Frequently Asked Questions
What or who is a beneficiary?
A beneficiary is the person(s) or entity you select to receive the proceeds of your life insurance or any remaining benefits of your annuity contract upon your death.
Naming beneficiaries helps ensure that those benefits will be transferred directly to the named individual(s) of your choosing without requiring probate. It gives you the flexibility to decide how you wish for these benefits to be distributed, and facilitates a smooth transfer at a sad, stressful time for your loved ones.
What is the difference between a primary and a contingent beneficiary?
Your primary beneficiary(ies) will be the first to receive the death benefit. If you list more than one primary beneficiary, the proceeds will be split evenly, unless you indicate specific percentages for each beneficiary.
A primary beneficiary may be an individual(s) but could also be a trust or other legal entity. Often, a primary beneficiary is a parent, spouse, or if your spouse has predeceased you, even distribution among adult children.
A contingent (alternate) beneficiary(ies) would receive the death benefit proceeds only if none of the primary beneficiary(ies) are living at the time of your death, or if they refuse to accept the proceeds. It is a good idea to have a contingent beneficiary to ensure your death benefit proceeds avoid becoming payable to your estate where they may become subject to probate, estate taxes, or escheated to the insured’s resident state.
If you’re uncertain about who to name as your primary or contingent beneficiary, or if you are considering naming a minor child as beneficiary, consult with your Woman’s Life Representative or a family law attorney for guidance.
Why should I review my beneficiaries periodically?
Choosing beneficiaries and keeping those choices up to date is an important part of owning life insurance. Without a validly named beneficiary, the life insurance proceeds will be distributed according to the terms of the insurance contract. This may result in proceeds going to family members such as spouse, children, parents or siblings, or it may go to your estate.
It’s a good habit to review your beneficiary choices annually to make sure they are current and to avoid unwanted outcomes or probate. Consider changes in marital status, deaths, or other life changes that may impact your beneficiary designation, and update accordingly.
Who should I name as my beneficiary(ies)?
A beneficiary is the person or entity you name in your life insurance contract to receive the death benefit when you die. You can name:
- One person
- Two or more people
- The trustee of a trust you’ve created
- A charity
- Your estate
If you don’t name a beneficiary, the death benefit or remaining annuity benefits will be distributed according to the terms of the insurance contract.
Your Woman’s Life Representative or estate planning professional can help you determine appropriate beneficiary designations.
How can I review my current beneficiaries?
You’ll find this information in a couple of places:
- Logon to the MemberWeb and View Your Policy Information.
- Select the certificate number(s) you want to review under “Your Policies”. Beneficiary information will be listed toward the top.
- Select the certificate number(s) you want to review under “Your Policies”. Beneficiary information will be listed toward the top.
- Call our Member Service Department at (800) 521-9292. A Member Service representative will verify your identity and review the beneficiaries on your account.
- If you receive an Annual Statement or Annual Report & Benefit Statement in the mail, it will include a listing of your current beneficiary designations.
* If you have not registered for an account on the secure MemberWeb, click the “Logon” button at the top of the website. Under “I Am a Member”, select “Register” and complete and submit the registration form.
When should I consider changing my beneficiary?
The most common reasons to change a beneficiary include:
- A new marriage
- A divorce
- A designated beneficiary or someone else in the family dies
- A move that takes you out of state or out of the country
- When a minor beneficiary reaches the age of 18
- The birth or adoption of a child (NOTE: if you are considering naming a minor child as beneficiary, consult with your Woman’s Life Representative or a family law attorney for guidance.)
- You become the caretaker of an elderly parent or disabled family member
How do I change my beneficiary?
You can change the beneficiary designations on your certificate(s) at any time. When you need to change a beneficiary(ies), use the Application for Beneficiary Change form. NOTE: If you are naming a trust as your primary or contingent beneficiary, click Naming a Trust as Beneficiary below.
Print the blank form to complete and sign or fill in the information electronically first and then print it to sign. A handwritten signature of both the certificate owner and a disinterested witness are required. Return the completed form to Woman’s Life by mail, or scan the completed, signed form and submit it via the Secure File Exchange through the MemberWeb.
