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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

What happens to my life insurance when I turn 65?

If you retired before December 9, 1980, your Basic life insurance will begin to reduce by 2 percent of the face value each month beginning with the second month after your 65th birthday or your retirement date, whichever is later. This reduction continues until your Basic life insurance reaches 25 percent of the face value. This coverage is free.

If you retired on or after December 9, 1980, and before January 1, 1990, you elected one of the following reduction schedules for your Basic life insurance:

  • 75 percent reduction - If you elected this reduction schedule, your Basic life insurance will begin to reduce by 2 percent of the face value each month beginning with the second month after your 65th birthday or your retirement date, whichever is later. This reduction continues until your Basic life insurance reaches 25 percent of the face value. This coverage is free.

  • 50 percent reduction - If you elected this reduction schedule, your Basic life insurance will begin to reduce by 1 percent of the face value each month beginning with the second month after your 65th birthday or your retirement date, whichever is later. This reduction continues until your Basic life insurance reaches 50 percent of the face value. We withhold premiums for this coverage from your annuity beginning at retirement and continuing for life.

  • No Reduction - If you elected this reduction schedule, the full amount of your Basic life insurance remains in force after you reach age 65. We withhold premiums for this additional coverage from your annuity beginning at retirement and continuing for life.

If you retire after December 31, 1989, you must elect one of the three reduction schedules described above when you retire. Regardless of which reduction schedule you elect, if you separate before age 65, until you are 65 you must also pay the same premium as employees for the Basic life insurance you continue into retirement.

The amount of Option A - Standard insurance (formerly known as "Optional insurance") is $10,000 at retirement. If you retired before October 30, 1998, your Option A insurance may have been higher than $10,000. If you have this coverage, it will begin to reduce by 2 percent per month or $200, beginning the second month after your 65th birthday or your retirement date, whichever is later, until it reaches 25 percent of the face value or $2,500. We will withhold premiums for Option A insurance from your annuity through the end of the month in which you are 65, unless you elect to cancel this coverage.

All annuitants with Option B - Additional insurance as of April 24, 1999, or later, are eligible to make an Option B reduction election. Those who are 65 or older at retirement will hear from us shortly after retirement. We will contact annuitants who retired before age 65 shortly before their 65th birthday. At that time, the annuitant may elect either Full Reduction or No Reduction for each separate multiple of Option B. For example, a person with five multiples may elect No Reduction on two multiples, while the three remaining multiples reduce fully.

If you elect Full Reduction, effective the first day of the second month after your 65th birthday or your retirement date, whichever is later, your Option B full-reduction multiples will reduce by 2 percent of the face value per month for 50 months, at which time this coverage will end. We will withhold premiums for this coverage from your annuity through the month in which you reach age 65. If you elect to continue some or all of your Option B multiples with No Reduction, when you are 65 or at retirement, whichever is later, we will adjust the withholding for your Option B coverage to reflect the number of multiples you decided to retain at No Reduction. Any other multiples will start to reduce as described above.

All annuitants who have Option C - Family insurance, and whose annuity commencing dates are April 24, 1999, or later, are eligible to make an Option C reduction election. Those who are 65 or older at retirement will hear from us shortly after retirement. We will contact annuitants who retired before age 65 shortly before their 65th birthday. At that time, the annuitant may elect either Full Reduction or No Reduction for each separate multiple of Option C. For example, a person with five multiples may elect No Reduction on two multiples, while the three remaining multiples reduce fully.

If you elect Full Reduction, or if you separated for retirement before April 24, 1999, effective the first day of the second month after you reach age 65 or your retirement date, whichever is later, your Option C full-reduction multiples will reduce by 2 percent of the face value per month for 50 months, at which time this coverage will end. We will withhold premiums for this coverage from your annuity through the month in which you reach age 65. If you elect to continue some or all of your Option C multiples with No Reduction we will adjust the withholding for your Option C coverage to reflect the number of multiples you decided to retain at No Reduction. Any other multiples will start to reduce as described above.

For more complete information about life insurance coverage as an annuitant, please check the life insurance pamphlet, Information for Retirees and Their Families: Federal Employees Group Life Insurance, RI 76-12.

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