The primary beneficiary is the person or entity who will receive any remaining benefits from the retirement account following your death. The selected plan of payment determines what benefits beneficiaries are eligible to receive.
If an option from Plan II — Joint and Survivor Annuity is selected, only one primary beneficiary can be named. It must be a person, and that person’s date of birth is also required. If certain options under the Joint and Survivor Annuity are selected, the secondary beneficiary is a person to whom payment would continue for the balance of the guaranteed period if both you and the primary beneficiary die before the guaranteed period ends. You may name more than one secondary beneficiary.
If Plan I (Single Life Annuity) or Plan III (Annuity Certain) is selected, more than one primary beneficiary may be named. The beneficiary does not have to be a person.
If you are married on your benefit effective date, your spouse must consent to your selection if you have selected one of the following plans of payment:
- Plan I — Single Life Annuity
- Plan II — Joint and Survivor Annuity:
- Protecting your spouse with less than one-half of the benefit, or
- Protecting a non-spouse beneficiary.
- Plan III — Annuity Certain
Your spouse may consent to your selection of any of these plans by signing the spousal consent on the Service Retirement Application before a notary public.
Without spousal consent for the plans listed above, a Joint and Survivor Annuity with one-half to beneficiary with reversion will be automatically selected for you.
Spousal consent is not required if:
- You are required to elect a plan of payment pursuant to a court order and your current spouse is also a beneficiary under that plan; or
- You are required to provide an amount to a former spouse or spouses pursuant to a court order or orders that is the maximum amount payable in a Joint and Survivor Annuity plan of payment.