This page describes what a beneficiary is, why it is important to keep beneficiary designations up to date, and how to change your beneficiary designations for your UM retirement and financial security benefits.

Where do I start?
The table below lists the UM benefits offered to employees that require beneficiary designations. The X indicates where you need to go to designate your beneficiaries for these plans.

BENEFIT PLAN Workday Fidelity Website TIAA-CREF Website
Group Life Insurance X
Group Accidental Death & Dismemberment X
One Month's Pay X
Short Term Disability X
Employees' Retirement Plan X
Voluntary Excess Life X
Voluntary Excess Accidental Death & Dismemberment X
Retirement Savings Plan X X
Voluntary Retirement Savings X X
457(b) Plan X X

NOTE: If you have retirement contributions in an investment company other than Fidelity or TIAA-CREF, you must contact that investment company directly as they maintain the beneficiary forms for their accounts and have separate processes for payment of benefits.

If you have any questions, please contact HR-Benefits by completing the online inquiry form at or by calling 305-284-3004.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Beneficiary?
A beneficiary is a natural person or other legal entity who receives money or other benefits from a benefactor. For example: The beneficiary of a life insurance policy, is the person who receives the payment of the amount of insurance after the death of the insured.

Beneficiaries can include your spouse, children and other relatives. They can also include friends, trusts, charities and institutions. Beneficiary designations are effective immediately after death and override a will, which means your assets will not have to go through probate, a legal proceeding that can be expensive. This also means that you need to ensure that your beneficiary designations reflect your most recent wishes because your will cannot override them.

What policies are provided by the University for which I must name a beneficiary?
The University of Miami provides group life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance (AD&D), long term disability, and a one month’s pay death benefit to you at no cost. These financial security benefits are paid in full by the university to help protect you and your family in the case of accident, illness or disability. You may choose to purchase additional protection through excess life insurance, voluntary AD&D and short term disability.

How do I designate a beneficiary for my UM death benefits?
The University provides life insurance, accidental death & dismemberment, long term disability and a one month’s pay death benefit to you at no cost. All you need to do is designate and keep your beneficiary information up-to-date on Workday. Please click here for a tip sheet on selecting your beneficiary.

How do I designate a beneficiary for my UM retirement plan benefits?
To designate a beneficiary for the Retirement Savings Plan, the voluntary retirement savings plans, and the split dollar life insurance plan, you must directly contact the investment company in which you have retirement contributions. The investment companies maintain those beneficiary forms and have a separate process for payment of benefits.

Why is it important for me to name a beneficiary for my UM retirement and financial security benefits?
By naming a beneficiary for your UM retirement and financial security benefits, you are ensuring that these benefits are distributed according to your wishes upon your death. If you die without making valid beneficiary designations, your benefits will be distributed according to the plan’s hierarchy or as stipulated by state law.

What is the difference between a primary and a contingent beneficiary?
The primary beneficiary or beneficiaries inherit first. If they are dead or they die with you, your assets go to any contingent beneficiaries you have named. You will need to name names. And you will need to determine what percentage of your assets go to each beneficiary.

How often should I review my beneficiary designations?
Plan to review your beneficiary designations on a regular schedule, ideally as part of an annual review of your finances. Major life events, such as a marriage, a divorce, the birth of a child, or the death of a loved one may require that you make changes to your designations. By the same token, you'll also want to review your beneficiary designations if you or your employer has recently switched retirement-plan or insurance providers, as the beneficiaries you specified with your previous provider may not automatically carry over to the new one.