3rd Quarter 2017

Ask ICMA-RC: Life Events

How can I update my beneficiary information and contact information in Account Access. And, why is this important?

It's important to keep your beneficiary designations up to date so you can control who inherits money in your retirement account when you die. If you started your job before you were married or had kids, you may have named your parents or a friend as the beneficiary. Is that still what you want? Or if divorced, your beneficiary designation may be out of date. Don't assume updating your will solves such potential problems. Money in your retirement savings will go to the beneficiaries named on the account. Review your beneficiary designations once a year — and after any major life changes — to make sure the money will go to the people you want to inherit the accounts. Log in to Account Access at, then click on the My Account tab, and the My Profile and Beneficiaries menu options.

If your plan permits online changes, you may be able to click the Update Beneficiaries button to specify the percent of the account each beneficiary is to inherit, the person's relation to you, and his or her Social Security number and birth date. After making the changes, hit Submit and then look for the confirmation screen to verify that the changes have been transmitted to ICMA-RC.

Also review your contact information in Account Access at least once a year to make sure your mailing address, email and phone number are up to date, so we can contact you with important information, statements, and other correspondence. To update contact information, sign in to Account Access at, then go to the My Account tab, then My Profile and then Personal Information. Click on the edit button highlighted in blue, which allows you to update all data in this section.

Have a question for us? Send your question to We will draft articles based on broad topics. If you have a specific question about your account, please log in to your account at and use a contact option for Investor Services.

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