Adding/Changing Your Beneficiary
- What is the difference between Primary and Contingent beneficiaries?
- Can I name a trust or children as beneficiaries?
- I have more than two beneficiaries; do I need to submit multiple forms?
- Why can’t I view my beneficiary information?
The contingent (secondary) beneficiary is the second choice to receive the proceeds of your account upon your death. Your contingent beneficiary receives the benefit only if the primary beneficiary dies before you. If no beneficiaries are living at your death, any benefits are payable to your estate.
Can I name a trust or child as a beneficiary?Yes, both a child/children and trust(s) are eligible to be named as a beneficiary; when establishing a beneficiary, be sure to identify the beneficiary type.
I have more than two primary beneficiaries; do I need to submit multiple forms?The easiest and most efficient way to change your beneficiary is to log into your account. Click the My Profile tab, and then choose Beneficiaries.
If you’re completing a paper form and have more beneficiaries than the form allows, you can attach a letter of instruction with the additional beneficiary information.
Why can’t I view my beneficiary information?If you’re receiving the message, "Although you have previously designated beneficiaries for this contract, the system cannot list your designations," please be assured that your beneficiary information is on record. Beneficiary information is only viewable online if the beneficiary designations were established within the last few years. Prior to that, the beneficiary information is on file, but not viewable online.
If you would like to receive a confirmation of your current beneficiaries, call 800 842-2252 to speak with a TIAA-CREF representative. If you would like to see your beneficiaries online in the future, click View/Edit Details at the bottom of the beneficiary confirmation page and enter your beneficiary information. All newly updated beneficiary information will supersede any previous elections.