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K-State Today

September 15, 2021

Beneficiary Awareness Week day three

Submitted by Jason Talbert

Welcome to day three of Beneficiary Awareness Week at K-State. 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 am. 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 accounts or FSAs, if applicable. Tuesday's communication provided information regarding what a beneficiary is and when beneficiary(ies) should be named or updated. Today we are providing you with additional information on who should designate a beneficiary and also who can be designated.

Who should designate a beneficiary?

The short answer is almost all of us. All K-State benefits-eligible employees should complete a designation of beneficiary form to record their beneficiary(ies) for retirement benefits — either as a KBOR or KPERS member — in addition to life insurance benefits. Regardless of your primary retirement plan, all benefits-eligible K-State employees have basic life insurance valuing 150% of their current salary provided through KPERS.

Who can be a designated beneficiary?

An individual can designate their beneficiary as any of the following:

  • A living person.
  • A trust.
  • Your estate.
  • Any combination of these.

Individuals, however, cannot designate a church or other charitable organization as a beneficiary.

Many beneficiary designation forms require a witness signature to ensure that only the member can change their designations. If you serve as a witness for another individual designating their beneficiary(ies), it is important that you are present when the form is signed to ensure validity.

What about minors?

If you would like to name a minor  — under age 21 in most cases — as your beneficiary, the following will likely take place if you become deceased:

  • If the benefit is less than $10,000, benefits are governed by the Kansas Uniform Transfers to Minors Act and funds are transferred to the guardian or custodian on behalf of the minor.
  • If the benefit is greater than $10,000, Kansas law requires a conservatorship to be established to receive the benefit on behalf of the minor. 

Articles will be published throughout the week. If you are interested in learning more we encourage you to register online for the Friday, 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.

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