Do you know who's listed on the beneficiary form for your TMRS, MissionSquare Retirement (formerly ICMA-RC), life insurance or final vacation and sick payout? It’s possibly not who you think or want it to be. We have heard numerous horror stories about retirement benefits and life insurance ending up in the hands of unintended beneficiaries.
In one example, a husband was left powerless after learning his wife had named her mother and sister as beneficiaries of her life insurance and retirement benefits prior to their marriage. His wife died, failing to update her beneficiary information. The wife's mother also passed away and the retirement plan and life insurance policy funds went to the wife's sister.
Another example, an employee named his wife as beneficiary when he began work. The couple divorced, but the employee never changed the beneficiary from his ex-wife. His current wife got none of his retirement benefits and life insurance after he died.
What to Do?Check your beneficiary designations from time to time to make sure the right names are on record. You should check all of your estate planning documents every three to four years. If you get divorced or make significant life changes, remember to check and revise all these documents. Also, if a “custodial beneficiary” was named when your children were under 21 years, complete another form to remove the custodian.
TMRS will notify you when you become vested. Once vested, your beneficiary is entitled to death benefits. PLEASE NOTE: The beneficiary you named before you were vested is no longer valid. You will need to designate a beneficiary for your vested benefits, even if you are naming the same beneficiary.
If you need to make a change to any of your beneficiaries, simply click on one of the links below.
TMRS Beneficiary OneAmerica Life InsuranceBeneficiary for Final Check – CivilianBeneficiary for Final Check – Police and FireMissionSquare Retirement – 457 Plan
Send completed forms to HRBenefits@plano.gov.