Who is a Beneficiary?
A beneficiary is a person (or persons) who will receive your account in the event of your death. You may name both primary and contingent beneficiaries and can make changes at any time.
To name your beneficiaries or to view your current beneficiaries on file, log in here and go to Personal Information > Beneficiary Information.
Primary Beneficiary: A person or trust you name to receive your Plan account in the event of your death. If you name multiple primary beneficiaries and any of them die before you, the percentage such beneficiary would have received will be divided equally among your surviving primary beneficiaries.
Contingent Beneficiary: A person or trust you name to receive your Plan account if, on your date of death, all of your primary beneficiaries deceased before you. If you name multiple contingent beneficiaries and any of them die before you, the percentage such contingent beneficiary would have received will be divided equally among your surviving contingent beneficiaries.
You may designate more than one person as your beneficiary. If you are married, you may name someone other than a spouse to be a beneficiary for the non-community-property interest of your account, but spousal consent is required to assign your community property interest to another beneficiary.
Changing Life Circumstances
As your life changes, it is important to keep beneficiary information up-to-date. Divorce, remarriage, children, and the evolving needs of your family may impact who you name as your beneficiary.
For example, if you name your spouse as your beneficiary, subsequently divorce, and do not remarry, your ex-spouse remains the legal beneficiary under the Plan until you update your beneficiary information.
If you have not named a beneficiary under the Plan and you pass away, your assets are subject to a court’s authority to distribute assets (also known as "probate"). The probate court may end up distributing your Plan assets in a manner that is inconsistent with your preferences.
Finally, be sure your beneficiary knows so, in the event of your death, they can come forward to claim your Plan account.