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Frequently asked questions

All FAQs about beneficiaries

Easily add a new or update existing beneficiary information in just a few steps:

  1. Log in to your accountOpens in a new window on TIAA.org and select My profile in the top right corner.
  2. Choose Add/edit beneficiaries:

To add a beneficiary:
-Select the add a beneficiary text and follow the prompts. When you're finished, review your additions and select Submit.

To edit beneficiary contact information:
- Select a beneficiary, click on Edit beneficiary information and follow the prompts. When you're finished, select Update.

To edit allocations and beneficiary type:
- Select Update account details and make your changes. When you're finished, review and then select Submit.

Please note: Once updates are submitted, they take one business day to process. You will not be able to make changes to the accounts/contracts that list your updated beneficiaries during this time. You'll receive an email when processing is complete.

Your primary beneficiary is the person or entity that first receives the proceeds of your account upon your death. The contingent (secondary) beneficiary is your second choice to receive the benefit, only if the primary beneficiary dies before you.

If no beneficiaries are living at your death, any benefit is payable to your estate.

Yes. Children and trusts are eligible to be named as beneficiaries. When establishing a beneficiary,you'll identify the beneficiary type and can select child or trust.

Not if you make the update online. You can log into your accountOpens in a new window to update your beneficiaries at any time.

If you're completing a paper form and have more beneficiaries than the form allows, you can attach a letter of instruction with the additional beneficiary information.

Beneficiary information is only viewable online if the beneficiary designations were established within the last few years. Prior to that, the beneficiary information is on file, but not viewable online.

If you would like to receive a confirmation of your current beneficiaries, call 800-842-2252.

If you see a message saying that you previously named beneficiaries but we're unable to show the information online, please be assured that your beneficiary information is on record.

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