Naming a Trust as Beneficiary
You can change the beneficiary designations on your certificate(s) at any time.
To name a trust as your primary beneficiary, use Trust as Primary Beneficiary
To name a trust as your contingent beneficiary, use Trust as Contingent Beneficiary
Print the blank form to complete and sign or fill in the information electronically first and then print it to sign. A handwritten signature of both the certificate owner and a disinterested witness are required. Return the completed form to Woman’s Life by mail or scan the completed and signed form and submit it via the Secure File Exchange through the MemberWeb.
Making a Payment
How do I make a payment?
You can use the following methods to pay your premium:
- Mail your quarterly, semi-annual, or annual premium payments to:
Woman’s Life Insurance Society
PO Box 5020
Port Huron, MI 48061-5020
- Have your monthly premium payments automatically deducted from a bank account by submitting a Request for Automatic Bank Draft Plan form.
- Make a one-time credit or debit card payment from most states using your credit or debit card with a VISA, Mastercard, or Discover logo. (not available in New Jersey)
Can I make a payment online?
Yes. If you receive your bills by mail directly from Woman’s Life, you are eligible in most states to make payments online.
Note: To make a payment online, you will need a MemberWeb account. If you have not yet set up a MemberWeb Account, Click here to get started. For additional information, please visit the Woman's Life Secure MemberWeb section here in the FAQs.
If you have a MemberWeb account, use the Logon button at the top of this page, select I am a Member.
To make an online payment:
- Log on to the MemberWeb.
- On the MemberWeb Home or Overview page, there is a “Payments Due” section (about mid-screen). If you have outstanding bills that are eligible for online payment.
- Click on the View All or Make Payment link in the Payments Due section to see a complete list of your certificates that are available for online payment and have a payment due.
- Select the box next to each certificate you want to pay. If the Payment Type is Flexible, you can adjust the amount of your payment.
- Click on the Continue button to enter your credit card information and complete the payment process.
Can I make a premium payment if I am not the insured or owner?
Yes. To make a credit/debit card premium payment for someone else’s certificate, you will need to call the Accounting Department at (800) 521-9292.
You may also mail a check to: Woman’s Life Insurance Society, 1338 Military St, PO Box 5020, Port Huron MI 48061-5020. Reference the certificate number in the memo line.
Note: You will need to get the certificate number and amount due from the certificate owner. Due to privacy laws, we are unable to provide that information to you without specific authorization from the certificate owner.
Can I make a premium payment online when it is past the due date?
A credit card payment may be made through the MemberWeb up to 40 days past the due date. If you have a MemberWeb account, logon and view Payments Due. Click on Make Payment. Note: Nothing will show here if a billing has not been created.
Why isn't my certificate listed as eligible for online payment on the MemberWeb?
Some reasons an individual certificate might not be eligible for online payment include:
- Online payments are not accepted in your state
- You have requested not to receive paper bills
- Your payments are being made through scheduled automatic bank debits
- Your certificate is fully paid up (Additional payments cannot be made on single premium products).
What payment methods are accepted online?
You can make credit card payments using your Visa®, MasterCard®, or Discover® in select approved states.
Is there an extra charge to make a payment online?
There is no charge from Woman’s Life for making payments online.
Am I required to pay the total amount due?
If the Payment Type on the Payments (Select Policies) page is “Standard”, payment for the full Amount Due is required. If the Payment Type is “Flexible”, you can adjust the payment amount before pressing the Continue button.
Can I pay more than one certificate with a single payment?
Yes! On the MemberWeb Payments (Select Policies) page, check the box by each policy you want included in your online payment. The payment total will be calculated for you.
When will my payment be processed?
Payments submitted before or on the due date will be processed on the due date.
Payments submitted after the due date will be processed on the date payment is submitted. NOTE: If your payment is more than 40 days past due, please call the Accounting Department at 800-521-9292 to make a payment by phone.
How will I know that my payment has been processed?
Once your online payment is processed, it will be listed in the Processed section of the Payment History page on the MemberWeb. You will not automatically receive a confirmation. If you would like to receive an e-mail indicating that a charge was made to your credit card, click on the Profile link in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Under Notification Subscriptions, select "Instant | Transaction Status" and press the Assign button.
