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K-State Today

September 14, 2021

Beneficiary Awareness Week day two

Submitted by Jason Talbert

Welcome to day two of Beneficiary Awareness Week at K-State. 

Proper beneficiary designations are essential to help ensure you protect those you cherish. Throughout the week, the Human Capital Services benefits team will provide informative articles in K-State Today, culminating in a virtual Education Session at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 17. 

As a benefits-eligible employee at Kansas State University, it is important to maintain your designated beneficiary(ies) for your life insurance, retirement benefits and flexible savings account, or FSA, if applicable. Today we explore what a beneficiary is and when it is recommended to make or update a designation.

What is a beneficiary?

Although it may be an uncomfortable topic, beneficiaries are individuals you designate to receive a benefit if you become deceased. You may designate one or more individuals to receive any death-related benefits, such as a retirement benefit, life insurance benefit, or funds from your FSA.

Most benefits allow a participant to designate multiple beneficiaries with either a primary or contingent designation. A primary beneficiary receives the benefit when you become deceased. If more than one individual is designated as a primary beneficiary, funds are split evenly between them. Contingent beneficiaries only receive the benefit in the event that both you and the primary beneficiaries are also deceased. It is important to note that an individual cannot be both a primary and contingent beneficiary. In most cases, you may have as many primary and/or contingent beneficiaries as desired.

When should you designate a beneficiary?

To ensure you have the most up-to-date designation for your beneficiary(ies), it is recommended to complete or submit an updated beneficiary form if one of the following events occurs:

  • Begin employment.
  • Retire or terminate employment.
  • Changes in marital status, including marriage and divorce; birth or adoption.
  • A death within your family or of a designated beneficiary.
  • At any time you are unsure of your designated beneficiary(ies).

Articles about Beneficiary Awareness Week will be published in K-State Today throughout the week. If you are interested in learning more, we encourage you to register online for the Sept. 17 session at the K-State Beneficiary Education Session Registration link.

As always, HCS benefits is glad to help. Please contact your support team at benefits@k-state.edu with any questions or concerns.