Designating / Changing your Beneficiary

Keep Your Beneficiary Information Current

You should review your beneficiary designation when significant life events occur such as:

  • marriage
  • divorce
  • birth
  • adoption
  • death of a spouse or designated beneficiary

A marriage, divorce, annulment, or any dissolution or declaration of invalidity of your marriage will not automatically revoke your former spouse as beneficiary unless you revoke the designation by submitting a new form. Please be advised that beneficiary selections are subject to any court orders regarding the division of the community property portion of your retirement benefit due to divorce.

Notify NMERB immediately of a member’s or a beneficiary’s death. Make sure family members are aware of this important obligation.

For information on how to change your beneficiary after retirement contact the NMERB-Payroll Unit at 505-827-8030.

In order for your new designation to be effective, it must be properly completed; signed; spousal consent notarized, if applicable; and received by NMERB prior to your death.

Instructions for Designating a Benficiary

Active and Inactive (non-retired) members covered by the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board must complete the Pre-retirement Beneficiary Designation Form to designate a beneficiary for their benefit.

The Pre-retirement Beneficiary Designation Form is available on the Forms page of the website. In completing the form be sure to:

  • Please type or print in black or blue ink. Copies and/or designation forms with whiteout will be invalid.
  • You must designate at least one You may update your beneficiary designation form any time prior to receiving your retirement benefit. You should review your beneficiary designation when significant life events occur.
  • Any alterations to this form must be initialed. The use of whiteout is not permitted.
  • New beneficiary forms filed will supersede any previous designation forms. If you want to add or change a beneficiary, you must submit a new form and include all beneficiaries you wish to
  • List full legal names (e.g. Mary Smith not Mrs. John Smith) for all beneficiaries.
  • Provide complete information requested for each beneficiary.
  • Provide a divorce decree, if you divorced at any point during your NMERB service.
  • Provide legal documentation and Change in NMERB Record form (insert Link for form) for changes to your legal name.
  • Upon employment with an NMERB covered entity, this form must be returned to the Employer/Local Administrative Unit (LAU).
  • If you fail to submit a valid beneficiary designation form, any benefits payable upon your death will be paid to your surviving spouse or domestic partner, or if none, in a one-time lump sum payment to your estate. Proof of marital status or domestic partnership is required.

Beneficiary Designation Checklist

  • Is your designation form signed and *spousal consent notarized, if applicable?
  • Did you designate at least one beneficiary?
  • If you selected Option B and have multiple beneficiaries, list one beneficiary on page one and additional beneficiaries on page two.
  • Did you select and complete either Section II-Option B Coverage or III-One-time lump sum? Forms with both sections completed will result in an invalid designation and will be returned to you for correction.
  • Did you initial any changes you may have made? The use of whiteout is NOT permitted.
Historical Note: Effective July 1, 2019 Senate Bill (SB) 664—spouse as default beneficiary was implemented.

If a member dies before retirement without naming a beneficiary, the death benefit will automatically go to the surviving spouse or domestic partner.


Managing the retirement assets of New Mexico Educators since 1957.

Contact Information

Santa Fe
(Main Office)

Member Services Contact Form

Physical Address
701 Camino de los Marquez
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Mailing Address
PO Box 26129
Santa Fe, NM 87502

1(866) 691-2345

Main Office
(505) 827-8030

(505) 827-1855

Albuquerque Office
Email or call ahead for an appointment.

Member Services Contact Form

Physical Address
8500 Menaul Blvd. NE, Suite B-450
Albuquerque, NM 87112

(505) 888-1560

(505) 830-2976

NMERB Publications