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Hi All,

I'm 31 and have in the last couple months been making my first ever contributions to a 401(k) plan. The company I'm working for is in the process of switching plan administrators from Norwest to New England Financial. As part of this I signed the Death benifit designation form, which finaly gets me to the meat of my question. When I was reading through this (and swearing profusly at the lack of a good index fund in the new plan) I discovered that my my wife will only receive an annuity based on 50% of whatever is the current value in holdings when I die. The annuity is for the rest of her life and it doesn't specify how that calculation is made (I'm still waiting for them to return my call about this). What gives? Is this standard? If it's my money when I put it in the investment, should't it all go to my Wife and/or Son? Is there a vehicle for preventing this immediate loss? The scenareo I'm imagining is this -- I die at age 60, and my wife who is 10 years older then I am can only reasonably expect 10 years of these annuity payments. I doubt that it will make up for the 50% hit on my investments. Please let me know if I should be raising the roof over in the HR office about this or would that be tilting at windmills.


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