If I make an online payment, am I required to make all future payments online?
No. You will continue to receive a bill in the mail for your next payment. You can choose to make that payment online, mail your payment to Woman’s Life, or elect to change to monthly automatic bank draft, whichever you prefer.
Who do I contact if I have questions about making a payment?
How do I file a death claim for a Woman’s Life member?
The process starts by reporting the death of an insured or annuitant to our Claims Department. The steps are outlined on our Report a Death page and in this video, or call the Woman’s Life Claims Department at (800) 521-9292.
I am the beneficiary of a Woman’s Life Insurance certificate according to the will, should I send in a copy of the will?
No. The certificate is a contract between the insured and Woman’s Life Insurance Society and claims are paid according to the last beneficiary named on the certificate, not according to a will. If no named beneficiary is living, payment is made according to Section 71 of the Woman’s Life Laws and Articles of Incorporation.
What if I don’t have the claim number?
That’s okay. We’ll match your claim documents by the insured or annuitant’s name and other identifying information. The claim number is not required.
My last name has changed since I was named as beneficiary, do I need to submit proof of my name change?
No, a beneficiary does not need to submit proof of a name change. We can match the beneficiary using other personal identifying information.
Is there a time limit on completing a death claim?
We understand it may take some time to obtain a death certificate or to complete the paperwork, especially if there are multiple beneficiaries. Once the process is initiated, we will follow up every 30 days. It is important that you stay in touch, since we are required to follow unclaimed property laws.
Does the beneficiary need the original Woman’s Life certificate to file a death claim or to receive the proceeds?
No, a beneficiary does not need to have the original certificate to file the death claim or to receive the death benefit proceeds. While we encourage you to keep your Woman’s Life certificate(s) in a safe place along with other important documents, we recognize that the original certificate may be lost or destroyed during the insured’s lifetime. If the certificate is found after a death claim has been processed, it should be destroyed.
What if I want to use the funds to pay for the funeral?
A claimant or beneficiary may choose to assign the death benefit proceeds to a funeral home. Funeral homes are very familiar with this process and will have you sign a funeral home assignment form. The funeral home will send Woman’s Life the completed assignment form and statement of charges for the funeral services. We will not provide the funeral home with the amount of death benefit proceeds from the certificate, and any proceeds still available after the funeral home expenses are paid, will be paid directly to the beneficiary(ies).
What if I don’t need the money from this claim? Can I set these funds aside for my own retirement in the future?
Certainly! At Woman’s Life our mission is to help you prepare for a secure financial future for yourself and your family. We have representatives available to discuss your goals and how our products can fit your needs. Call Woman’s Life at (800) 521-9292 and ask to speak to a Sales Representative.
What if there was a divorce between the insured and the beneficiary?
Each state has laws pertaining to divorce which may affect a beneficiary designation. If, at the time of the insured’s death, the claimant or beneficiary is the insured’s former spouse, we will request a copy of the Judgement of Divorce to determine if the life insurance or annuity was addressed by the court.
Who can witness my signature?
Any adult age 18+ can sign as a witness to your signature. When completing documents such as a reinstatement or change of beneficiary, your signature must be witnessed by a disinterested person, in other words, someone who is not listed as a beneficiary on your certificate.
Who is a disinterested person?
A disinterested person can be any adult other than the: insured, owner, claimant or named beneficiary. Someone not associated with the certificate is a disinterested person who may witness your signature.
Who signs if the certificate owner is a minor, a trust, an assignee, or a corporation?
If the certificate owner is:
- A minor or junior member under 16 years old: The Junior’s Representative, which is generally the parent or legal guardian who signed the application for insurance. If the Junior member is age 16 to 20, the Junior member and their representative would both sign.
- A Trust: The Trustee.
- An Assignee: The Assignee
- A Corporation: A Corporate Officer
Note: Additional documentation may be required for each of these circumstances. Contact Member Service at 800-521-9292 for details.
Woman’s Life Secure MemberWeb
How do I create or register for a MemberWeb account?
