DEFINITION of 'Spousal Beneficiary Rollover'

A transfer of retirement fund assets to the spouse of the deceased. The transfer is generally done in one of two ways. The first way is for the retirement account to remain intact and simply be renamed to reflect the new owner. The second way is to transfer the funds to the spouse's account.

BREAKING DOWN 'Spousal Beneficiary Rollover'

The spouse is not automatically designated as the recipient of unused retirement funds. However, with many retirement plans, the spouse must give their consent for another recipient to be named. In some cases, for example in a qualified plan account, the spouse must be named the beneficiary.

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