While FCMM participants recognize that good stewardship requires intentional planning for life and ministry in retirement, it is also good to know that an individual's FCMM account also provides some protection for his or her family now. If a participant passes away prior to beginning to draw on retirement benefits, the entire value in his or her FCMM account becomes a death benefit that is distributed according to the instructions in the individual's Participant Beneficiary Designation (Form 02) and provisions in the tax code. For married couples, the beneficiary is often a spouse, but one can also establish a trust fund or some other kind of legal arrangement.
The Kiplinger Tax Newsletter recently pointed out the importance of keeping current with plan beneficiaries for estate planning, especially if the participant experiences family changes. The FCMM plan document allows you to name both primary and contingent beneficiaries. In the absence of such designation, the plan states, “The beneficiary shall be the member’s heirs at law, as determined in accordance with the laws of descent and distribution of the state of residence of the member at the time of his or her death.” Whether you are relatively new to the plan or you’ve been a long-time participant, you may want to review the beneficiary arrangement you presently have in place to be sure things are set up according to your present intentions. Use Form 02 to change your beneficiary designation. From time to time, the FCMM staff hears that participants have the incorrect impression that the benefit provision is not available for designated beneficiaries. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns.