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Don’t Wait to Update (Emergency Contact Information)

A workplace emergency is never the best time to realize that employee emergency contact information is missing or out-to-date. Since we can never foresee when an emergency will arise, the start of a new year is the best time to have all of your employees update their emergency contact information, as well as their beneficiary information.

Emergency Contact Information

Be sure to remind employees that names, phone numbers, email addresses, and other information should be checked for accuracy. EctoHR recommends utilizing a one-page emergency contact form to easily gather important contact information. Employers rely on the information to be accurate and accessible at a moment’s notice for the safety of all employees.

Beneficiary Data

When life situations change, beneficiaries of an employee’s company life insurance policy, 401(k) assets, or other benefit plans may also change. Most employees are not aware that these accounts require designated beneficiaries, contingents’ names, distribution percentages as well as up-to-date phone numbers and addresses. If the employee dies without the correct information on their beneficiary forms, legal action by the employee’s family is required to correct. In some cases, this may not be reversible, proving to be very costly for those that should have received the appropriate benefit.

Best Practices

Tracking and updating emergency contact and beneficiary information can seem overwhelming and time consuming. To simplify the process, EctoHR recommends the following best practices:

  • The start of a new year or new quarter is an excellent time to remind employees to revisit their emergency contacts. Scheduling and sending a reminder email yearly is a great way to keep information up-to-date.
  • Make emergency contact and beneficiary designation forms part of a new hire packet or checklist to make sure all new employees are captured throughout the year.
  • Ensure employees have easy access to required forms or websites to update their information.
  • If you have a large number of employees, create an audit spreadsheet to ensure all employee information has been updated for 100% compliance.

EctoHR is here to help! For more information on best practices or a template emergency contact information form, contact an EctoHR team member by calling 810-534-0170, or by email at

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