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Beneficiaries
To improve your financial wellness, it may be time to dust off the beneficiary form you completed when you started saving in your workplace retirement plan to be sure it still reflects your priorities.


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Beneficiaries need checkups, too

Financially well individuals are aware of their financial situation and manage it wisely. To improve your financial wellness, it may be time to dust off the beneficiary form you completed when you started saving in your workplace retirement plan to be sure it still reflects your priorities. The money in your retirement account bypasses probate if you should pass away and goes straight to the designated beneficiaries, so you want to keep your designation form up-to-date.

You can leave your retirement account to any person, however, federal and state laws may provide spouses and former spouses with certain rights to retirement plan benefits. You can also designate a non-profit organization or name a trust as the beneficiary of your retirement account. Your financial advisor will be happy to answer questions about beneficiary designation.

Proper designation terms help to include (or exclude) descendants of deceased beneficiaries. It’s a good idea to make contingent plans in case a named beneficiary dies. Should you designate your children with rights of survivorship, your money will be split among your living children. If a child has died, his or her share is split among the siblings – even if the deceased has children of his or her own. To include your grandchildren, designate your beneficiaries with “Per Stirpes” so the money will be split among the deceased’s children.

Making your designations as specific as possible is a good way to help your money go to the right people. People often designate their children as beneficiaries, but the definition of “children” can get a little murky. Should a person simply designate “my children” as beneficiaries, a stepchild or foster child could be omitted. Consider naming each child individually on the beneficiary form.

Uncertain circumstances can easily destroy carefully constructed plans. There’s no better reason than that to keep current with things like wills, powers of attorney and beneficiary designations. After a major life event, it’s an especially good idea to examine beneficiary designations and other documents. Consider consulting your attorney for guidance.

All employees are eligible to enroll in a Voluntary Retirement Plan. You may enroll in a 403(b) Plan offered through a number of vendors, PERA 457 Plan and PERA 401(k). Sponsors of the 403(b) plan include VALIC, Fidelity, TIAA CREF, MetLife Resources and Security Benefits.
Learn more about your retirement savings options by contacting Human Resources at 970.248.1266. •

By Jill Knuckles

Media Contact

Dana Nunn, Director of Media Relations

dnunn@coloradomesa.edu

970.248.1868 (o)

970.640.0421 (c)