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Make Sure Your Beneficiary Designations Are Heir Tight

8.22.14

Sandy Feingert's article "Make sure your beneficiary designations are heir tight" was published by the New Orleans City Business on August 22, 2014.

An often-neglected area in the world of benefit plan administration is the beneficiary designation form.  Beneficiary plans are often filed away without review, and mistakes surface only after the death of the participant, creating headaches for the plan administrator.

To avoid the headaches and possible litigation associated with an incorrect or incomplete beneficiary designations, plan administrators should adopt these prudent practices.

  1. Review all beneficiary-designation forms submitted by employees to be sure they are signed, dated and make sense.
  2. Encourage an annual review of beneficiary designations at open enrollment
  3. When aware of a change in life circumstances, remind the participant of the possible need to reevaluate beneficiary designations.
  4. Have a specific method of retaining the beneficiary designations.  We advise electronic backup.
  5. Keep the old designations in case there is a challenge with the current one.


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