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What happens if I die?

Always name a beneficiary when you sign up for a 401(k) plan, and keep it up to date. Otherwise your money could go to someone you didn’t intend.

  • Beneficiary

Your 401(k) Will Go to the Beneficiary

It’s hard to think about, but do you know what will happen to your 401(k) in the event of your death? If you die, the money in your 401(k) will go to the beneficiary (or beneficiaries) you named when you signed up for the plan. Under federal law, your spouse is automatically the beneficiary of your 401(k). If you want to name someone other than your spouse, such as your children, your spouse must sign a waiver.

If you are single, your money goes to the person(s) you named as beneficiary. If you do not name anyone, it goes to your estate.

It’s important to keep your choice of 401(k) beneficiary up to date through life changes such as marriage, divorce or the birth of children. To make a change, ask your plan administrator for a beneficiary designation form.

Our goal is to change how we think about saving.

I founded NARPP as a non-profit, because I believe that retirement savings should be about people— and making their lives better. Not about assets under management, sales goals and commissions. The process of saving for retirement has become so complex and confusing it is not surprising that people have a hard time figuring out what’s in their best interest.  It doesn’t need to be this way. At NARPP we are committed to simplifying the complex, delivering fair and transparent investment information, and giving people ownership and control of their retirement savings. Our singular mission is to help you succeed.

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