Did you know beneficiary designations are safely stored and protected?

In recent months, some City employees have received email messages concerning beneficiary designations in the City of Chicago Deferred Compensation Plan. The message states that:

  1. Participant beneficiary designation forms were lost by Nationwide. 
  2. Proceeds would be turned over to the state if no beneficiary is on file upon the participant’s death.

Both statements are false.

While not all participants are able to see their beneficiary designation through the Plan’s website or on their statements, no beneficiary designation information has been lost. Prior to December 2008, all beneficiary designation forms were stored in paper files and photocopied into an image-storage system. All beneficiary designations can be retrieved from that system upon the death of the participant.

Participants who have updated the form on file with Nationwide since December 2008 will see their beneficiary designation reflected when they log onto their account at ChicagoDeferredComp.com and on their quarterly participant statement. Because marriage, divorce, births and deaths can affect decisions, we encourage participants to file a new beneficiary designation form every few years. To do so:

  • Download the form from the Support & Forms section at ChicagoDeferredComp.com. 
    OR
  • Request the form by calling (855) 457-2489, opt. 4.

If a participant passes away without having designated a beneficiary, or if all designated beneficiaries pre-decease the participant, the Plan Document requires that account proceeds default to the participant’s probate estate. The probate estate has up to 120 days from the date of the participant’s death to claim the account proceeds. If that time frame is not met, then account proceeds are distributed in this order of precedence: 1) to the participant’s surviving spouse, then 2) to the participant’s surviving children, and then 3) to the participant’s surviving parents. The only situation where account proceeds could be submitted to the state is if an account holder cannot be located.

For details about the Plan’s beneficiary designation and distribution provisions, please consult the Plan Document. It’s available on your Plan’s website.

When you have questions about the City of Chicago Deferred Compensation Plan, your best resource is a Nationwide Retirement Specialist. They’re here to help you succeed through the Plan. Call (855) 457- 2489. Nationwide Retirement Specialists cannot offer investment, tax or legal advice. Consult your own counsel before making decisions about participation in the City of Chicago Deferred Compensation Plan.


REMINDER – TRADING POLICY: To protect the interests of all participants, Nationwide has taken steps to limit excessive and other trading abuses by employing this policy for all accounts administered by Nationwide.

  • If 6 or more trade events occur in one calendar quarter, we will notify you by U.S. Mail that the level of trading activity in your account has characteristics of market timing.
  • Once 11 trade events occur across 2 consecutive calendar quarters, we must require all trade requests for the remainder of the calendar year to be submitted in paper form via regular U.S. Mail.
  • Once 20 trade events are reached in a calendar year, we must require all trade requests for the remainder of the year to be submitted in paper form via regular U.S. Mail.

We reserve the right to restrict trades made under any account, and may be required by a fund manager to take other actions.

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