Do you know who's listed on the beneficiary form for your TMRS, ICMA-RC, life insurance, final vacation and sick payout? It’s possible that it's not who you think or want it to be. Over the years, we have heard numerous horror stories about retirement benefits and life insurance ending up in the hands of people who were not the intended beneficiaries.
In one example, a husband was left powerless when it was discovered his wife named her mother and sister as beneficiaries of her life insurance and retirement benefits prior to their marriage. The wife failed to update the beneficiary forms after they married, and because the wife's mother was deceased, the entire proceeds from the retirement plan and life insurance policy went to the sister.
In another example, an employee named his wife as beneficiary when he was hired. Later, the couple divorced. However, the employee did not update the chosen recipient on his forms and the ex-wife received all of his retirement benefits and life insurance.
What to Do?
The best rule of thumb is to check your beneficiary designations from time to time to make sure they are who you intend them to be. You should check all of your estate planning documents every three to four years. Most importantly, if you get divorced or make significant life changes, check and revise all these documents.
PLEASE NOTE: TMRS notifies employees once they become vested. The person(s) named before you are vested is no longer valid. You must designate a beneficiary for your vested benefits, even if you name the same individual(s). Remember, your beneficiary is entitled to vested death benefits.
To change your beneficiaries, simply click on one of the links below:
Cigna Life Insurance: http://www.plano.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11495
Beneficiary for Final check: http://www.plano.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1227
Beneficiary for Final check Police/Fire: http://plano.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1229