The beneficiary form and the need for no drama


As a plan sponsor, you need to make sure that participant beneficiary forms are up to date. It’s not enough that you make sure that every participant has filled one out, you also have to make sure that they’re updated. Family lives and situations change, so it should make sense that what a participant may have selected as a beneficiary might change because of marriage, divorce, or death.


For any plan education and enrollment meetings, I would stress for the participants to update their beneficiary information because as an ERISA attorney, one of the most stressful jobs in trying to determine who a beneficiary is if an enrollment form is missing or there are issues that might threaten the validity of an executed form (such as a new marriage).

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