In the top right area of any page on the Woman’s Life website, click the blue “LOGON” button.
· In the box that says: “I am a Member”, click “REGISTER”
· Complete the registration form and click the “Register” button at the end of the form.
o You will need your member number, located on billing notices and annual reports.
· You will receive an email verification with a link you’ll need to click to verify your account.
· Your UserName is your full email address.
For privacy and security reasons, each MemberWeb account must have its own unique email address. For example, family members cannot use the same email address for multiple accounts; each family member would need to register for an account with a different email address.
How can I change the email address to access my MemberWeb account?
To change the email address/UserName on your MemberWeb account:
· Logon to the MemberWeb using the current email address/UserName
· Once logged on, click “PROFILE” in the blue action box in the top right corner of the screen.
· On the Profile screen, enter the new email address in the UserName field
· Click the “SAVE” button
· A verification email will be sent to the new email address
o You’ll need to click the Verify Email Address link in that email to confirm use of the new email as your user name.
· Once your UserName, click the Logoff link in the blue action box at the top right-hand corner of the screen.
· You will now access your MemberWeb account with your new email address/UserName.
What information can I find on the MemberWeb?
You can view details about all of your certificates including:
· Certificate number
· Your face amount or fund balance
· Beneficiary information
You can also access a number of forms to help you manage your certificates including
· Current year Annual Statements
· Change of Address Requests
· Request Good Health Benefits
· Make payments online (where available)
· Tax documents (when applicable)
What is a deferred annuity?
A deferred annuity is a long-term contract between you and an insurance company ultimately designed to provide you with a steady stream of guaranteed income at a future date. A deferred annuity can be used to supplement your other retirement income sources like Social Security, a corporate pension, or a 401(k).
How does a deferred annuity work?
Deferred annuities have two phases: the accumulation phase and the payout phase. During the accumulation phase, your premium payments and the interest credited to your annuity grow on a tax-deferred basis, typically over several years’ time.
The payout phase (annuitization) is when you begin to receive payments from your annuity. This payments can last for the rest of your life (guaranteed), or for a specific number of years.
What does it mean to annuitize?
Annuitization is the process of converting the funds you’ve accumulated in your annuity into a reliable and guaranteed income stream. Like a personal pension plan, your annuity can provide you with regular payments, typically received monthly.
During the annuitization process, depending on your account value, you can select from a number of settlement options. For example, you can choose to receive this income for the rest of your life or for a selected number of years, based on your goals.
Keep in mind, once the contract has been annuitized, it cannot be stopped, changed, or reversed.
What’s the difference between a qualified annuity and a non-qualified annuity?
The key difference between qualified and non-qualified annuities is when the funds used to purchase the annuity are taxed.
A qualified annuity is purchased (funded) with pre-tax dollars. The funds grow on a tax-deferred basis, and no tax is due on the contributions or the interest earnings until they are distributed. Because the contributions were not taxed previously, distributions including contributions and interest earnings are taxed as ordinary income.
One example of a qualified annuity is an annuity with a traditional IRA endorsement. This arrangement is commonly used when rolling over balances from a 401(k) or other IRS-qualified funds.
A non-qualified annuity is purchased with money that has already been taxed (after-tax dollars). It also grows on a tax-deferred basis. When distributions are made from a non-qualified annuity, only the interest earnings are reported as taxable. The after-tax contributions are not taxed again.
Another option is an annuity with a Roth IRA endorsement which is a special type of tax-advantaged individual retirement account. Like a non-qualified annuity, a Roth IRA is funded with money that has already been taxed (after-tax dollars). When the account has been open for at least five years and other IRS requirements, such as reaching age 59½, are met, your contributions and earnings can be withdrawn tax-free.
It's always best to talk with a licensed professional when considering which annuity may be right for you.
What is the age requirement for starting an annuity?
Because it’s never too early to start saving for the future, Woman’s Life does not have a minimum age restriction for any of our annuities. However, for a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA annuity, an annuitant must have earned income from active employment to meet IRS requirements. The maximum age to start an annuity with Woman’s Life is 85.
How do I fund my annuity?
