Updating Beneficiaries

What you need to know

If you are single, you can name anyone as the beneficiary of your pension. If you are married, your spouse is your beneficiary unless they consent to another beneficiary. And it’s important to note that a domestic partner must be named as a beneficiary. It does not happen automatically.

Changing your pension beneficiary

To change your beneficiary, you must complete and return the Pension Designation / Change form to Equity-League.

Depending on your circumstances, other rules may also apply.

If you are married

To designate someone other than your spouse as your beneficiary, your spouse must provide consent by completing the Preretirement Spousal Rejection form. This form and the Pension Designation / Change form will need to be signed and notarized before you return them to ELBF.

If you get divorced

Your ex-spouse will automatically be removed as your beneficiary, unless a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) is in place.

Otherwise, if you want to keep your ex-spouse as your beneficiary, complete the Designation of Former Spouse as Beneficiary form, and return it to the Fund Office.

If you have a domestic partner

To designate your domestic partner (DP) to receive monthly benefits for life in the event you die before taking your retirement benefits, you must complete the domestic partner affidavit and the declaration of financial interdependence and designate your domestic partner as your pension beneficiary forms. It’s important to note that a domestic partner must be named as a beneficiary. It does not happen automatically.

If you live in a state or municipality that allows the registering of DPs, you must register and attach a copy of the registration to the affidavit.

If you submit proof of DP registration or a certificate of marriage (from a jurisdiction legalizing same-sex marriage), you do not need to submit the Declaration of Financial Interdependence or further proof of financial interdependence.

For details, review the Pension Plan and 401(k) Plan Summary Plan Description.


Equity-League Benefit Funds Office

(212) 869-9380
(800) 344-5220 (outside NYC)
Health Fax: (212) 869-3323
401(k) and Pension Fax: (212) 869-1824