How Do I Select and Manage My Beneficiaries?

How to Designate a Beneficiary Walkthrough

Where Can I Manage My Beneficiary Election?

You can manage your beneficiary elections on the Name Your Beneficiary page. You can navigate to the page in 2 ways:

  1. Navigate to in your browser.
  2. Click on the Change Beneficiary link on the Retirement Overview page of your participant portal.

How Do I Create My First Beneficiary?

To create your first beneficiary:

  1. Click on the Add Beneficiary button.
  2. Fill out the corresponding beneficiary form.


Fill in all the details selecting the type of recipient which can be a Person, Trust, or Charity/Organization. For each one, fill in the following:

  • Person (Spouse, Parent, Child, Other): Name, Relationship, SSN, Phone number, Email, and Address.
  • Trust: Trust name, Tax ID, Holding Financial Institution, Phone number, Email, and Address.
  • Charity/Organization: Business name, EIN, Phone number, Email, and Address.


Since you have no other beneficiaries in the system, the first beneficiary created defaults as a Primary Beneficiary with 100% allocation of the primary beneficiary rights.


How Do I Create a Second Beneficiary?

To create your second beneficiary:

  1. Click on the Add Beneficiary button.
  2. Select whether the new beneficiary will be Primary or Contingent.
  3. Fill out the corresponding beneficiary form.
  4. Allocate how the original and new beneficiaries split rights to the account by providing percentages.



Once your second beneficiary has been added you will see both of them listed on your beneficiary page.


How Do I View My Current Beneficiaries?

Beneficiaries that have been created and stored on the Vestwell platform can be viewed on a Beneficiary Card. This card will tell you high-level contact information about the beneficiary and how much of the account is designated to this beneficiary.


How Do I Add a Contingent Beneficiary?

You can create a contingent beneficiary by selecting the option 'Contingent' from the Beneficiary Level options at the point of beneficiary creation. Please note that you will not be able to create a contingent beneficiary if you do not already have a primary beneficiary in the system.


What Type of Entities Can Be a Beneficiary?

Vestwell allows you to make people, trusts, and charitable organizations beneficiaries.

How Do I Add a Beneficiary That Is Not a Person?

You can create a beneficiary that is not a person by selecting the appropriate entity type from the Type of Recipient options at the point of beneficiary creation.


What Information Do I Need to Create a Person Beneficiary?

Vestwell requires the following to create a person beneficiary:

    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • SSN
    • Relationship
    • Address Line 1
    • City
    • State
    • Zip

What Information Do I Need to Create a Trust Beneficiary?

Vestwell requires the following to create a trust beneficiary:

  • Trust Name
  • Trust ID
  • Address Line 1
  • City
  • State
  • Zip

What Information Do I Need to Create a Charity/Organization Beneficiary?

Vestwell requires the following to create a charity/organization beneficiary:

  • Business Name
  • EIN
  • Address Line 1
  • City
  • State
  • Zip

How Do I Remove a Beneficiary?

You can remove a beneficiary by:

    1. Clicking Remove on the appropriate Beneficiary Card, or
    2. Reallocating how the beneficiary benefit is split.


Please note that you will not have to reallocate the beneficiary rights if you only have a single beneficiary of the type you are trying to remove.

How Do I Edit My Beneficiary's Contact Information?

You can edit a beneficiary's contact information by clicking the Edit button on the Beneficiary Card. This action opens up a form in which you can edit info. Please note that if you have entered insufficient data, you will be forced to fix it before saving any other changes.


How Do I Edit or Change the Allocation of My Beneficiary Percentages?

You can edit or change the allocation of your beneficiary percentages by clicking Adjust Percentages below the beneficiaries you want to affect. This will open the Reallocate Percentages Dialogue for you to change how the rights of the account are distributed across beneficiaries. Please note that the Adjust Percentages link will not show in your portal if you do not have more than one beneficiary of that type. The only option is to remove the single beneficiary altogether.


How Do I Change the Level of a Beneficiary From Primary to Contingent or Vice Versa?

Users can not directly edit the level of a beneficiary to turn it from primary to contingent or vice versa. To accomplish this, the user should remove and re-enter the beneficiary as the correct/appropriate type.

How Do I Change the Entity Type of a Beneficiary?

You cannot directly edit the entity type of a beneficiary to change it from a person to a trust or vice versa. You should remove the beneficiary and re-enter it with the correct/appropriate entity type to accomplish this.

What Is 'Spousal Consent,' and Why Am I Seeing Information About It In My Portal?

If you're married, federal law requires that your spouse is automatically the beneficiary of your retirement plan. If you want anyone other than your spouse to receive any portion of your Vestwell benefits upon your death, you must complete the following:

  • Update your beneficiary information through your portal.

  • Have your spouse sign this waiver before a Notary Public.

    • To access this waiver, click on the Change Beneficiary button from the home page. Then, find the "Spouse Approval" section on the right of the screen with the Spousal Consent Form.pdf. Download this form and follow the form's directions.

  • Retain this notarized consent form with your important papers.

  • Non-spousal beneficiaries will need to present it at the same time as withdrawing the benefits.

Remember that in the case of significant life events like a change in marital status or having children, you'll want to review and possibly update your beneficiary elections. Therefore, we recommend reviewing your elections at least annually.

Why Can't I Save My Beneficiary?

If the application is not allowing you to save your beneficiary successfully, it is usually for one of two reasons:

  1. You have not provided all of the required information. Please review the required information for the entity type of beneficiary you are trying to create in these cases.
  2. You have not provided information in a valid format. Please review the input fields for validation feedback and remediate for quality and reasonableness in these cases.



If you have any questions, please reach out to