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Change Beneficiaries

It is important to keep your beneficiary designations up to date because named beneficiaries on insurance policies and retirement plans usually supersede instructions in wills. By periodically reviewing your beneficiary designations for your IU-sponsored benefit plans, you can rest assured that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes. It is always a good idea to review beneficiaries and your other personal and financial accounts, too.

Change a Beneficiary

Generally, you can review and update your beneficiary designations by contacting the company or organization that provides your plan. In some cases, you can change beneficiaries with IU, while in other cases you have to contact the vendor directly to make a change. Use the information below to determine the steps you need to take to make changes.

It is important to know that you must change beneficiaries for each plan separately. For example, employees who elect a supplemental retirement plan will have to name beneficiaries for the base retirement plan and the supplemental retirement plan.

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.

Life and Accident Insurance

For Basic Life, Supplemental Life, and Supplemental AD&D, complete your beneficiary change in one of two ways:

  1. Download and complete a paper Beneficiary Designation Form; or
  2. Submit your change online by following the step-by-step instructions below:
    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.

IU-sponsored Retirement Plans

For the IU Retirement Plan (Academic and Professional employees), Retirement & Savings Plan (Support and Service employees), IU 457(b) Retirement Plan, IU Tax Deferred Account (TDA), and IU SERP, change your beneficiary information online directly with the vendor by logging into your account and following the step-by-step instructions below.
Fidelity Investments

  1. Login to Netbenefits.com/Indiana
  2. Select Menu under the NetBenefits 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.


  1. Login to TIAA
  2. Select the Actions tab at the top of the page
  3. Select the Beneficiaries button under Top Actions
  4. Select the Add New button to add a new beneficiary
  5. Click the Edit Existing button to edit an existing beneficiary
  6. Select 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

State Sponsored Retirement Plans (PERF)

For employees enrolled in PERF, you must update your beneficiaries directly with PERF. You can visit the PERF website and use the “Personal Info” link to make changes.

Health Savings Account

For the health savings account (HSA), change your beneficiary information online directly with Nyhart under your member profile page.

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.