Are pre-1974 403 B retirement accounts/plans subject to ERISA and REA? If someone set up an 403 B account through their non- profit employer in 1972 and named their children as beneficiaries, does ERISA apply and allow the spouse to receive 50% of the funds?
Our father worked for a private college and had his retirement fund (a 403 B) with TIAA-Cref. He designated the beneficiaries (last changed in 1978) as "his children." His 2nd wife inherited the estate and is claiming 50% of this retirement fund under ERISA. I asked TIAA if a fund that was established in 1972 was subject to ERISA and if they had notified him of the effect on his beneficiaries after REA in 1984. Are they required to notify plan owners? They said that they believe that since he continued to contribute into the fund until 2013 it is covered, but they cannot cite a definitive law. We need a clear code that covers this.
We know that under VA law, his wife is entitled to elect against the estate and take a third of the augmented estate, which would include this retirement fund, another IRA and a wine collection left to a son.
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