Naming a Beneficiary

It's important. And it's simple.

Dad with his daugther on his shoulder and wife looking on from the deck

What Your Beneficiary Receives

What your beneficiary receives depends on what type of member you are and whether you're working or if you are retired. It's important to keep your beneficiaries up-to-date. It's a good idea to review them anytime you have a major life event.

  • Life insurance
  • Death benefits (including on-the-job death)
  • Returned contributions
  • Special surviving spouse benefit option
  • Retiree $4,000 death benefit

Have You Named a Beneficiary?

Make sure your hard-earned benefits go to the right place if you pass away. You can review or change your beneficiaries anytime.

Login to your online account to add or change a beneficiary

Who Can You Name as Beneficiary?

You Can Choose:

A living person

A trust

Your estate

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A combination

Major Life Events

It's important to keep your beneficiaries current. Review them at least annually and any time you have a major life event.

  • New job
  • Moving in together
  • Marriage or divorce
  • Birth or adoption
  • Death in your family

Login to your online account to add or change a beneficiary.
See the Forms page if you need a paper beneficiary form.

What You Receive as a Member

  • Basic life insurance
  • Returned contributions and interest or monthly benefit for spouse if you meet the criteria
  • Job-related death benefits
  • Optional life insurance if your employer offers it

Other Things to Know

  • You can name different beneficiaries for your life insurance and death benefits.
  • You can't name a church or other charitable organizations.
  • You must name a primary beneficiary, but you can also name contingent beneficiaries in case your primary beneficiaries are not living when you pass away.
  • Your spouse may be able to receive a lifetime monthly benefit instead of receiving your returned contributions and interest. You need to designate your spouse as your sole primary retirement beneficiary.

What You Receives as a KP&F Member

  • Death Benefits
  • Returned contributions if no spouse or children
  • Optional life insurance if your employer offers it

Other Things to Know

  • Benefits vary if death is connected to your job.
  • Death benefits are automatically paid to spouses and children.
  • You can name separate beneficiaries if you have optional life insurance.

What You Receive as a Retiree Member

All retirees have a $4,000 death benefit, including the option to name a funeral establishment if that makes sense for you. Keep in mind, the death benefit is taxable for any beneficiary.

Visit for more info about Retiree benefits

If you're saving with KPERS 457 give yourself a pat on the back!

While KPERS oversees both the pension system and KPERS 457, you do need to name your KPERS 457 beneficiary with a separate process. Login to your KPERS 457 account for the easy online process. If you need a paper form, please call KPERS 457 at 1-800-232-0024.

Visit for more info about KPERS 457

Instead of receiving the account balance when a member dies, a spouse can receive a monthly benefit for life if the member meets certain criteria. To be eligible, the member must designate the spouse as sole primary beneficiary for retirement benefits.

Situation #1.
If member was eligible to retire, spouse begins receiving a monthly benefit immediately.

Situation #2.
If member was not yet eligible to retire but had ten years (5 years for KPERS 3) of service, spouse begins receiving a monthly benefit when member would have reached age 55. Years of service are required, not just vesting.

Note: A member can name contingent beneficiaries or separate beneficiaries for life insurance without affecting the surviving spouse benefit option. Inactive members are also eligible for this benefit.