Beneficiaries

The purpose of a beneficiary designation is to determine settlement of your MSRS pension plan in the event your death occurs:

  • before you begin collecting an MSRS retirement benefit payment;

  • while collecting a retirement benefit, but you elected the single-life option; or

  • while collecting a disability benefit, but you did not choose a survivor option.

 

Two ways to designate beneficiaries

Statutory succession of beneficiaries ("by law")

This option automatically applies to your account unless you complete a Beneficiary Designation form to name other beneficiaries. Under retirement law (M.S. 352), if no beneficiary has been designated or your designated beneficiary pre-deceases you, any money payable from MSRS must be paid in the following order:

a) surviving spouse; or if none,
b) surviving children in equal shares; or if none,
c) surviving parents in equal shares; or if none,
d) representative or your estate

Designate primary and/or contingent beneficiaries by name

If the statutory succession of beneficiaries does not meet your needs, you may complete a Beneficiary Designation form to name your beneficiaries.  The designation is effective when a properly completed form is received by MSRS and superscedes any prior beneficiary designations that you have filed.

Beneficiary priority:

Primary Beneficiary. Upon your death, benefits will be paid in accordance with state statute to your primary beneficiary(ies). If you name two or more primary beneficiaries and any one of them pre-deceases you, the entire benefit will be paid to the surviving primary beneficiary(ies).

Contingent Beneficiary. Upon your death and none of the primary beneficiaries outlive you, benefits will be paid in accordance with state statute to the contingent beneficiary(ies). if you name two or more contingent beneficiaries and any one of them pre-deceases you, the entire benefit will be paid to the surviving contingent beneficiary(ies).

 

Who can be named as your beneficiary
Anyone can be your beneficiary; they do not have to be related to you. You can also name your estate, trustee, or charitable organization. If you are married, your spouse is automatically the beneficiary, regardless of who you name as your beneficiary, unless your spouse acknowledges your election by signing the spousal waiver on the Beneficiary Designation form.


Benefits paid upon your death
This following assumes you die before retirement (while still working) and that you were vested.

 If you are survived by:  Then payment will be made as follow:
 Spouse*
 

Your spouse has the following payout options:

  • Monthly payments for their lifetime
  • Monthly payments for a period of 10, 15, or 20 years
  • A lump-sum payment of the retirement deductions taken from your salary, plus interest
Dependent child(ren) under age 20 May receive a monthly benefit payment.
Benefit will be paid until age 20, or for five years, whichever is longer.
No spouse or dependent child under age 20 A lump-sum payment of your retirement deductions taken from your salary,  plus interest is paid in the following order:
  • beneficiary
  • child(ren) in equal shares
  • parents in equal shares


*Spousal coverage is automatic unless you completed a Beneficiary Designation form naming someone else and your spouse signed the Spousal Waiver section of the form to acknowledge that they are waiving coverage.