Now is a good time to check your beneficiaries
Beneficiaries on your retirement account supersede what you have in your will, so it’s good to be in the habit of making sure they’re current as your life circumstances change. You can review beneficiaries when you receive your statement.
Naming beneficiaries for your retirement accounts is an important first step in your estate planning. Without careful consideration, your decision may have unexpected tax and estate planning implications.
There are two basic types of beneficiaries. Primary beneficiaries are entitled to receive any undistributed assets in your account following your death. They share equally in your account unless you specify different percentages. If a beneficiary predeceases you, his or her share of your account is divided proportionately among the surviving beneficiaries.
Contingent beneficiaries are entitled to receive any undistributed assets in your account only if you have no surviving primary beneficiaries at the time of your death. If there are no surviving primary beneficiaries, your contingent beneficiaries share equally in your account unless you specify different percentages.
Consult an attorney or tax advisor if you have questions about your beneficiary designations. And call us at 1-800-279-4030 if you have questions about your retirement account(s).
Help us keep in touch
Anytime you have a change of name, address, phone, etc., please contact us as soon as possible so that we can continue to give you important information regarding your accounts. Ensuring your personal information is up to date helps us accurately and efficiently administer your retirement plan, provide you with important insurance information, and minimize errors.
Why we ask for your personal email address: If you have an account with us, please use your personal e-mail rather than your district email. Due to potential spam filters used by your employer, our email may not reach your inbox. Plus, if you change districts or retire, we will still be able to get in touch with you.
Give us a call at 1-800-279-4030, or update your personal information online at your convenience.
New mobile app: yourMONEY Snapshot
The new yourMONEY Snapshot is an informational app that allows you to review your current account—it is not a transactional app.
To log in to yourMONEY Snapshot, use the same username/password as you do for yourMONEY. Once logged in, you can opt for fingerprint recognition to access the app if you prefer.
The dashboard lets you toggle between the following:
See the monthly retirement savings goal you set in yourMONEY. The app will help assess your shortfall or show you if you’re on track.
Shows your most recent balance, including vested balance, as of the previous business day. You can also get more details on your investments and plan information here.
Get performance information from the past 12 months and find your personal rates of return for the past quarter or one, two, or three years. Explore savings sources and break down by money type or dates.
See transactions or pending requests from the last 30 days. Filter by types and date. Choose to explore fees, withdrawals, and more.
Your statements will be available in the app as soon as they are available in yourMONEY.
You can access the yourMONEY online account directly by clicking on the information button at the bottom and entering the Web site. Here you can make changes, updates, etc.
Ready to download the app?
Visit Google Play or the Apple Store and search for yourMONEY Snapshot.
Questions? Call 1-800-279-4030.
Share the benefits: It’s a family thing
Wisconsin public school employees have the unique opportunity to participate in the insurance and retirement savings programs offered by Member Benefits. But did you know that your family, including your spouse or domestic partner, children and their spouses, parents, parents-in-law—and in some cases, your grandchildren—may also be eligible to participate in many of these great programs?
Plus, once enrolled, you and your family may continue participating in our retirement programs even if you leave your employer, change jobs, or retire.
- Roth and Traditional IRA1
- Financial Planning Services
- Auto Insurance
- Home Insurance, Condo Insurance, Renters Insurance
- Umbrella Insurance (Additional Liability Insurance)
Restrictions may apply. Certain state residency required. Call us for details.
1To be eligible for this program, you must meet the IRS eligibility requirements for contributing to an IRA.
New and improved online account access
In December 2018, yourMONEY account access was upgraded.
- Detailed rate of return features.
- My Forecast calculator: Set retirement targets, view outcomes of different scenarios.
- Added security with 2-factor login authentication.
- And more!
Paperless is the way to go.
Logging into yourINSURANCE allows you to:
- Review your coverages.
- Download insurance cards.
- Update your personal information.
- Manage your billing and make a payment.
- Go Green with optional electronic (paperless) communications.
Choose the paperless option and start receiving your policy information and notifications by e-mail. It’s super easy and convenient. Plus, it saves time, money, and paper piles.
Have questions about your online account? Give us a call at 1-800-279-4030.
Enhancements to yourMONEY
Next time you log in to your online retirement account at weabenefits.com/yourmoney, you will notice some changes have been made that we hope you will find even more helpful for managing your account.
- The dashboard landing page now offers you the opportunity to choose what level of detail you want to see.
- Shortcuts have been improved to be more user friendly and provide easier navigation to any page.
