How to Obtain Benefits

In general, you or your beneficiary may begin receiving payment of your Supplemental Retirement & Savings Plan benefits when you retire, die, become disabled, or terminate your employment with Boston University. Some choices regarding the form of payment are available to you. However, if your total account balances are $5,000 or less, the plan has the right to pay them out in a lump-sum cash payment.

Any payments you receive before age 59½ may be subject to a 10% penalty tax in addition to regular income tax (if applicable) unless one of a limited number of exceptions applies.

You may elect to receive a lump-sum distribution of the full value of your accounts from either TIAA or Fidelity.

Your Spouse’s Rights

Under federal pension legislation, if you choose any annuity method of payment other than a Survivor Annuity with your spouse as the survivor, your spouse must give written consent that acknowledges his or her rights to survivor benefits are being waived. Your spouse’s signature must be witnessed by a plan representative or notarized by a notary public.

The Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) provides that if you are married at the time of your death, your spouse is entitled to receive, as primary beneficiary, your qualified preretirement survivor death benefits under a retirement or tax-deferred annuity plan covered by ERISA. If you name someone other than your spouse must consent to this primary beneficiary designation by completing a Spousal Waiver. Then the qualified preretirement survivor death benefits will be payable to such primary beneficiary. If you elected only a portion to be paid to the designated beneficiary, then the remainder will be payable to your spouse.

If you designate your spouse as beneficiary and the individual later ceases to be your spouse, such designation will be deemed void and your ex-spouse will have no rights as a beneficiary unless redesignated as a beneficiary by you subsequent to becoming your ex-spouse, or as otherwise provided under a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) under IRS Code Section 414(p).