There are several ways you can fund an annuity. Premiums can be paid in a single lump sum, or in a series of periodic payments spread over time. Periodic payments can be scheduled and even made by establishing automatic bank drafts (ABDs). You can make a drop-in payment whenever you have funds you’d like to add (when you get a bonus, or you receive an inheritance for example). You can also move funds from other sources such as a 401(k) into your annuity. This is called a rollover and requires specific documentation. Another common action some people take is to move a maturing CD into an annuity to enjoy the tax deferral advantage of an annuity. Your Woman’s Life representative can help you with this process.
Can I move funds from an existing annuity with another carrier to Woman’s Life?
Yes. If you would l like to move funds from an existing plan to a Woman’s Life plan, your Woman’s Life Representative can help you complete the appropriate forms to ensure the transfer is completed without costing you unnecessary taxes, fees, or tax penalties. It’s always a good idea to speak with your personal tax or financial advisor when considering these types of changes.
What is the maturity date on an annuity? Why does it matter?
The maturity date, sometimes referred to as the annuity due date, is the date when a settlement option will be selected, and periodic income payments will begin. This is also called annuitization of the contract. This date is initially specified in the contract by the annuity owner at the time of application. When the annuity reaches the maturity date, regular periodic payments will automatically begin with a Life Income with a Guaranteed Period, unless a different settlement option is selected.
Can the maturity date on an annuity be changed?
Yes. If you choose a maturity date prior to the maximum maturity age allowed in your contract, you can change or extend it at any time prior to reaching that maturity date. Once the contract is annuitized, it cannot be changed, stopped, or reversed.
Retirement is a long way off for me – how will I remember the maturity date?
Woman’s Life will send a letter as the maturity date you selected approaches. This will give you an opportunity to extend the maturity date if you wish or select the payout option that is best for you. If you have questions about your annuity at any time, you can call our Member Service Department at 800-521-9292.
Can money be taken out of an annuity before it reaches maturity?
Yes. With a Woman’s Life annuity, up to ten percent of the funds can be withdrawn after the first certificate year without a fee from Woman’s Life. Depending on the type of plan, your age, and IRS requirements, there may be other fees or taxes required. No withdrawals are allowed before the first certificate anniversary.
If you need to withdraw more than 10% of your funds, depending on the type of plan, your age, IRS requirements, and surrender charge periods, there may be fees and/or taxes required. It’s always best to consult with your personal tax or financial advisor before withdrawing funds from your annuity.
Withdrawals and surrenders will decrease the value of your annuity and/or the income you receive. Withdrawals made prior to age 59½ may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty. Always consult with your personal tax or financial advisor.
What are surrender charges and how are they determined?
Surrender charges are fees that are applied if you decide to withdraw all or part of your annuity contract before the end of the surrender charge period. Woman’s Life annuities have surrender charge periods of 5 years, 8 years, or 10 years, depending on the specific plan you choose. If you need to withdraw funds during the surrender charge period, the fees are calculated based on the terms of your annuity contract and the amount withdrawn.
What happens after the surrender charge period ends?
After the surrender charge period ends and prior to annuitization, your funds continue to grow on a tax-deferred basis. With a flexible premium annuity, you can typically continue to make contributions to your account.
Prior to annuitization, withdrawals may be requested at any time and for any amount, up to the full account value. Common withdrawal requests include partial withdrawals (amounts requested as needed), or consecutive partial withdrawals set up as automatic distributions, such as monthly, quarterly, or annually, to meet your needs.
What types of annuities does Woman’s Life offer?
Woman’s Life offers the following fixed deferred single premium and flexible premium annuities. The interest rate(s) an annuity earns are fixed for a certain period of time. Current interest rates are not guaranteed and could go up or down but can never be lower than the guaranteed minimum interest rate as stated in your contract.
Woman’s Life offers:
Woman’s Life annuities are not a deposit. Not FDIC insured. Not insured by any Federal Government Agency. Not guaranteed by any bank. May lose value.
Not all products are available in all states; refer to individual product information for details. For complete costs and details, speak with your Woman’s Life representative or call Woman’s Life at 800-521-9292.