Consuegra vs. GSIS; G.R. No. L-28093 January 30, 1971

Topic : Parties – Beneficiaries

In his lifetime, Jose Consuegra contracted two marriages, the first with herein respondent Rosario Diaz, out of which two children were born, and the second which was contracted in good faith with herein petitioner Basilia Berdin. When Consuegra died on September 26, 1965, the proceeds of his life insurance under policy No. 601801 were paid by the GSIS to petitioner Basilia Berdin and her children who were the beneficiaries named in the policy. However,  Consuegra failed to designate any beneficiary who would receive the retirement insurance benefits from GSIS.

Respondent Rosario Diaz, the widow by the first marriage, filed a claim with the GSIS asking that the retirement insurance benefits be paid to her as the only legal heir of Consuegra. Petitioner Basilia Berdin and her children, likewise, filed a similar claim with the GSIS, asserting that being the beneficiaries named in the life insurance policy of Consuegra, they are the only ones entitled to receive the retirement insurance benefits.

GSIS ruled that the proceeds of the retirement insurance of the late Jose Consuegra should be divided equally between his first living wife Rosario Diaz, on the one hand, and his second wife Basilia Berdin and his children by her, on the other.


WON the appellants who were the beneficiaries named in the life insurance should automatically be considered the beneficiaries to receive the retirement insurance benefits,


NO, it cannot be said that because appellants were designated beneficiaries in Consuegra’s life insurance they automatically became the beneficiaries also of his retirement insurance. 

GSIS offers two separate and distinct systems of benefits to its members — one is life insurance and the other is retirement insurance. These two distinct systems of benefits are paid out from two distinct and separate funds that are maintained by the GSIS.

In the case of the proceeds of a life insurance, the same are paid to whoever is named the beneficiary in the life insurance policy. As in the case of a life insurance provided for in the Insurance Act (Act 2427, as amended), the beneficiary in a life insurance under the GSIS may not necessarily be an heir of the insured. The insured in a life insurance may designate any person as beneficiary unless disqualified to be so under the provisions of the Civil Code. And in the absence of any beneficiary named in the life insurance policy, the proceeds of the insurance will go to the estate of the insured.

Retirement insurance is primarily intended for the benefit of the employee — to provide for his old age, or incapacity, after rendering service in the government for a required number of years. If the employee reaches the age of retirement, he gets the retirement benefits even to the exclusion of the beneficiary or beneficiaries named in his application for retirement insurance. The beneficiary of the retirement insurance can only claim the proceeds of the retirement insurance if the employee dies before retirement. If the employee failed or overlooked to state the beneficiary of his retirement insurance, the retirement benefits will accrue to his estate and will be given to his legal heirs in accordance with law, as in the case of a life insurance if no beneficiary is named in the insurance policy.

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