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Are You Shorting Your Workers Death Claims?

Are You Shorting Your Workers Death Claims?

The death of an employee is tragic but also unavoidable. Even small organizations experience a handful of deaths per year. If you are using Workday Benefits to manage life insurance plans, you could be unknowingly shorting your worker’s life insurance benefit.

Workday’s coverage calculation for insurance plans uses compensation as of the last event date. This sounds a little funny, especially if your coverage uses the event date in its calculations. Workday is supposed to be dynamic!

In this case, it’s not.

Here is an example: Worker’s compensation was $90,000 as of 1/1/20, the last benefit event finalized for the worker that included insurance coverage types. Within the enrollment event, the worker’s employer provided coverage displays as $90,000.

The worker then has a compensation change on 4/1 and compensation increases to $100,000. While the worker is active, the worker is covered for $100,000. $100,000 calculated coverage displays on their benefits worklet and within current elections. 7/1 the worker passes away and is terminated. The benefits history displays the coverage amount as $90,000.


Workday’s coverage calculation for insurance plans uses compensation as of the last event date.

What was the last event date (prior to termination)- 1/1/2020

What was compensation as of 1/1/20- $90,000

What can be done? At the very least, add a benefits partner to do or notification to the termination BP if the termination reason is employee death. Compensation and the calculated coverage calculations at the time of termination should always be verified.

You could also proactively load a benefit event after merit cycles are complete to preserve the compensation increase after termination. Or you could fall somewhere in the middle, initiating a change benefit event as of the compensation change for the deceased worker or using a custom audit report with alert to benefits partner.

As always, thanks for reading!


  • Laura Oldham

    Laura leads Kognitiv’s Advisory practice. She has been using and supporting Workday services since 2012 as a Client SME, Implementation Consultant, and Post-Production Consultant. Laura is a mom to two girls, two dogs, and two cats. She loves employee benefits, gardening, and mountain living.