- Participant two-factor authentication further protects your personal and financial data. This includes text verification for when you use a different computer, for example.
- You can get statements on demand with your choice of date ranges.
- You can now see your rate of return for the past 10 years (not just quarterly or annual).
- Improvements have been made on the financial wellness resource center and interactive retirement readiness tool.
If you have questions about yourMONEY, give us a call at 1-800-279-4030.
Fighting financial fraud
As we all know, financial scams are alive and well. Con artists use clever schemes to defraud millions of people every year. They often combine sophisticated technology with age-old tricks to get people to send money, give out personal information, or make important decisions on the spot.
This reality requires us to be on constant alert. But even the most careful among us can fall victim.
Today, it’s more important than ever to protect your personal identifiable information—your driver’s license, Social Security, passport, credit card, and account numbers as well as your date of birth—because this information is often a key ingredient in a scam. While some larger breeches that have taken place are out of our control, it’s still imperative to maintain as much vigilance as we can.
Member Benefits staff take over 30,000 calls a year from members who want to discuss or transact business in their accounts. We want you to know that our staff is trained to follow strict security procedures to ensure the person on the phone is the owner of the account. Here’s a recent example of the importance of those protocols.
Our security protocol
Recently Diane Erickson, Member Service Representative, took a call from someone claiming to be a member. “The first thing that caught my attention was the call came from Juniper, Florida. The second was that the caller was difficult to understand and did not speak English well,” said Diane. Because the member did not have phone authorization set up, no information could be given out over the phone, explained Diane.
The caller then asked how she could get “phone authorization.” At this point, Diane’s suspicions were high. As part of the security protocol, Diane went through the normal security check. “I asked for her phone number and it took three tries before she was able to give one that was on file,” said Diane. “When I questioned her about whether or not she had recently changed her phone number, she got flustered. I asked for her e-mail so I could send the authorization form, but it was different from what we had on file. Even so, I sent it anyway because I wanted to compare the signature to the one we had on file from the member.” Not surprisingly, it did not match.
Diane called the actual member at the number on file to alert her. “The funny thing was the imposter called back—from an Illinois phone number this time—while I was talking to our member. My colleague happened to get the call and transferred it to a manager who was aware of the situation. The imposter hung up after being questioned further.” Diane gave the real member the e-mail and the two false phone numbers the person had called from and put a fraud alert on her record in our system.
Going above and beyond
In another example, a member who was recently widowed was considering an RV purchase so that she could travel with her three dogs. She found one for $16,000 and called us about insurance. While running the insurance quote, Stefanie Walsh, Personal Insurance Consultant, discovered that the RV as described was valued at $75,000. “It was a far cry from the asking price and made me wonder about the legitimacy of the listing,” said Stefanie. “When I shared my concerns with the member, she also thought it seemed too good to be true. I was relieved to hear back from her and learn that she checked into it and suspected it was a scam after all.”
To help the member further, Stefanie looked up dog-friendly rental options and shared them with the member, who was thrilled with the special attention she was given.
These kinds of situations do not happen regularly, but we are vigilant in our role as stewards of our members’ accounts and personal information. It’s also why we remind members about the importance of protecting themselves against financial loss from scams or lost identity.
Add a verbal password for an extra layer of security
We encourage you to add a verbal password on your account. You will need to know this password if you call us to discuss specifics about your account.
The password must be alpha and numeric only and up to 10 characters long. It cannot contain any special characters like %, &, #, for example.
Simply complete and send in the Telephone Access authorization form to select security options, or call us to request one.
Popular classified ad sites like Craigslist can be a great resource for all kinds of things. While most transactions go smoothly, it’s also a scammers paradise. If you use one of these sites:
- Trust your instincts.
- Deal only with local buyers/sellers.
- NEVER wire funds to a distant buyer.
- Be wary if the other party wants to use an escrow service such as BidPay, Squaretrade, or even PayPal.
- NEVER give out any personal financial information.
- And always remember the most important rule—BUYER BEWARE.
Have you changed banks or your address recently?
Likewise, if you have moved, please contact us with your new address to ensure timely delivery of important information.
Do your accounts have the right beneficiaries?
The beneficiary designations associated with your retirement account(s) take precedence over your will.
- To view your current beneficiary designations through Member Benefits, log into the yourMONEY account portal.
- Beneficiary change forms can also be downloaded from our retirement forms page.
Want more information about choosing beneficiaries? Read our online brochure, Choosing Beneficiaries for Your Retirement Account.