We may not know exactly what happens to us when we die, but one thing is for sure: we can be certain who will receive our money once we're gone.
When you have money in LAGERS in form of Member Contributions:
As far as your LAGERS benefit is concerned, if you pass away before retirement, a survivor benefit will be paid to your spouse. If you don't have a spouse, the benefit will go to any dependent children you have. If there is no spouse and there are no dependent children, and you still have your own money (in the form of member contributions) in LAGERS, that money will go to a designated beneficiary of your choice, as long as you have that beneficiary on record with us. Your choice of beneficiary may be an individual, legal entity (such as a charity), trust, or your estate. If you do not choose a primary and contingent beneficiary, your estate will determine how your money is distributed.
When your employer is non-contributory:
Now, if your employer is non-contributory and you have no money of your own (in the form of member contributions) in LAGERS, it is still a best practice to have a beneficiary on file with us. Why? Your employer has the option to change whether or not to be contributory (members pay 4%) or non-contributory (members do not pay in) every two years. So, even if your employer is non-contributory now, they may change to contributory in the future. Having a beneficiary on file now will prevent uncertainty later.
Previous contributory employer:
Any contributions you have made to LAGERS continue to accumulate interest, even if they were from a previous employer, and these funds would be payable to your beneficiaries even if you do not have a monthly survivor benefit payable at the time of your death.
How to make beneficiary changes:
If you would like to see who you have listed as your designated beneficiaries, you may log on to your myLAGERS account. If you do not already have a myLAGERS account, you can create one by clicking on the "Enroll Now" button on the login page. Your myLAGERS account will provide access to your account information, including your beneficiary designations. You ARE able to make updates to your list of beneficiaries through this account, or you can contact the LAGERS office to request a change of beneficiary.
Tell your beneficiary:
It is always a good idea to make sure your designated beneficiaries are aware of the designation because it IS the beneficiaries' responsibility to notify the LAGERS system of your passing and submit either an Application for Survivor's Benefit form or a Request for Refund form. Let your beneficiary know they can find these forms on our website.