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The Importance of Keeping Your Beneficiary Information Up-to-Date

Tom was a beloved coach at the local high school and his sudden death was a surprise to all. Everyone’s thoughts turned to his wife of 2 years, Nancy, who always cheered on the team at every game. When it came time to collect Tom’s death benefit, it was discovered that Tom had never updated his beneficiary information after his divorce and second marriage. Subsequently, Tom’s ex-wife collected the payment.

Unfortunately, these sad situations do happen. As benefit administrators, employee education is always at the forefront of the job. Reminding employees to keep their beneficiary information current ensures that the employee’s wishes are fulfilled and that legal complications are avoided.

Here’s what other schools, cities and counties have done to remind their employees about updating their beneficiary information:

  • At open enrollment time, include an information sheet and a copy of the life insurance company’s beneficiary form in their enrollment packet.
  • Once a year, send an email reminder to your employees about beneficiary updates and attach the information sheet and beneficiary form.
  • When an employee contacts you about a benefit change, it’s usually prompted by a life event (marriage, birth, adoption, divorce, death, etc.) This is also a good time for an employee to update their beneficiary information if necessary.
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Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe
Erin Woulfe likes to write about things that matter. Keeping her finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the public sector world, she blogs about the latest legislative news and employee benefit trends that affect our school, city and county clients. She’s been with NIS since 2002. “I love connecting to our clients and providing them with the tools they need in order to administrate their plan,” says Erin. “Whether that be materials to educate their employees on certain benefits, how to effectively communicate change within an organization or just providing tips and how-to’s to help them make their job easier.”

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