THINGS TO DO WHEN A RETIRED IBMer DIES (Click here for a printable version of this list)

This webpage contains a list of “to dos” and suggestions that were created by a fellow IBM retiree for his wife to use just in case he preceded her in death. This might be a helpful list for you to create for your loved ones to have. Please understand the information in this article may or may not work for every situation.

  1. Select a funeral home
    Most funeral homes will give you assistance with contacting the Social Security office as well as the Veterans Affairs Office, and they also may arrange for death certificates (see next bullet regarding death certificates). If not, you may have to go to the county Vital Records office.

  2. Death Certificates:
    You will need to provide death certificates to be able to transfer ownership of accounts or access survivor benefits. Usually, death certificates are obtained through a funeral home. You will need to make sure you order enough original death cerrticates as some organizations will not accept copies. You also may want to find out how long it will take to receive the certificates. Without the certificates “in hand” you may end up not being able to do some of the items below.

  3. Safe Deposit Box:
    Identify physical location and box number. Identify where box key is located. Identify who has authorized access to the Safe Deposit Box. Summarize what is in the Safe Deposit Box, such as “All important master documents are in the Safe Deposit Box”.

  4. Social Security Number:
    Document the Social Security number of the IBMer and where the Social Security card is located.

  5. IBM Serial Number, employment and retirement dates:
    Document the IBMer's Serial Number (nnnnnn), when the IBMer started employment and when retirement started.

  6. Important IBM Post Employment document:
    Identify where key IBM documents are located, such as:
    Such as “About Your Benefits: Post-Employment” Summary Plan Description

  7. Online Accounts:
    List of online accounts with userids and passwords to access those accounts.

    NOTE: It is important that the surviving spouse keep the deceased persons "cell-phone" active until all online account transfers have been made. The reason for this is that some accounts now use "access security codes or text messages" on the deceased person's cell phone in the event of account access errors.

Once you have done the items above you now ready to start the process of reporting the IBMer's death, transferring ownership of accounts, determining survivor benefits, etc...

Primary contact for IBM retirement benefits is the IBM Employee Services Center.
1-866-937-0720, take option 2, then say 'report the death of an IBMer.' This will get a live person on the line. You will need the IBMer's user name or Social Security number along with the password. Once connected to the IBM Employee Service Center representative you will need to do the following items: