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November 2011

Pre-Retirement Survivor Benefit Designation

As a member of the Teachers Retirement Association (TRA), certain benefits are available to your survivor(s) if you die before officially retiring with the pension plan.

Survivor benefits may also be available from Social Security. These benefits are processed and paid separately by the Social Security Administration.

Beneficiary designation options vary for married members and single members.

Single Members



To designate a beneficiary, request

Married Members

A surviving spouse has precedence over any designated beneficiary.



Non-Vested or Vested

To designate a beneficiary other than your spouse, request

Supplemental Needs Trust

You may name a supplemental needs trust for a lifetime survivor annuity benefit. A supplemental needs trust permits the transferring of assets to a disabled child, spouse, or former spouse without eliminating the disabled person from eligibility for federal and state assistance programs. A copy of the trust must be filed with TRA along with documentation of the trust’s funding.

Change in Status

If your marital status changes (i.e., single, divorced, widowed, married), a previous designation that you made may become invalid. Please remember to keep your beneficiary designation current at all times during your career.

Call us at 800-657-3669 or 651-296-2409 to request assistance with your beneficiary designation or to request a beneficiary form.


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