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Spousal Consent to Name Beneficiary?


EBECatty
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Would appreciate someone confirming the thought process here.

Governmental 457(b) plan document terms do not require spousal consent to name a non-spouse beneficiary. 

The only other relevant requirement would be 401(a)(11), which requires spousal consent as part of naming non-spouse beneficiary for exception of QJSA/QPSA requirements. 

Section 401(a)(11) does not apply to governmental plans or 457(b) plans. 

No requirement for spousal consent to name non-spouse beneficiary. Correct?

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Possibly some other (more generic) state law?

 

I'm a retirement actuary. Nothing about my comments is intended or should be construed as investment, tax, legal or accounting advice. Occasionally, but not all the time, it might be reasonable to interpret my comments as actuarial or consulting advice.

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Is your client the plan's sponsor?  The plan's administrator?  Or the participant?  Or the spouse?  Or some other person?

For a governmental eligible deferred compensation plan, requiring a spouse's consent to a participant naming a death-benefit beneficiary is not a condition of 457(b)-eligible Federal income tax treatment.

A State or local law could require a governmental plan to include a spouse's-consent provision.

If you advise a participant, consider that--even if no State or local law requires anything of the plan--a State's law or court order might require the participant not to name a beneficiary other than the participant's spouse without a consent or approval.

 

Peter Gulia PC

Fiduciary Guidance Counsel

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

215-732-1552

Peter@FiduciaryGuidanceCounsel.com

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