Upon your death, your account generally may be distributed to your designated beneficiary at any time, provided your Account is completely distributed no later than the end of the 10th year that begins after the year in which you died (i.e., the 10-Year Rule). However, if your designated beneficiary is an eligible designated beneficiary, some additional distribution choices are available. An individual is your "eligible designated beneficiary" if the beneficiary is (i) your surviving spouse, (ii) your child who has not attained the age of majority, (iii) disabled, (iv) certified as chronically ill where the illness is indefinite in time and expected to be lengthy, or (v) no more than 10 years younger than you.
In addition to the 10-Year Rule, upon your death, (i) your surviving spouse may elect to take roughly equal annual distributions over his or her remaining life expectancy beginning with the year after the year in which you die (or, if later, the year you would have turned age 72), with the spouse's life expectancy recalculated each succeeding year, and (ii) your other eligible designated beneficiaries may commence benefits in the year following your death over the remaining life expectancy of your oldest nonspouse eligible designated beneficiary or, if longer, your life expectancy (assuming you were still living), with the life expectancy factor reduced by 1.0 each succeeding year.
If you have not designated an individual beneficiary and your surviving beneficiary is not an individual prescribed as your default beneficiary under Section 7.1, your account must be distributed to your default beneficiary, such as your estate, no later than the end of the 5th year that begins after the year in which you died (i.e., the 5-Year Rule). If your nonspouse beneficiary wishes to select an insured single life annuity as the form of distribution, the selection must be made no later than October 31 of the year following the year in which you died.
For more information on death benefits, ask the Plan Office for the form titled Explanation of Death Benefit Distribution Rules.