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DATE | 05/02/23
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If you haven’t reviewed the beneficiaries on your retirement accounts, take some time this spring to do it.

Here’s why it’s so important. The named beneficiaries on your retirement accounts supersede your will. This is not limited to accounts you have with us. It’s true for any retirement savings account, 403(b), 401k, IRA, and your WRS pension account, as well as your bank accounts, brokerage accounts, life insurance, and annuity policies.

The who’s who of beneficiaries

Primary beneficiary

…is entitled to the proceeds of the account upon death of the account owner. In Wisconsin you aren’t required to name your spouse as a beneficiary on your account. However, because of Wisconsin’s marital property law, your spouse could claim their right to 50% of your account even if he/she is not named as a beneficiary. A spouse is like the king or queen of beneficiaries—they have more rights than non-spouses and greater flexibility with an inherited retirement account, allowing them to liquidate the assets or roll them over to their own retirement plan or IRA.

Contingent beneficiary

…or secondary beneficiary receives benefits at the time benefits are to be paid only if the primary beneficiary has died.

Many people fail to change their beneficiary designations after a marriage or divorce. Be sure to review your designations annually to ensure they are current and in line with your intentions. You may want to consult your attorney to ensure that you understand all aspects of your decision.

Log into yourMONEY to review and update you beneficiaries, or give us a call at 1-800-279-4030.