Beneficiary Designation form
For account information or
Call 800 842-2252
Monday – Friday
8 a.m. – 10 p.m. (ET)
9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (ET)
Or visit us online at
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day. Have your user ID and
Use this form to update existing or to designate new beneficiary(ies) on your TIAA-CREF pension annuities
and/or IRA accounts. For changes to other product or account types, please visit us at tiaa-cref.org or call us
at 800 842-2252.
Did you know that incomplete information can make it difficult for us to find your beneficiaries?
To help ensure that your beneficiaries receive their survivor benefits, it’s important that we have complete
information on file to locate them at all times. This includes each beneficiary’s name, address, telephone
number, date of birth, Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number and relationship to you and
the portion of the benefits to which they are entitled. If you haven’t already done so, please update your
beneficiary designation with all of this information as soon as possible. And, we also recommend that you
review and update your beneficiary information periodically to make sure it continues to be accurate.
To update or change your beneficiary designation, please visit us online at www.tiaa-cref.org/profile or
complete this Designation of Beneficiary form and mail back to us. To obtain a form, visit our website at
www.tiaa-cref.org/beneficiary, or call us at 800 842-2252.
Selecting a Beneficiary
A beneficiary can be an individual, an institution, an organization, a testamentary trust, or your estate.
(Naming an estate may limit options available to your heirs. Please consult with an attorney prior to naming
your estate or trust.) Beneficiaries can also be the children of the beneficiaries that you designate on this
form. You can choose primary and contingent beneficiaries. Your primary beneficiary(ies) receives benefits
at the time of your death. If a class includes more than one person, the benefits are paid proportionately
among the living beneficiaries of the class unless you specify otherwise. If there are no living primary
beneficiaries at the time of your death, the benefits become payable to your contingent beneficiaries. If
none of the beneficiaries are living at the time of your death, the benefits will default to the plan or product
provisions. The order of payment and division of benefits is provided for in the Additional Provisions section.
Spousal Rights to Annuity Death Benefits
If you live in a community or marital property state and have designated someone other than your spouse as
more than 50% primary beneficiary, you need to consult your tax advisor regarding the effect that may have
on your beneficiary designation. Community and marital property states include, but are not limited to: AZ,
CA, ID, LA, NV, NM, TX, WA and WI.
Federal pension law (ERISA) and certain Plan and State provisions mandate:
If you are married at the time of your death, your spouse is entitled to receive, as primary beneficiary, at
least 50%, could be up to 100%, of your qualified preretirement survivor annuity death benefits under
a retirement or tax-deferred annuity plan covered by any of the following: ERISA or your plan’s spousal
policy. If you name someone other than your spouse as primary beneficiary of those qualified preretirement
survivor annuity death benefits, then we will be obligated to pay your spouse regardless of your beneficiary
designation in effect at the time of your death. The remainder will be payable in proportion of the amounts
allocated to the other beneficiary(ies) listed as primary.