Updating beneficiaries is an important part of financial planning

March 27, 2019
When it comes to your benefits and retirement savings, designating beneficiaries — and updating that information annually — can save time and confusion down the road.

It’s important to review our beneficiary designations — the individuals who will receive the monetary value of a benefit upon our death — at least once a year, and whenever we experience a life event (such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child, or death of a family member) that may affect our choice of beneficiaries.

Help keep your financial affairs in order by reviewing your beneficiaries every year and updating them as needed, especially when there’s a change in your life circumstances.

Not having up-to-date beneficiary information on record can lead to

  • the distribution of funds to individuals other than those we intended;
  • delays in the release of funds from the benefit provider to our survivors;
  • funds being distributed to our estate that must go through probate; or
  • a court decision as to how funds will be distributed among our survivors.

If you’re enrolled in certain benefits — such as death, supplemental death, and/or group term life insurance — through the Benefits Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), it’s easy to review and update beneficiaries online. Log on to Benefits Connect, then search Resources & Support for more information on How to Add or Update Beneficiaries. Be sure to have full names, birthdates, and Social Security numbers available when you’re ready to start, and call the Board of Pensions at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) if you have any questions.

If you participate in the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), log in to your account periodically to review and update beneficiary information. Remember to inform family members and friends whenever you designate them as a beneficiary, since they will need to contact Fidelity themselves to receive those assets. For more information, contact a Fidelity representative at 800-343-3548.