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Change Beneficiaries

By enrolling in IU insurance, savings, and retirement plans, you’ve already taken an important step to provide future financial security for your loved ones. But one step that is often neglected is designating a beneficiary. A beneficiary is the person(s) or organization(s) who will receive the proceeds from your plans in the event of your death. By periodically reviewing your beneficiary designations, and updating them as your circumstances change, you can rest assured that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes.

Did You Know?

  • There are specific laws regarding the payment of benefits to minor children. Before listing your minor child(ren) as beneficiaries, you should consult your legal advisor to determine the best way to accomplish this under state law.

When to Update Your Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries can be changed as often as you like. You should review your beneficiaries at least once per year, and consider updating them when you experience a major life event (such as marriage or birth of a child) or when you update your will or estate.

How to Update Your Beneficiaries

It’s important to note that you must designate beneficiaries for each plan separately. In some cases, you can change beneficiaries with IU, while in other cases you must work with the vendor directly:

Update with IU through the Employee Center:

  • Basic Life Insurance
  • Supplemental Life Insurance
  • Supplemental AD&D

Update directly with the vendor:

  • Health Savings Account (HSA)
  • Retirement Plans
    • IU Retirement Plan
    • IU Retirement & Savings Plan 
    • Public Employees’ Retirement Fund (PERF)
    • IUSERP
    • IU Tax Deferred Account (TDA)
    • IU 457(b)

Select a plan below for step-by-step instructions to make your beneficiary designations.

Life and Supplemental AD&D Insurance

Beneficiary designations for the IU-sponsored Basic Life, Supplemental Life, and Supplemental AD&D plans can be made online or by submitting a paper form. Remember, you must select beneficiaries for each of these plans separately.

Online through the Employee Center:

  1. Search for “Employee Center” in One.IU
  2. Select the Employee Center task
  3. Login using your IU credentials
  4. Click on the Benefits tile
  5. Click the Start Optional Benefit Changes button
  6. Click the Start Optional Benefit Change button
  7. In the left-hand column select Benefits/Enrollment Changes
  8. Click Start My Enrollment
  9. Click the yellow Select button next to your job title
  10. Click the blue Edit button next to the benefit for which you wish to make beneficiary updates
  11. Scroll down to the “Designate Your Beneficiaries” section
    • If you need to add a beneficiary or change an existing beneficiary’s information, click on the yellow Add/Review Beneficiary button
      • In the “New Primary Percent” column, distribute the percentage between your primary beneficiaries.
      • In the “New Secondary Percent” column, distribute the percentage between your secondary beneficiaries.  
      • The Total row under “New Primary Percent” must equal 100.  If you selected secondary beneficiaries, the Total row under “New Secondary Percent” must also equal 100.  
  12. Click Continue
  13. Click OK to verify your changes
  14. If you wish to update beneficiaries for your other plans, repeat steps 10 – 13  
  15. Once you have entered all of your updates, click Proceed at the bottom of the page
  16. Verify your benefits, dependents, and beneficiaries, then click Continue
  17. Click Submit to save your changes
  18. You will receive a confirmation email stating you submitted changes. Note: detailed information you submitted for your beneficiary will not be listed in the email.
  19. For assistance, contact IU Human Resources at or 812-856-1234.

Submit a Paper Form:

Important: Please do not submit the same changes using both methods (online and paper). This will cause delays in processing your request.

Retirement Plans

Retirement plan beneficiaries must be changed directly with the vendor where your assets are held. Remember, you must select beneficiaries for each of your retirement accounts, and at each vendor, separately.

Example #1: Jane is enrolled in the base retirement plan for Support/Service Staff (the IU Retirement & Savings Plan). After five years, she is promoted to a Professional Staff position, and is moved to the base retirement plan for Academic & Professional Staff (the IU Retirement Plan). Even though these are both considered a “base retirement plan”, they are separate plans and accounts, therefore Jane must designate her beneficiaries for each account separately. 

Example #2: Jane is also enrolled in a supplemental retirement plan, the IU TDA. She has assets from this plan at Fidelity and TIAA, therefore she must designate her beneficiaries for her IU TDA plan account at Fidelity and at TIAA separately.

