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So, you’re getting married? Congratulations! However, take note: entering into the married state has legal and financial implications as regards your health and pension benefits; it is imperative that you review and address these benefit plan issues early on. We present here a summary of the Welfare and Pension issues you need to understand to get a good start in your new life (so that you can get back to more important things, such as fighting with the caterer).
- You must complete a new Enrollment and Beneficiary Designation and include a copy of your marriage certificate. This must be done within 60 days of the marriage in order to ensure Welfare coverage for your new spouse.
- You should review your designations of beneficiary for both the Pension and Health Trusts. For the Pension Plan, your spouse automatically becomes your beneficiary when you get married. For the Welfare Trust’s Life Insurance benefit, you need to explicitly change your beneficiary.
- Review the rules for coordination of benefits. Coordination of benefits rules govern how each plan will pay for health care claims if each spouse has group health insurance.
- Review the rules for pre-retirement death benefits under the Pension Trust. You should be aware that the rules for married persons are different from those for single persons. When you get married, your spouse gains certain rights with regard to these benefits. Also, after you have been married for one full year, different rules apply which you can read about in sections 12.1 and 12.2 of the Pension SPD.
- If you are already retired when you become married, see Sections 11.1 and 11.2 of the Pension SPD regarding your form of payment options.
Financial planners recommend that recently married and those planning to get married should update a number of personal plans and documents. Here is a checklist of some items which you may need to update, revise, or consider:
- Living Trust
- Estate Plan
- Durable Powers of Attorney
- Designation of Beneficiary: IRA, 401k, Life Insurance
- Adequacy of Life Insurance
- Adequacy of Disability Insurance
- Nolo Marriage
Good FAQ list dealing with many of the surrounding legal issues, procedures, & processes about marriage. Topics include records, change of name, marriage license, etc.
- Couple Support
Quizzes, articles, e-mail courses, stories, and forums about marriage. Site created by a psychotherapist in private practice.
- Marriage at About.com
Useful links, and weekly feature articles on making your marriage the best it can be. Chat room and bulletin board also onsite. From About.com.
- Weddings of Today
Thorough website offers a lot of great free information to help plan the perfect wedding. Complete with its own online store there is also a list of useful worksheets, tips on good planning books, stories, and forums. Great tips for photography, cakes, showers, and more.