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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Supplemental Retirement Plan?

2. I have a TIAA-CREF Voluntary Investment Plan (VIP)? Is this the same thing as the Supplemental Retirement Plan?

3. I am 62, but do not have 10 years of service at WSU. Why did I receive the notice to submit a beneficiary form?

4. Why do I need to name a beneficiary on this plan?

5. What if I do not submit a beneficiary form designating a beneficiary?

6. Am I guaranteed to receive a benefit?

7. When and why must my spouse/registered domestic partner sign and notarize the form?

8. If I am naming my spouse/registered domestic partner as my beneficiary, do I need to have them sign and notarize the form?

9. What if I submit an incomplete form?

10. Can I name more than one beneficiary?

11. What is “insurable interest”?

12. Can I change my beneficiary?

13. Where can I find a beneficiary form?

14. Where do I submit the beneficiary form to?

15. What is applicable supporting documentation to be submitted with the beneficiary form?


1. What is the Supplemental Retirement Plan?

Washington State University Retirement Plan (WSURP) participants also participate in the WSU Retirement Supplemental Plan. The benefit was designed to act as a “floor” to ensure that participants achieve at least a basic level of retirement income, provided they are at least age 62 with a minimum of 10 or more years or service with a Washington State Higher Education institution. Additional information about the Supplemental Retirement Plan can be found here.

2. I have a TIAA-CREF Voluntary Investment Plan (VIP)? Is this the same thing as the Supplemental Retirement Plan?

No. The VIP is a voluntary plan that an employee has the ability to make voluntary contributions to for a future retirement benefit. At WSU, historically the VIP has been referred to as a SRA, and should not be confused with the Supplemental Retirement Plan. The beneficiaries you designate under your VIP plan are for the TIAA-CREF account; WSU is unable to use your TIAA-CREF beneficiary designations for the Supplemental Retirement Plan.

3. I am 62, but do not have 10 years of service at WSU. Why did I receive the notice to submit a beneficiary form?

The Supplemental Retirement Plan is a potential benefit for individuals with 10 or more years of service with one or more Washington state higher education institution. HRS sent this notice to all WSURP participants who are age 62 or older. If you do not have 10 or more years of combined Washington state higher education service, you do not need to complete the beneficiary form.

4. Why do I need to name a beneficiary on this plan?

If it is determined that a WSURP participant is eligible for this benefit, they will have the option to choose a single life benefit, or from three survivor options (full, two-thirds or one-half to survivor). By providing WSU with a beneficiary, it will ensure that if you are eligible for a retirement supplementation benefit it will be paid to your designated beneficiary upon death. Also, your elected survivorship option is necessary to calculate the benefit amount.

5. What if I do not submit a beneficiary form designating a beneficiary?

If you are married or in a registered domestic partnership, your spouse or partner will be the default beneficiary. If you are single and do not name a beneficiary, no benefit would be paid in the event of your death.

6. Am I guaranteed to receive a benefit?

No. The supplemental retirement plan is a benefit that is calculated for eligible employees at the time of death (for active employees) or retirement, and is impacted by the performance of assumed investments. Therefore, this is not a guaranteed benefit, but a potential benefit. For more information on the benefit click here.

7. When and why must my spouse/registered domestic partner sign and notarize the form?

If you are naming someone other than your spouse/registered domestic partner, they must provide a notarized signature to provide proof that they acknowledge they are not the named beneficiary.

8. If I am naming my spouse/registered domestic partner as my beneficiary, do I need to have them sign and notarize the form?

No. Your spouse/registered domestic partner only needs to sign and notarize the form in the event you list a beneficiary other than them.

9. What if I submit an incomplete form?

HRS will review the form and in the event it is incomplete, or appropriate supporting documentation is not submitted, we will return the form to you, with a letter of explanation.

10. Can I name more than one beneficiary?

You may name more than one beneficiary, assuming the persons have an “insurable interest” in your life. The survivor benefit for all named beneficiaries will be calculated on the age of the youngest beneficiary. In the event there is a payable benefit, the survivor benefit will be split equally among the named beneficiaries, which their portion will last for their life, and is not transferable to the remaining beneficiaries.  If you wish to name more than one beneficiary, please include the requested information with the notarized beneficiary form.

11. What is “insurable interest”?

Individuals with an “insurable interest” in your life include only those closely related to you by blood or marriage (e.g. your spouse, registered domestic partner, child, including an adopted child), or who have an economic interest in the continuation of your life (e.g. a dependent relative). Documentation supporting the marriage, partnership or relationship/economic interest must be provided to HRS with the beneficiary form. Refer to Question #15 for additional information on supporting documentation.

12. Can I change my beneficiary?

You can change your beneficiary during your active employment. Changes to your beneficiary cannot be made after you retire.

13. Where can I find a beneficiary form?

The beneficiary form can be found here.

14. Where do I submit the beneficiary form to?

The form should be submitted to: Human Resource Services, PO Box 641014, French Administration 139, Pullman, WA 99164-1014.

15. What is applicable supporting documentation to be submitted with the beneficiary form?
For spouses, a copy of the marriage certificate, for partners, a copy of the Registered Domestic Partner certificate, for children, a copy of the birth certificate.
For others who may have an insurance interest, any documentation or information you believe would show that the individual(s) have an insurable interest in your life.
These documents will be reviewed to ensure they meet the criteria.

Washington State University