Code Section Group

Education Code - EDC


  ( Title 1 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )


  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1010. )


  ( Part 13 repealed and added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 893, Sec. 2. )

CHAPTER 20. Beneficiary Designation [23300 - 23304]
  ( Chapter 20 added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 893, Sec. 2. )


(a) A member of the Defined Benefit Program may designate a beneficiary to receive benefits payable under this part upon the member’s death. A beneficiary designation may not be made in derogation of a community property interest of a nonmember spouse, as defined by Section 25000.9, with respect to service or contributions credited under this part, unless the nonmember spouse has previously obtained an alternative order pursuant to Section 2610 of the Family Code.

(b) A member’s beneficiary designation for benefits payable under the Defined Benefit Program, including a designation made pursuant to Section 24300 or 24300.1, shall also apply to benefits payable under the Defined Benefit Supplement Program. A beneficiary designation shall be in writing on a form prescribed by the system and executed by the member.

(c) A beneficiary designation shall not be valid unless it is received in the system’s headquarters office prior to the member’s death.

(d) A member may change or revoke a beneficiary designation at any time by making a new designation pursuant to this section.

(e) This section is not applicable to the designation of an option beneficiary or an annuity beneficiary under this part.

(f) An option beneficiary may designate a death beneficiary who would, upon the death of the option beneficiary, be entitled to receive the option beneficiary’s accrued monthly allowance.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 558, Sec. 18. (AB 1379) Effective January 1, 2014.)


A corporation, trust, charitable organization, parochial institution, or public entity may be designated as a beneficiary under this part, but they shall not be designated as option beneficiaries, except a trust as defined in Section 22149.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 96, Sec. 16. (AB 644) Effective January 1, 2020.)


Payment under this part to a beneficiary designated in the form on file in the system at the date of death by a warrant drawn prior to any claim under community property rights shall constitute full discharge of any and all liability of the board, system, and plan by reason of the member’s death.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 965, Sec. 135. Effective January 1, 1999.)


(a) If the whereabouts of the designated beneficiary cannot be determined, or if the beneficiary is the estate of the deceased person, the board may pay to the undertaker who conducted the funeral, or to any person who, or any organization that, has paid the undertaker from funds owned by the person or organization, in its discretion all or a portion of any amount payable under this part, but not to exceed the funeral expenses of the deceased person, or the portion of the expenses paid by the person or organization, as evidenced by the sworn itemized statement of the undertaker, person, or organization and by any other documents the board may require.

(b) The payment shall be in full and complete discharge and acquittance of the board, system, and plan up to the amount paid.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 965, Sec. 136. Effective January 1, 1999.)


If no beneficiary designation is in effect on the date of death, any benefit payable under this part shall be paid to the estate of the member. Payment pursuant to the board’s determination in good faith upon evidence satisfactory to it of the existence, identity or other facts relating to entitlement of persons under this section shall constitute a complete discharge and release of the system and plan from liability for the benefit.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 965, Sec. 137. Effective January 1, 1999.)

EDCEducation Code - EDC