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Surprising beneficiary designations, part 2

October 03, 2012

Part Two of a three-part series (read Part One and Part Three) exploring cases of beneficiary designations that left family and friends stunned.

When a member passes away before retirement, without a spouse or dependent children, it's not uncommon for the member's survivor death benefit to reach $1 million.

While more and more members are designating beneficiaries, we're also seeing cases where those designations go for years, sometimes decades, without review.

To update your beneficiary designation, sign in to your Ontario Teachers' account.

As you move through life, your priorities shift. An individual or organization may play a big role in one phase of your life, but their significance may fade as you move on, with others stepping in to fill those important roles.

Designating a survivor beneficiary is an important decision. But, over the years, the decision is far from final. You can update it as often as you see fit. By taking the time to review it on a regular, annual basis, you can ensure that in the event you should die before reaching retirement, your largest financial asset is left with those you care for the most.

Case 2: School ties

Dave* was divorced, without any children. After a long career in teaching, he passed away unexpectedly before he could retire. When Dave graduated from university and started his teaching career he designated a beneficiary. At that time, he designated his alma mater.

When Teachers' contacted the school, the generous gift came as a surprise. Dave had not communicated his intentions to the university, nor had he specified a department to receive the benefits.

Equally shocked at the designation were Dave's loved ones, as he had never mentioned it was his intention to leave the school such a large sum of money.

The benefit was approximately $700,000.

*To protect members' and their loved ones' privacy, we will not use their real names.