Human Resource Services

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My Benefits | A UNI Employee Passes Away

A UNI Employee Passes Away

Information and Support for Family, Friends, and Coworkers

When a member of the UNI community passes away, it is important for an employee's loved ones to know who to contact and what questions to ask to receive the maximum assistance regarding the employee’s benefits. No list can cover all the thoughts going through your head, we sincerely hope this information will be helpful as you go through this difficult time.

Contact Information

Grief Support Services

Crisis Response for Supervisors, Managers, Directors, Department Heads, & Deans

If an employee death occurs, Employee and Family Resources has a crisis response program ready to provide assistance. If you feel crisis response is something you need for your department, or you have questions, please call Human Resource Services at 319-273-2423 to discuss options.

Stress, Mental Health, and Grief Services

There are many services available for those who are grieving. Please visit the Stress, Mental Health, and Grief Services webpage for all resources available.


University of Northern Iowa benefits eligible employees, and their dependents, have access to an employee assistance program (EAP) through Employee and Family Resources. EAP offers short term counselling for those experiencing difficult life challenges.

Principal Financial

Principal provides free grief support services and access to counselors through Magellan Healthcare. Services include, but are not limited to, grief counselling, depression screenings, and local and community legal resources. To receive a consultation call 800-274-4529.

Benefits Information

Health, Dental, Vision, and Health Care Flexible Spending

Health, dental, vision, and contributions to a health care flexible spending account (FSA) will end for the employee and if applicable, dependents, on the last day of the month in which the employee passes. A current employee, or a retiree, may have a health, dental, vision, and/or health care flexible spending account. Call 319-273-2423 to notify the HR department of the death and UNI will work to notify all applicable vendors to end the active coverage.

Under federal law, and the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), the University of Northern Iowa is required to offer covered family members the opportunity for a temporary extension of group coverage of health, dental, vision and health care FSA at group rates when coverage would otherwise end due to a death. Once UNI’s HR department is notified of the passing, the COBRA notice will be sent out to the employee’s home address. Currently covered family members will have 60 days from receiving the notice to elect coverage.

The coverage, if elected, will start on the first day of the month following the death. The coverage will continue for 36 months. The cost of COBRA coverage is the full premium of the plan plus a 2% administrative fee.

More Info: COBRA Benefits

In accordance with Iowa Code 509A.13C family members of fallen police officers will be eligible to retain existing coverage from the university.

Life Insurance

A current employee, or a retiree, may have a life insurance policy. Call 319-273-2423 to notify the HR department of the death.

If the employee does have a life insurance policy, Principal Financial will be notified of the death and a claim will be started. Principal will work with the listed beneficiaries of the policy. If no beneficiaries were listed, the life insurance claim will be paid to the estate.

In order to have the life insurance claim processed, documentation of the passing must be provided to the UNI Human Resources Office. Acceptable documentation would be:

  • Published obituary, or
  • Death Certificate, or
  • Certified copy of the public record of death, or
  • Certified copy of a coroner's certificate

Long Term Disability

If a former employee who is receiving long term disability (LTD) benefits passes, please notify Principal Financial of the passing and to cease LTD benefits.

Principal Financial 800-245-1522

University Retirement Plans

If the employee was contributing to either IPERS, TIAA, or a tax deferred annuity (TDA) the appropriate vendor will need to be contacted.

Access the TIAA Homepage

Access the IPERS Homepage

More Info: Tax Deferred Annuity Vendors

Social Security Survivor Benefits

If the employee was age 60 or older, or age 50 if they were disabled, you may be eligible to receive a social security survivor benefit. Contact the Social Security Administration for more information and to see if you qualify.

Waterloo Social Security Office

3121 Greyhound Drive
Waterloo, IA 50701
Phone: (888) 456-9554
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Payroll Information

Final Pay

Upon death, an employee’s beneficiary or estate is entitled to any accrued salary or remaining vacation or sick pay (if eligible) minus any adjustments. In order to process the final payment of these amounts, it must be determined if an estate will be established. If an estate is established, a W-9 form must be completed. This form is typically completed by an attorney as an estate will need to obtain an employer identification number first. If no estate has been established, the beneficiary should complete the Receipt, Indemnity, and Refunding Agreement and return this form to Business Operations – Payroll along with a W-9 form.

Paperwork can be mailed to:

  • University of Northern Iowa
    Business Operations
    103 Gilchrist Hall
    Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0008.

It may also be faxed to 319-273-3009, or sent via secure email to Jill Thrasher at

Once this paperwork is received, the final payment will be processed.

A 1099 and W-2 will be sent at year end. The 1099 will be sent to the address provded on the W9, and the W2 will be sent to the address on file.

History of Employment

If the family would like information about employment history for an obituary this can be provided through Human Resource Services by calling 319-273-2423.

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