Just like everyone else I have been thinking a lot about health and family in the past couple weeks. With the current health scare it is important to look out for those who matter most to us. Many of my Merck clients have reached out and asked me about what they should do if anything were to happen to them. Does a family member, your spouse, or close friend need to call the benefits center? Do they keep your medical coverage? I didn’t exactly have a great answer so I did some research and here is what I found.
What your survivor needs to do
- Report your death. Your spouse, a family member or even a friend should call the MRK Benefits Service Center as soon as possible to report your death.
- Collect life insurance benefits. Your spouse or other named beneficiary will need to call the MRK Benefits Service Center to collect life insurance benefits.
If you have a joint pension
- Start the joint pension payments. The joint pension is not automatic. Your joint pensioner will need to complete and return the paperwork from the MRK Pension Call Center to start receiving joint pension payments.
- Be prepared financially to cover living expenses. Your spouse will need to be prepared with enough savings to bridge at least one month between the end of your pension payments and the beginning of his or her own pension payments.
If your survivor has medical coverage through MRK
Decide whether to keep medical coverage.
If your survivor is enrolled as a dependent in MRK-sponsored retiree medical coverage when you die, he or she needs to decide whether to keep it. Survivors have to pay the full monthly premium.
- The Retirement Group or www.theretirementgroup.com
- “Retirement Plans-Benefits & Savings.” U.S. Department of Labor, 2019, www.dol.gov/general/topic/retirement.
- “Generating Income That Will Last throughout Retirement.” Fidelity, 22 Jan. 2019, www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/retirement/income-that-can-last-lifetime.
- MRK Nonbargained Summary Plan Description, 2017