who are benefits paid to?

Completing a nomination of beneficiary form speeds up the claims process and helps the trustees determine the beneficiaries.

Yet our experience handling group life insurance claims clearly shows that far too many employees die without having made a recent nomination of beneficiary. Otherwise known as an expression of wish, filling in a nomination of beneficiary form helps indicate to the trustees where an employee’s benefit should be paid in the event that they die.

Where no nomination has been made, it generally takes much longer for the trustees to complete their investigations and as a result this means the payment takes longer to reach the beneficiary. It is important to remember that the trustees have the absolute, final discretion as to who the benefit is paid to, but the employees wishes will be taken into account.

You’ll find more information around the importance of nominating a beneficiary below. There is also a step by step guide through our online service which is available for employers with less than 100 employees where data is updated quarterly.


Encouraging your employees to complete a nomination of beneficiary form can help speed up the claim process, ensuring payment is made as soon as possible.

Using our online nomination of beneficiary service encourages employees to keep their nomination up-to-date, with reminders sent every year. Furthermore, their forms are stored securely, and in the event of claim, the employee’s form will be sent directly to the trustees, speeding up the claim payment to the family.

Employer - nomination of beneficiary


Employee - nomination of beneficiary

If you should suddenly die while employed, we’d expect that you’d want your family to be taken care of. Nominating a beneficiary for your group life benefit can help speed up the claim payment process, ensuring the money needed to keep the roof over your family’s head is paid as soon as possible.

By using our online nomination of beneficiary service, your form will be held securely and regular reminders will help you ensure your nomination is up to date. In the event of death, your form will be sent directly to the trustees. It is important to remember that the trustees do have final discretion on who the benefit is paid to, but they will take your wishes into account.

For information on how to complete your nomination form, access our useful help guide.

employee FAQs

Your employer will have told you what lump sum would be paid should you die while employed with them. This lump sum is paid into a trust and the trustees must decide who will receive the lump sum. The law states that the trustees must make that decision. The nomination of beneficiary (which is also known as an expression of wish) allows you to provide an indication of who you would like to receive the money and the trustees will take this into account when making their decision.

The group life cover provided to you by your employer does not form part of your estate, so your Will cannot include reference to any benefits under this type of cover. However, the trustees of your employer’s group life scheme may ask for a copy of your Will to help them identify the appropriate beneficiaries.

Your employer or HR department will provide you with information about nominating a beneficiary. It may be in paper form or through an online portal. This information will be kept in a secure place and will only be used in the event of a claim.

You can nominate either an individual or a charity. You can also nominate a different trust to receive the benefit for an individual. You can split the benefit across multiple beneficiaries in whatever proportion you like, but you cannot nominate a company, such as the bank you have your mortgage with.

If the trustees decide that the benefit should go to a child who is under the age of 18 they will talk to the child’s legal guardian about the most appropriate way in which the money can be paid. This could be to the child, guardian or into a trust for the benefit of the child.

Yes, and you should whenever your personal circumstances change e.g. your marital status changes, or you gain a dependent child. If you need help to do this you should contact your employer or HR department.

You can change it as often as you like. 

Given the legal way in which the trust is set up, the trustees have the discretion to identify the appropriate beneficiaries. This does mean your nomination of beneficiary is not binding and it is not guaranteed that the trustees will pay the benefit to who you have nominated. However the trustees will take your wishes into account when deciding who the beneficiaries are.

If there is no nominated beneficiary, the trustees will contact your personal representative to get their assistance in identifying potential beneficiaries. However the trustees will make the final decision as to who will receive the benefits. 

using our online service

It is an online service that your employer has selected as a way for their employees to safely and securely record their nomination of beneficiary.

The online service is for employers with less than 100 employees where data is updated quarterly.

Once the service has been set up, employees will receive an email from us asking you to register to use the service. The email will come from donotreply@ellipse.co.uk. Once an employee has registered and logged into their account, they will be able to complete the nomination. Please note, this information is stored securely and will only be accessed by us in the event of a claim in order to send to the scheme trustees.

To nominate a family trust on the online form, place the name of the trust under the ‘full name’ field, and specify ‘family trust’ in the relationship field.

We hold information for three months and after this, it is securely destroyed.

As an employee’s benefits tie in with their employment, we hold information for three months from when an employee leaves employment. After this, it is securely destroyed.

You can contact our client service team using clientservice@ellipse.co.uk or 0203 003 6226.

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