Change in Marital Status

Overview

Change in Marital Status

A change in marital status is not only a major life change, it can also affect the potential benefits from your retirement plan and what happens to your benefits upon your death.

It is important to read your plan handbook carefully to understand how marriage, divorce, or the death of a spouse affects your plan and the benefit payment options (if applicable) you may choose or have chosen.

It is also critical to update your beneficiaries with your plan and Peach State Reserves (if applicable) after a change in marital status. Please see your plan handbook for detailed information.

For any change in marital status:

  • Sign in to your online account to review your beneficiary designations,
  • If you have money in Peach State Reserves (PSR), sign in to your account on GaBreeze to review your beneficiaries.  For the 401(k) plan, your Spouse is your automatic beneficiary unless he/she has signed a waiver.

Marriage

Congratulations on your marriage!  As you join your lives together, you also may be combining your financial plan. 

It may have been a long time since you updated your beneficiary designations.  For the retirement plans, any death benefits are payable to the beneficiary you have most recently designated.  Benefits are NOT automatically payable to your spouse, so if you want your spouse to be your beneficiary, make sure you have updated your beneficiary designation using your online account.  Designating a beneficiary in your Will is NOT a valid way to update your beneficiary designation.

Only the 401(k) plan treats your spouse as your automatic beneficiary.  If you have money in the Peach State Reserves (PSR)457 plan, or if you want someone other than your spouse to be your beneficiary for your 401(k) money, sign in to your account at GaBreeze.

Additional Financial Considerations for Marriage:

  • Discuss spending habits, financial goals, and set a realistic monthly budget.
  • Review your beneficiaries.
  • Add your spouse and/or your spouse’s children to your Peach State Reserves (PSR) Flexible Benefit plan coverage.
  • Update your marital status, name, address, and any other personal information that has changed as a result of your marriage. Contact your agency’s HR office for additional information.
  • Change your income withholding choices. Contact your agency’s HR office for additional information.
  • Revise or create a will.

Divorce

No one expects to get divorced and it can also be a time of a change in your financial situation. If you are going through a separation or divorce, you will want to make sure you have reviewed and updated all your beneficiary designations.

You also need to know that your State of Georgia retirement system is only allowed to pay benefits to you or, in the event of your death, to your designated beneficiary.  We are not permitted to make any payments to your former spouse as an alternate payee under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO).  Any splitting of your State of Georgia pension benefits must be done without involving the retirement system or Peach State Reserves (PSR).

Additional Financial Considerations for Divorce:

  • Review your beneficiaries.
  • Review your current Flexible Benefit plan coverage.
  • Update your marital status, name, address, and any other personal information that has changed as a result of your divorce. Contact your agency’s HR office for additional information.
  • Review your current financial standings and create a realistic monthly budget.
  • Review your credit reports and re-establish credit if needed.
  • Change your income withholding choices. Contact your agency’s HR office for additional information.
  • Revise or create a will.