Updating beneficiaries

It is always good practice to review and update your beneficiary information. You may have had an important life event, like a marriage or the birth of a child.

Life insurance

You can change your life insurance beneficiaries at any time through MyBenefits. The change is effective on the date the request was made. Please note that MetLife will allow beneficiary changes by power of attorney only if the documents specifically state an attorney-in-fact has the power to change beneficiary designations.

If you have no eligible life insurance beneficiaries named, death benefits will be paid to:

  1. Your estate;
  2. Your lawful spouse, if living; otherwise:
  3. Your natural or legally adopted child or children, in equal shares, if living; otherwise:
  4. Your parents, in equal shares, if living; otherwise:
  5. Your siblings, in equal shares, if living.

Retirement defined benefit plans

An active member has the option to designate three types of beneficiaries for his retirement account:

  • Primary beneficiaries for your in-service death benefit or refund of contributions. Multiple beneficiaries would share equally in a survivor monthly benefit;
  • Contingent beneficiaries in case of death of the primary beneficiaries. All primary beneficiaries must be deceased before any contingent beneficiaries will be paid; and
  • Incidental death benefit beneficiaries.

Active members may change their beneficiary designations through Member Access. To make a change, you will need to have all beneficiary information, such as full names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers. Any beneficiary changes you make will override your prior designations and will take effect immediately. Before making any changes, you may wish to consult an attorney/estate planner.

You must complete an Active Member Beneficiary Form (Form 1102) or Beneficiary/Trustee Designation Form (Form 1103) if you choose to designate any of the following as your beneficiary:

  • Trust.
  • Entity.
  • Charity.
  • Organization.

You may name your estate as a beneficiary for your account; however, monthly benefit payments cannot be paid to an estate. All beneficiary changes made using the paper form require your signature to be notarized and must be submitted to PEBA. As an active member, you may change your beneficiaries at any time before retirement.

State Optional Retirement Program

If you participate in the State Optional Retirement Program (State ORP), you must update your beneficiaries with your chosen service provider. Your beneficiary will receive your State ORP account balance in the event of your death.

If you are eligible for an incidental death benefit because your employer offers coverage, you may update your incidental death benefit beneficiaries through Member Access. You may also complete a State ORP Active Incidental Death Benefit Beneficiary Designation form (Form 1106). All beneficiary changes made using the paper form require your signature to be notarized and must be submitted to PEBA.

South Carolina Deferred Compensation Program

If you participate in the South Carolina Deferred Compensation Program (Deferred Comp), you must update your beneficiaries with Empower Retirement. Your beneficiary will receive your Deferred Comp account balance in the event of your death.