Who Have You Listed as Your Beneficiary?

WV Retirement Plus
Aug 25 2015

In 1789, Benjamin Franklin famously penned the following quote “… in this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” We, at WV Retirement Plus, try to help families, spouses, etc. gain access to deceased loved ones’ retirement contributions due to their unfortunate passing. Some situations have found that the participant did not designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries. 

 

When participants first join WV Retirement Plus, they are encouraged to fill out beneficiary information either on the Voya enrollment form or online. A beneficiary is a person designated as the recipient of funds or other property under a will, trust, insurance policy, etc. By not naming a beneficiary for your assets, you could be complicating and delaying the availability of your assets to family members or loved ones.

 

We would like to encourage you to review your beneficiary information at least every few years. Other important times to review your information are after major life events such as marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of children, and death of family members. This not only applies to WV Retirement Plus but any bank account, U.S. savings bonds, certificates of deposit, securities, life-insurance benefits and retirement-plan assets including 401ks, pensions, IRAs. 

 

A few other bits of information to consider:

 

  • Most of us would think that a will would be the final say on how our money is distributed. This is not true for certain financial assets! The money from some accounts will be distributed according to the beneficiary information on file with your retirement plan provider(s).
  • If you die without having made a valid beneficiary designation, your retirement account will be distributed according to your retirement plan’s hierarchy for the payment of death benefits, or as stipulated by state law. Also, it could cause additional tax burdens for your family members who will be handling your estate.
  • If you choose to name a beneficiary who is a minor, the courts may appoint a guardian for the child to handle any monies coming to the child. However, it is possible to set up a trust for minors so that they will receive your assets in a way you see fit.
  • Also, disabled children and adults require special trusts that preserve their ability to receive government benefits and any assets you wish.
  • Keep a copy of beneficiary forms that you submit for different assets. You should put the copies with other important information that can easily be found by family members.

 

 

As always, please check your retirement plan and/or financial institution’s documents or consult your legal advisor for more information on naming beneficiaries for your assets.

 

If you are a participant of WV Retirement Plus, you may check and change your beneficiary information online.  You may also print out a beneficiary form here and submit to our office.

 

 

You should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the variable product and its underlying fund options carefully before investing. Fund prospectuses, and an information booklet containing this and other information, can be obtained by contacting your local Voya representative. Please read carefully before investing.

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West Virginia State Treasurer's Office
1900 Kanawha Boulevard
Capitol Complex Building #1, Room E-145
Charleston, West Virginia 25305
304-558-5000 Toll Free: 800-422-7498

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