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Know Your Benefits

Q. Why is designating a beneficiary for my WRS account important?

A. Because the beneficiary designation you have on file with the Department of Employee Trust Funds at the time of your death is the only way to tell us who you would like to receive any death benefit . If you did not file a beneficiary form, your WRS account will be paid out according to Wisconsin law.

We can’t stress enough how important it is to keep your Wisconsin Retirement System beneficiary designation up to date. It is easy to forget to review your designations when events such as divorce or marriage change your individual circumstances. Our online set of frequently asked questions about beneficiary designations contains scenarios that may be of use to you. Here are some examples:

  • I have a will and estate planning documents. Do these supersede a beneficiary designation? Will ETF recognize my will?
  • May I divide my benefit among more than one beneficiary?
  • Should I hire someone, such as an attorney or estate planner, to complete my beneficiary designation form?
  • What happens if I don’t file a beneficiary designation form with ETF?

The only way to name beneficiaries for your WRS account or your Wisconsin Public Employers Life Insurance is by completing ETF’s beneficiary designation forms. There are two beneficiary designation forms:

Beneficiary forms must be filled out as clearly and completely as possible in order to carry out your wishes after your death.

If you have questions about which beneficiary designation form best suits your needs, please contact ETF.

To learn more, review the following ETF resources:

FAQs: Designating Your Beneficiaries
Beneficiary Designation form(ET-2320)
Beneficiary Designation - Alternate form (ET-2321)

Webinar: Watch for an opportunity to register for our webinar, Beneficiary Designations: What Happens to My Account When I Die? The webinar reviews the importance of your WRS beneficiary designation, how to correctly complete a designation form, how to request a copy of your current form, and more.

Find all of our webinars, videos and e-learning presentations on the Member Education web page. You may also contact ETF and talk to one of our benefit specialists.