How To Set Beneficiary Designations At RiversEdge

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How To Set Beneficiary Designations At RiversEdgeRiversEdge is currently the Third Party Administrator (TPA) for many of the Marotta-managed Retirement Plans.

Once you have decided to take advantage of your employer provided retirement plan and save regularly in a tax-advantaged environment, you should also set beneficiary designations for your retirement accounts. Beneficiary designations help the executor of your estate avoid probate and also provides your heirs with the option of stretching withdrawals from the account over their entire lifetime.

In this example, we are going to assume that Michael Smith would like to leave his account to his wife Sarah as the primary beneficiary. If Sarah predeceases him, he would like to leave the account equally to his two children, Jake and Em, as secondary beneficiaries.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Use the Participant Login to the RiversEdge website at:

2. From the “My Services” menu select “Manage Beneficiaries”

RiversEdge Manage Beneficiaries

3. At the Beneficiary Elections page, you can add beneficiary information and percentages. After you have inserted all the changes, you must click “Apply Changes” to save.

When Michael is done entering his beneficiary designations they should look something like this:

Note that Michael has used his children’s legal names rather than nicknames.

Important Information about Beneficiary Designations

When you add or modify your beneficiaries and click Apply Changes, you are hereby revoking all previous beneficiary designations you may have made under this Plan and direct that your account be distributed upon your death to these designated beneficiaries.

Designating your beneficiaries is an important step in setting up and managing your retirement plan account. The designation of a beneficiary can have important tax consequences. You are encouraged to consult with your tax advisor, and you should periodically review and update your beneficiary designations as appropriate.

A primary beneficiary is the first person or organization to receive the proceeds of a retirement account upon the death of the plan participant. If you have more than one primary beneficiary, your death benefit will be divided according to the percentages you specify. Should a beneficiary predecease you, his/her share of the death benefit will be reallocated proportionately to surviving primary beneficiaries.

If you are married, your primary beneficiary will be your spouse, by law, unless you elect another primary beneficiary AND your spouse consents in writing. Also, there may be a tax benefit to having your spouse as your primary beneficiary for your own RMDs if your spouse is more than 10 years younger or for your spouse because of the Spousal Rollover option.

Contingent beneficiaries receive benefits only if there is no surviving primary beneficiary. Should a contingent beneficiary predecease you, their share of the death benefit will be reallocated proportionately to surviving contingent beneficiaries.

To ensure that beneficiary designations are utilized, it is important to keep information about how to find these accounts where your heirs will know to look. This can be updated once a year by keeping a net worth statement along with where to find each account.

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

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President, CFP®, AIF®, AAMS®

David John Marotta is the Founder and President of Marotta Wealth Management. He played for the State Department chess team at age 11, graduated from Stanford, taught Computer and Information Science, and still loves math and strategy games. In addition to his financial writing, David is a co-author of The Haunting of Bob Cratchit.