Update your beneficiaries during Annual Enrollment

Check your life insurance and retirement plan to make sure your choices are clear

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Annual Enrollment is the perfect time to review or update your beneficiary information on your life insurance and retirement plan. Did you know your choice of beneficiaries takes priority over your will? Naming your beneficiaries can help reduce the risk of significant delays and costs to them.

Choosing a beneficiary gives you the final say in what happens to your assets if something should happen to you.

Your beneficiary can be a person, a charity, a trust, or your estate. You can split the benefit among multiple beneficiaries as long as the total percentage of the proceeds equals 100 percent.

Types of beneficiaries

Primary beneficiary: The person(s) named will receive the proceeds. If any named beneficiary is not alive at the time of claim, the proceeds are split among any remaining primary beneficiaries before considering contingent beneficiaries.

Contingent beneficiary: If the primary beneficiaries are no longer living, the proceeds are paid to this person or persons.

How to update your choices

You can update your life insurance beneficiaries online through the Benefits enrollment site.

To update your 403(b) retirement plan beneficiaries online, go to your investment provider's site. Under the Johns Hopkins University Retirement Plan, spouses are entitled to receive 50 percent of the participant's retirement plan assets. If you would like to direct less than 50 percent to your spouse, you and your spouse will need to complete a spousal waiver form obtained from the investment provider.

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