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Name a Beneficiary


Designating your beneficiary is very important, even if you have not yet begun to receive pension payments. PBGC makes three distinct types of payments to beneficiaries.

  1. Survivor benefits. If you chose an annuity form that provides survivor benefits, PBGC will pay them to the person that you designated. Please note if you are receiving a joint-and-survivor annuity, you cannot change the beneficiary designation you made at the time you applied for benefits.
  2. Preretirement survivor benefits. If you are married and die before you begin receiving pension payments, PBGC will pay survivor benefits to your surviving spouse.
  3. Unpaid amounts owed to you at the time of your death. If, for example, after your death PBGC discovers that we had been paying you too little each month, we will pay the balance owed plus interest to a beneficiary. If your benefit does not provide survivor benefits, you may still name someone to receive any money that may be owed to you at the time of your death.

If you are eligible to receive, or are receiving, payments as the beneficiary of a deceased plan participant, it is important that you also designate a beneficiary.


  1. Use MyPBA, PBGC's online service, to designate your beneficiary


  1. Print one of these forms, complete it and mail it to PBGC:
    1. Beneficiary Designation (currently receiving pension benefits)
    2. Beneficiary Designation (not currently receiving pension benefits)
    3. Change of Beneficiary for Certain & Continuous (C&C) Benefits Only


  1. Call PBGC's Customer Contact Center to request a beneficiary designation form.
    1. Call at 1-800-400-7242. For TTY/ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) users, call the federal relay service toll-free at 1-800-877-8339 and ask to be connected to the number above.
    2. Remember to have your Social Security number, plan name and case number ready for the customer service representative so that they are better able to help you.
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