INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING THE DESIGNATION OF BENEFICIARY
Complete this form to designate a beneficiary for VRS Basic and Optional Group Life Insurance and for your defined
benefit retirement contribution account. It is only necessary to designate a beneficiary if you want payment to be made by
means other than the order of precedence established by law. If you previously completed a VRS-2 and wish to change
beneficiaries or now wish to choose the order of precedence, you must complete this form to revoke any prior
Please read the information provided on this form to understand your options for designating a beneficiary. Additional
information is provided in your Handbook for Members, which is available at www.varetire.org or from your human
Order of Precedence
You may choose the order established by law to provide payment of your benefits or you may designate specific
beneficiaries to receive your benefits in the event of your death. The order of precedence is as follows:
To your spouse;
If no surviving spouse, to the children* of the member and descendants of deceased children, per stirpes;
If none of the above, to your parents equally or to the surviving parent;
If none of the above, to the duly appointed executor or administrator of your estate;
If none of the above, to your next of kin under the laws of the state where you reside at the time of your death.
*Children means all children except stepchildren, foster children, minors who happen to be living with the member,
and individuals raised by the deceased member as a “child.”
Life Insurance Benefits
Your VRS Basic and Optional Group Life Insurance benefits will be paid by order of precedence unless otherwise
indicated in Parts B and C of this form.
Defined Benefit Retirement Benefits
Death in Service:
If you are vested (have at least five years of service credit) and die while in service with a VRS-covered employer and
your death is not work-related, VRS pays retirement benefits as follows:
If no designation is made, or the death of all primary and contingent designated beneficiaries occurs prior to your
death and another designation is not made, the beneficiary is determined by order of precedence.
If you name your spouse, minor child(ren), or parent(s) as a beneficiary, or they are deemed the beneficiary by order
of precedence, that person may receive a monthly benefit or may elect a refund of the contributions and accrued
interest in your account to the exclusion of any other named beneficiary. The spouse will take precedence over a
minor child, a minor child will take precedence over a parent.
If the beneficiary named, or determined by order of precedence, is someone other than your spouse, minor child(ren),
or parent(s), a refund of the contributions and interest credited to your account is paid.
If you are not vested and die while in service with a VRS-covered employer and your death is not work-related, VRS pays
defined benefit retirement benefits in the form of a refund to your designated beneficiary.
If you die while in service with a VRS-covered employer, and your death is work-related, VRS pays defined benefit
retirement benefits as follows regardless of whether or not you are vested:
A refund of contributions and interest is paid to your designated beneficiary. If no designation is made, or the death of
all of your primary and contingent designated beneficiaries occurs prior to your death and another beneficiary is not
designated, the contributions and interest credited to your account are refunded to the beneficiary as determined by
order of precedence.
In addition to the refund of contributions and interest, a monthly benefit is paid to your surviving spouse for life. If you
have no surviving spouse, the monthly benefit is paid to your minor child(ren) until age 18. If you have no minor
child(ren), the benefit is paid to your parent(s) for life. All benefits are governed by and subject to the Virginia
Retirement Act (Code of Virginia Title 51.1)