New York Consolidated Laws, Estates, Powers and Trusts Law - EPT § 13-3.2 Rights of beneficiaries of pension, retirement, death benefit, stock bonus and profit-sharing plans, systems or trusts and of beneficiaries of annuities and supplemental insurance contracts




(a) If a person is entitled to receive (1) payment in money, securities or other property under a pension, retirement, death benefit, stock bonus or profit-sharing plan, system or trust or (2) money payable by an insurance company or a savings bank authorized to conduct the business of life insurance under an annuity or pure endowment contract or a policy of life, group life, industrial life or accident and health insurance, or if a contract made by such an insurer relating to the payment of proceeds or avails of such insurance designates a payee or beneficiary to receive such payment upon the death of the person making the designation or another, the rights of persons so entitled or designated and the ownership of money, securities or other property thereby received shall not be impaired or defeated by any statute or rule of law governing the transfer of property by will, gift or intestacy.

(b) This section does not limit article 10 of the debtor and creditor law, articles 10-C and 26 of the tax law, or 2-1.8, 5-1.1-A or 13-3.6.

(c) Paragraph (a) applies although a designation is revocable or subject to change by the person who makes it, and although the money, securities or other property receivable thereunder are not yet payable at the time the designation is made or are subject to withdrawal, collection or assignment by the person making the designation.

(d) A person entitled to receive payment includes:

(1) An employee or participant in a pension, retirement, death benefit, stock bonus or profit-sharing plan, system or trust.

(2) The owner or person purchasing an annuity, the person insured or the person effecting insurance, the person effecting a contract relating to payment of the proceeds or avails of a policy of insurance or an annuity or pure endowment contract.

(3) Any person entitled to receive payment by reason of a payee or beneficiary designation described in this section.

(e) A designation of a beneficiary or payee to receive payment upon death of the person making the designation or another must be made in writing and signed by the person making the designation and be:

(1) Agreed to by the employer or made in accordance with the rules prescribed for the pension, retirement, death benefit, stock bonus or profit-sharing plan, system or trust.

(2) Agreed to by the insurance company or the savings bank authorized to conduct the business of life insurance, as the case may be.

(f) This section applies to designations heretofore or hereafter made by persons who die on or after the date this section takes effect.  This section does not invalidate any contract or designation which is valid without regard to this section.





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