days under 71 Pa.C.S. § 5709(c) (relating to the payment of benefits) to receive any of the death benefits provided in the code, the benefits shall be payable to the estate of the member.

 (1) If the estate of the member is entitled to receive the member's death benefits but does not file a claim for the benefits within 60 days of the date the System mails notice of the benefits to the estate of the member, the entire amount of the death benefit shall be payable in the following sequential priority:

 (i) To the appointed executor or administrator of the deceased member.

 (ii) To the surviving spouse of the member.

 (iii) To any child of the member.

 (iv) To the father or mother of the member.

 (v) To any sister or brother of the member.

 (2) Payments made under paragraph (1)(iii)—(iv) shall be made to only one person and not divided among members of the classes identified in those subsections. Upon payment of a death benefit pursuant to this section, the System shall be discharged from any further liability for the payment of the death benefits to any other person. Any person to whom payment is made under this paragraph shall be answerable therefore to anyone prejudiced by the payment.

 (b) Single life annuity. If a single life annuitant dies before receiving in monthly annuity payments the total amount of accumulated deductions, the balance of the total accumulated deductions shall be paid to the designated beneficiary without regard to the actual proportion the State share represents to the total monthly annuity payments actually received before death.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 10-321. Filed for public inspection February 19, 2010, 9:00 a.m.]

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