The Dog Days Of Summer

Make use of those dog days of summer!

In the dog days of summer, I like to help business owners ensure that all their employees have up to date beneficiary designations on file for the retirement plan.

The alternative could be a headache.  Imagine the conversation HR (everything ends up on HR’s desk) will have if an ex-spouse was never removed from the account?  Or if no beneficiary was named, no will is found and the 401(k) goes through a lengthy probate?

The whole idea is to avoid the headaches should something happen.

So how do we make this easy for all involved?

· Look at your enrollment process. Can people enroll in the plan without picking someone to inherit their 401(k) should something happen to them? How can we fix the issue before it starts?

· At your annual benefits meeting have a copy of everyone’s designations with instructions included on how to make changes.  Hand them out for people to review. Is the ex-wife/husband still listed? Want to add that special someone? Or list a child as the backup beneficiary? Make it easy for them!

· Have your Advisor include “how to update your beneficiary” information in their annual enrollment presentation. Besides, talking about investment asset allocation the whole meeting is boring.

· If kept electronically, ask your recordkeeper for a list of those employees missing designations. While you’re at it ask who is responsible for the safekeeping of that information. Do they back these records up? Have your advisor reach out by phone or email to each employee missing information and help them get it done.

Put the dog days of summer to good use:  Update those beneficiary designations!

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