THE IMPORTANCE OF MAINTAINING CURRENT BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS The form provides written documentation by the Participant designating who is to receive the Participant’s benefits from the Plan in the event of death. A properly completed and signed beneficiary designation generally controls the disposition of the Participant’s benefits under the qualified Retirement Plan. It is vitally important to review existing designations and update the forms, as needed. It is recommended that review of the beneficiary designations be included as part of an annual review of the retirement plan. This is particularly important when a Participant faces major life events such as divorce, the death of a beneficiary, birth of a child, or a change of marital status. Additional helpful information: Failure to designate a beneficiary may result in a beneficiary being determined under the retirement plan’s default beneficiary provisions. Retirement account owners may have the option to designate a primary beneficiary and contingent beneficiaries, in the absence of a beneficiary designation by the Participant. Contingent beneficiaries would generally inherit the assets only if the primary beneficiary (ies) predeceases the retirement account owner, unless the beneficiary designation form indicates otherwise. The spouse of a married participant must be the 100% primary beneficiary in qualified retirement plans, unless the spouse consents in writing to an alternate designation. This spousal consent must be witnessed by a notary public. A properly completed and signed beneficiary designation form will protect the benefits of the participant and the plan in the event of a future claim against the benefits or Plan. It is the responsibility of the plan sponsor to maintain a current beneficiary designation for every participant.
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