Monday, December 16, 2019

Getting Married

Congratulations! You're probably in the midst of updating your legal documents with a name change and/or your spouse's information. Now is the perfect time to update your beneficiary information, too. Remember, your will doesn't govern your retirement account, so it's important to keep your beneficiary information updated.  

If you're not sure what MERS plan you have, click here for help.

Jump to:
Defined Benefit Plan  •  Defined Contribution Plan  •  Hybrid Plan  •  Health Care Savings Program  •  457

Defined Benefit Plan beneficiaries

It's important to keep beneficiary information up to date with all of your MERS accounts:

  • Monthly Pension Beneficiary — One person who would receive a lifetime benefit if you are vested and die before you begin collecting your retirement benefits (or if you die as a result of work duties). If married, your spouse must be named your Monthly Pension Beneficiary unless they waive this right in writing.
  • Refund Beneficiary —a person(s), trust, estate or charity that receives a refund of your employee contributions (plus interest) if you die before you are vested. If married, your spouse must be named your Primary Refund Beneficiary unless they waive this right in writing.
    You'll also be asked to provide a Contingent Refund Beneficiary in case your Primary Refund Beneficiary is deceased.

You may update beneficiary and contact information online through logging in to your myMERS portal.

For more information, refer to the Defined Benefit Plan Member Handbook found on our website or contact our Service Center.

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Defined Contribution Plan beneficiaries

Primary Beneficiary — One person who would receive your Defined Contribution portion (plus/minus investment performance). If married, your spouse must be named your Primary Beneficiary unless they waive this right in writing.
You'll also be asked to provide Contingent Beneficiary in case your Primary is deceased.

You may update beneficiary and contact information online through logging in to your myMERS portal.

For more information, please consult your Defined Contribution Member Handbook or contact our Service Center.

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Hybrid Plan beneficiaries

Because there are two portions to your Hybrid Plan, there are also two sets of beneficiaries. You may update beneficiary and contact information online through logging in to your myMERS portal:

Hybrid Part I — Your Defined Benefit Portion

  • Monthly Pension Beneficiary — One person who would receive a lifetime benefit if you are vested and die before you begin collecting your retirement benefits (or if you die as a result of work duties). If married, your spouse must be named your Monthly Pension Beneficiary unless they waive this right in writing.
  • Refund Beneficiary —a person(s), trust, estate or charity that receives a refund of your employee contributions (plus interest) if you die before you are vested. If married, your spouse must be named your Primary Refund Beneficiary unless they waive this right in writing.
    You'll also be asked to provide a Contingent Refund Beneficiary in case your Primary Refund Beneficiary is deceased.

Hybrid Part II — Your Defined Contribution Portion

  • Primary Beneficiary — One person who would receive your Defined Contribution portion (plus/minus investment performance). If married, your spouse must be named your Primary Beneficiary unless they waive this right in writing.
    You'll also be asked to provide Contingent Beneficiary in case your Primary is deceased.

For more information, consult your MERS Hybrid Retirement Plan Member Handbook or call our Service Center.

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Health Care Savings Program

Your Health Care Savings Program provides coverage for post employment medical expenses for you, your spouse and any legal dependents, as well as a named beneficiary. The definition of legal dependent has been expanded to include any children less than 26 years of age.

When your family changes, make sure you make updates to beneficiary and contact information online through logging in to your myMERS portal.

For more information, consult the MERS Health Care Savings Program Participant Handbook or call our Service Center.

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457 Program

Adding new family member to your records

Your beneficiary will receive your account balance upon your death and will have all the same account privileges you had, including investing in any funds offered or requesting distributions.

You may name spouse, non-spouse, children, a trust, a trust, and/or charity as a beneficiary by logging in to your myMERS portal. Spouses access the account using the 457 Spousal Beneficiary Distribution Request Form (Form MD-406).

There are two kinds of beneficiaries you can name:

  • A primary beneficiary(ies) entitled to your remaining account balance in the event of your death.
  • A contingent beneficiary entitled to receive the remaining account balance in the event of your death and your primary beneficiary's death.

The rules regarding distributions to beneficiaries vary greatly based on certain conditions. Please contact our Service Center to discuss your specific circumstances and available options.

You can also consult your MERS 457 Supplemental Retirement Program Participant Handbook.

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Disclaimer
The information contained in this Web site is being made available as a public service. The information is not intended to constitute legal or investment advice, or to replace official versions of that information. Benefit Estimates or Service Credit Purchase estimates requested through this Web site are not official descriptions of any benefits, and do not represent a promise by MERS to provide any benefit(s) to any person(s). No one can detrimentally rely upon the information provided in, or requested through this Web site. MERS reserves the right to correct any errors, and presents this information without warranties, express or implied, regarding the information?s accuracy, timeliness or completeness. If you believe the information is inaccurate, out-of-date, or incomplete, or if you have problems accessing or reading the information, please call MERS at 800.767.MERS (6377).