Skip to main content

Ask the Hammer: Is My Spouse My Primary Beneficiary by Default for My 401(k)?

Jeffrey "The Buckinghammer" Levine of Buckingham Wealth Partners answers a reader's question about primary beneficiaries and spousal waivers.

In this episode of Ask the Hammer, a Retirement Daily reader asks:

I don't think I named a primary beneficiary in my 401(k). If I should die, would that money automatically go to my spouse? Also, if I do want to name someone other than my spouse as my primary beneficiary, do I need to get a waiver or is that only for defined benefit plans?

Jeffrey "The Buckinghammer" Levine of Buckingham Wealth Partners talks with Robert Powell, editor of Retirement Daily, to answer this reader's question.

Levine discusses when to get spousal waivers, the difference between the beneficiary processes for plans qualified under ERISA and those that aren't, and what resources you should use when naming primary beneficiaries. 

As Levine mentions, "saying 'I do' also involves becoming a beneficiary of your plan." 

Make sure to watch the episode to get the full scoop!

Stay tuned for more Ask the Hammer!

Got questions?


More Ask the Hammer