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Beneficiaries

Ensuring your wishes are followed

Don’t forget to plan for what happens after you’re gone. Because your beneficiary designations generally take the place of any other instructions you leave—including your will—it’s an important part of your estate planning.

When you enroll in RPB’s plan, we require you to designate beneficiaries for your retirement plan as well as your RPB life insurance policies to make sure your wishes are carried out. Beneficiaries for your retirement plan will apply to your 403(b) and Rabbi Trust accounts. If you don’t immediately qualify for free life insurance, we’ll maintain your beneficiary designations until such time as you do.

And don’t just set up your beneficiaries and then forget them. It’s important to review and update your beneficiaries on a regular basis—and especially after major life events like a wedding, divorce, birth, or death.

You can easily manage all your beneficiary information online through the MyRPB for Participants portal.

Helpful hints

If you don't designate beneficiaries, your assets will automatically pass to your surviving spouse if you're married, or to your estate if you're not married—even if you have children from a prior marriage.


If both your primary and contingent beneficiaries predecease you, then it’s the same as having no beneficiary at all and your assets will go to your estate.

Out-of-date contact information for your beneficiaries—as well as no beneficiary designations—may result in unnecessary delays in paying benefits to your heirs.

Naming a beneficiary

  • You can designate any person, trust, organization, charity or estate as your beneficiary. Keep in mind, naming an estate may delay the transfer of your assets.
  • Primary beneficiaries receive your assets after your death. Contingent beneficiaries inherit your assets only if the primary beneficiary has predeceased you.
  • You can name multiple primary and contingent beneficiaries. If you have more than one person as your primary beneficiary and one of them predeceases you, that person's share will be divided among the remaining primary beneficiaries. If all the people named as primary beneficiaries predecease you, their shares go to your contingent beneficiaries.
  • If you name a combination of people and entities as primary beneficiaries, the entity's share never changes.
  • If you’re married and your spouse is not your sole primary beneficiary of your retirement account, you’ll need to provide your spouse’s written consent. Spousal consent is not required when naming life insurance beneficiaries
  • You'll use the MyRPB for Participants portal to manage your retirement plan and life insurance policy beneficiaries. Your assets are allocated using percentages.
  • If you have complex beneficiary wishes—such as allocating fixed dollar amounts to beneficiaries or following different lines of succession—contact RPB.
  • Make sure to tell the people you choose as your beneficiaries about your decision so they know to contact RPB to receive the assets upon your passing.

Have you inherited an RPB account?

We’re available to discuss your options and help carry out your wishes for your inherited assets.

Types of beneficiaries

Upon your death, if your spouse is your beneficiary, they become an RPB participant with the same rights as you, the original participant, once your assets are transferred to their own account. That means the same rules and benefits regarding distributions (including Required Minimum Distributions) apply to the spouse the same way they applied to you with two important exceptions:

  1. Your spouse can’t make contributions to their inherited account; and
  2. They can’t use a clergy member’s parsonage tax exclusion.

Your children or grandchildren can be named as beneficiaries. They will become RPB participants when they receive your inherited account, although they cannot interact with the account in the same way you did.

Non-spouse beneficiaries cannot contribute to their inherited account

Your heirs can keep their inherited RPB account with RPB for up to 10 years after your death. Benefits are paid directly to your heirs as taxable income. Alternatively, they can roll over their RPB account to an “inherited IRA” at another financial institution.

You can divide your RPB assets among your beneficiaries however you’d like. It does not have to be divided into equal portions.

For children who are not of legal age, you must appoint a guardian or an administrator of their account.

If you designate a trust as your beneficiary, a direct distribution will be paid to the trust as taxable income after your death.

You'll need the trust agreement date, tax identification number (if applicable) and trustee names when you enter the trust beneficiary information in the MyRPB for Participants portal. You also need to send a copy of the trust agreement, including the signature page, to RPB.

If you designate a charity or other organization as your RPB beneficiary, a direct distribution will be paid to the organization as taxable income upon your death. RPB will withhold the appropriate income taxes from the distribution.

You'll need the charity's or organizations's tax identification number and mailing address when you enter the beneficiary information in the MyRPB for Participants portal.

We recommend that you choose both primary and contingent beneficiaries and review and update them at least annually.

Divorce: when your primary beneficiary becomes an ex-spouse

In the event of a divorce, you may want someone other than your ex-spouse to receive your RPB assets. In such a situation, you will need to update your beneficiaries.

Retirement plan beneficiaries

  • If you named your spouse as the primary beneficiary of your RPB retirement plan and then you divorced before 1/1/2020, your ex-spouse remains the primary beneficiary—unless you name a new primary beneficiary(ies).
  • If you named your spouse as the primary beneficiary of your RPB retirement plan and then you divorce after 1/1/2020, your ex-spouse will automatically be voided as a beneficiary. Should you die before naming new beneficiaries, your retirement account assets will go to 1) your new spouse at the time of your death, 2) your contingent beneficiary(ies) if you did not remarry, or 3) your estate if you did not remarry or designate contingent beneficiary(ies).
Life insurance beneficiaries
  • If you named your spouse as the primary beneficiary of your RPB retirement plan and then you divorced before 1/1/2020, your ex-spouse remains the primary beneficiary—unless you name a new primary beneficiary(ies).
  • If you named your spouse as the primary beneficiary of your RPB retirement plan and then you divorced after 1/1/2020, your ex-spouse will be automatically voided as a beneficiary.

    Should you die before naming new beneficiaries, your retirement account assets will go to 1) your new spouse at the time of your death, 2) your contingent beneficiary(ies) if you did not remarry, or 3) your estate if you did not remarry or designate contingent beneficiary(ies).

Protect yourself from the unexpected.

RPB provides insurance coverage—including complimentary life insurance—to eligible participants.

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