Human Resources & Workforce Diversity
Statutory Standard Sequence
(WRS, State Group Life and Wisconsin Deferred Compensation)
Standard sequence determines who would receive your death benefits from certain assets if you die without filing a beneficiary designation. It is defined in s. 40.02(8)(a), Wisconsin Statutes.
Standard sequence applies to your Wisconsin Retirement System death benefits (except joint survivor annuities), your State Group Life Insurance proceeds, and your Wisconsin Deferred Compensation account.
On April 5, 2008, there was a change in standard sequence to make it more consistent with other Wisconsin laws used to determine a decedent's heirs.
Under statutory standard sequence, benefits are paid in equal shares to the people in the first group in the following list who are still living at your death:
If there is one or more beneficiary in a lower-numbered group, no one in a higher numbered group receives any of the death benefits. If no one in any of these groups survives you, your benefits are paid to your estate.
Standard sequence could be amended by the Wisconsin legislature. In case of a change, your benefits would be paid according to the law in effect at the time of your death.
This document was last revised on May 1, 2008