Designating Your Beneficiaries

One of the most important decisions to make for your retirement plan accounts is the designation of beneficiaries. In the event of your death, your beneficiaries would be able to go directly to TIAA and file a beneficiary claim. Without any designations, your accounts would instead go to your estate and be distributed as part of probate proceedings – and not necessarily as you would have wanted.

Beneficiary designations must be made for each of the three plans (Basic, Matching, and Supplemental). If, for example, you have a beneficiary designation on your Basic Plan account only, that designation won’t apply to the Matching and Supplemental Plans; those two plans would instead go to your estate. Also note that the beneficiary designations for your retirement plans and life insurance do not apply to each other.

To designate your retirement plan beneficiaries, please log on at You can change your designations at any time.

Help Is Available

If you have questions about how to make the selections that best reflect your wishes, please contact the Penn Retirement Call Center at (877) 736-6738. You may also schedule a TIAA Retirement Plan Consultation at or by calling 800-732-8353 Monday-Friday 8am-8pm ET.