Fidelity Investments

  1. Login to Netbenefits.com/Indiana
  2. Select Menu under the IU logo
  3. Select Beneficiaries
  4. Click the gray Edit button next to the plan you wish to make changes for
  5. Add new beneficiaries or make changes to your current beneficiary’s personal information:
    1. Select the blue Add a Primary Beneficiary button to add a new beneficiary
    2. Select Edit next to the beneficiary you wish to make changes to
  6. Select the Yes/No button to apply the beneficiary settings to all of your eligible plans
  7. If applicable, repeat steps 4–6 for each plan account
  8. Once you have made all of your desired changes scroll down and select the blue Save All button to submit your changes.
  9. For assistance, call Fidelity at 800-343-0860

TIAA

  1. Login to TIAA
  2. Select the Actions tab at the top of the page
  3. Click the Beneficiaries button under Top Actions
  4. Click the Add New button to add a new beneficiary
  5. Click the Edit Existing button to edit an existing beneficiary
  6. Click the Action button next to the plan you wish to make changes for
  7. Select Add Beneficiaries or Change Allocations
    1. Click the button to Add Beneficiary (if applicable)
    2. Select the Beneficiary Type (Primary or Contingent) for each beneficiary
    3. Enter the Allocation Percentage for each beneficiary
  8. Click Next
  9. Review and click the I agree radio button
  10. Click Submit
  11. Click Done
  12. If applicable, repeat steps 6–11 for each plan account
  13. For assistance, call TIAA at 800-842-2252

Public Employees’ Retirement Fund (PERF)

For employees enrolled in PERF, you must update your beneficiaries directly with Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS). You can log in to the PERF website and follow the “Personal Info” link, or call INPRS at 844-GO-INPRS.

Health Savings Account

For the Health Savings Account (HSA), change your beneficiary information online directly with Nyhart under your member profile page.

  • Log in to iu.nyhart.com
  • Select Your Balances
  • Select Accounts
  • Under the Profile section, click on Profile Summary
  • Go to the Beneficiaries section and click on Add Beneficiary
  • For assistance, contact Nyhart at or 800-284-8412

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a beneficiary?

A beneficiary is a person or legal entity that is entitled to receive the proceeds from an estate, trust, retirement account, life insurance policy, or transfer on death accounts. A beneficiary can be one or more individuals or organizations. You can designate two types of beneficiaries:

  • Primary beneficiaries are first in line to receive the designated asset upon your death
  • Secondary (or contingent) beneficiaries receive the asset if there are no surviving primary beneficiaries upon your death

When should I review my beneficiaries?

Review and consider updating your beneficiaries when you:

  • Experience a major life event such as a birth, marriage, dissolution of marriage, or death in the family
  • Update your will or estate plan
  • Receive a beneficiary verification notice

You may want to keep copies of your beneficiary designation forms for your records. If you do not have copies of your current beneficiary designations, request copies from your account providers.

What identifying information do I need for each beneficiary?

You will need to have the following information available for each of your beneficiaries: legal name, address, date of birth, and relationship to you. While you are not required to list your beneficiary's Social Security Number (SSN), it is recommended that you submit it if available. The benefit of giving the vendor the beneficiary's SSN is that it may make it easier to identify or locate the beneficiary. If the beneficiary moves, for example, the vendor may not be able to reach the beneficiary at the address you provided. If the beneficiary tries to make a claim and the address does not match the information on file, then the vendor may want additional information to verify the identity of the beneficiary.

Should I seek legal advice?

Because the beneficiary designations you make can override your will, we recommend you consult with a legal advisor or an estate planning professional before you make changes.

When you designate a beneficiary, seek legal and tax advice if:

  • You wish to name someone other than your spouse or partner as a beneficiary.
  • You have special estate planning needs.
  • You want to assign ownership of your life insurance to another person.
  • Your beneficiary is a minor who needs legal protection. If a minor child is designated as a beneficiary, you may wish to establish a guardianship or trust, as children cannot access life insurance funds paid under this plan until age 18.

Consult with a legal advisor to make sure you understand whether the beneficiary designations you make on insurance plans or financial accounts are affected by your will.