Health Benefits

When to Change Your Beneficiary Designation After Retirement

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Did you know that the death of your beneficiary, a marriage or domestic partnership, dissolution or annulment of marriage, termination of a domestic partnership, and the birth or adoption of a child are all life events that can impact your CalPERS benefits after retirement?

Changing Your Beneficiary or Monthly Benefit After Retirement (PUB 98) (PDF) walks you through what you need to consider in such instances. This publication is helpful when you need to do one of the following:

  • Add or change your lump-sum beneficiary designation.
  • Modify your retirement payment option and/or life option beneficiary.
  • Request a benefit allowance increase due to removal of your option beneficiary.

The changes you’re eligible for depend on the life event, the retirement payment option you chose when you retired, and the type of change you want to make.

You can change your lump-sum beneficiary designation anytime through your personal my|CalPERS account or by completing the Post-Retirement Lump-Sum Beneficiary Designation (PDF) form. You can get an estimate and add or change a payment option beneficiary by logging in to my|CalPERS and following the prompts from the Retirement tab to Change Retirement Benefit.

Don’t remember what choices you made at retirement? You can review them in your my|CalPERS account or call us toll free at 888 CalPERS (or 888-225-7377).

Find Changing Your Beneficiary or Monthly Benefit After Retirement (PUB 98) (PDF) on our website in Forms & Publications.

Life Events

Changes will occur in your life that will impact you and your family. These life changes can come in many forms – marriage, moving to a new home, birth or adoption of a child, divorce, or planning for your retirement.

CalPERS has educational resources to help answer your questions and guide you through your life events.

To help navigate changes in your personal life and career, visit the Life Events page on our website.