Several Benefits programs require a Beneficiary Designation

Designating a beneficiary is one of the most important decisions you will make as an employee.  Your beneficiary is the person, persons, trust or organization that will receive the benefit payments from your life insurance policy(ies) or retirement account(s) after your death.

To ensure that payments are based on your wishes, you should review and update your beneficiary designation periodically, as a new hire, when experiencing qualifying life events (marriage, death of spouse, divorce, dependent changes, etc.), if you become disabled, or due to end of life preparation.

Here's how to designate or update your beneficiary designations:

Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation

Duke provides $10,000 of basic life and $10,000 of accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance for active employees. Duke pays the entire cost.

Personal Accident Insurance is an accidental death & dismemberment (AD&D) insurance plan that pays benefits in the event of accidental death, dismemberment, or permanent total disability as the result of an accident.  This is a voluntary, employee paid program and is paid through payroll deduction.

Beneficiary: The beneficiary of a life insurance policy is the person or persons who receives the designated benefits payment(s) after the death of the insured. 

The Basic Life Insurance and Personal Accident Insurance beneficiary designations are maintained on Duke’s secure site. Mercer Voluntary Benefits maintains the Supplemental Life Insurance beneficiary designations and Duke does not have access to this information.

Basic Life Insurance and Personal Accident Insurance

You can add or change your Basic Life and/or Personal Accident Insurance beneficiary at any time by completing a beneficiary form on-line through the secure site, Duke@Work, with your NetID and password. Your beneficiary designation with the most recent date, in good form and properly signed, constitutes the only effective designation. Questions regarding Basic Life and Personal Accident Insurance should be directed to the Human Resource Information Center at (919) 684-5600.

Basic Life Insurance

Personal Accident Insurance

Supplemental Life Insurance

The Supplemental Life Insurance Plan is a voluntary, employee-paid group term life insurance plan in which you can choose to participate to supplement your employer provided life insurance. The premium is paid through payroll deduction; however, direct billing to your home address is available if you are on a leave of absence.

If enrolled, you can add or change your Supplemental Life Insurance beneficiary(ies) at any time by completing a paper beneficiary form and returning it to Mercer Voluntary Benefits or online through the Mercer Voluntary Benefits website. Your beneficiary designation with the most recent date, in good form and properly signed, constitutes the only effective designation. Questions regarding Supplemental Life Insurance should be directed to Mercer Voluntary Benefits at (800) 552-9670.

Paper Supplemental Life Insurance beneficiary forms should be mailed to:

Mercer Voluntary Benefits
P.O. Box 9122
Des Moines, IA 50306-9122

Note: The Survivor Benefit (Gratuity to Spouse) and the Business Travel and Accident Insurance Plan do not have beneficiary designation forms.

Retirement Plans

For the following plans, you will update your beneficiary(ies) directly with your Retirement Plan Service Provider(s).

  • Faculty and Staff Retirement Plan [403(b) plan]
  • Commissioned Police Officers Plan (CPOP)
  • Duke 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan

Employees' Retirement Plan

There is no beneficiary designation for the Employees’ Retirement Plan until you retire and select a form of payment from the plan. Please refer to the Employees' Retirement Plan Summary Plan Description  for information about how retirement plan benefits are paid in the event of your death prior to your retirement and selecting a payment option.