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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

Can my former spouse receive my life insurance?

Yes, there are several ways to provide for payment of life insurance benefits to your former spouse, as follows:


File a SF-2818 Designation of Beneficiary Form, Office of Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program with the OPM naming your former spouse to receive all or a percentage of your insurance proceeds.  A designation can be cancelled at any time as long as the form is received in the OPM before your death.


Assignment of Insurance: You may assign some or all of your life insurance to your former spouse.  However, an assignment of insurance is permanent and not irrevocable.  A court order filed after July 22, 1998 can direct that the individual make an irrevocable assignment to his/her former spouse. To assign your life insurance, you must complete form RI 76-10, Assignment of Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance. An assignment automatically cancels an individual’s prior designation of beneficiary.  After making an assignment, you cannot designate a beneficiary. The right to designate beneficiaries transfers to the assignee.  In addition, the right to cancel or reduce insurance transfers to the assignee.  If you own more than one type of coverage, you must assign all the insurance because you cannot assign only a portion of the coverage.  Only Option C- Family Optional coverage cannot be assigned. 


Court Order received in OPM on or after July 22, 1998.  The order must be received in OPM prior to the death of the insured. The court can order that a former spouse is named as beneficiary in the divorce decree, annulment, or legal separation.  A certified copy of the decree must be received by the employing agency for active employees on/after July 22, 1998.  For retirees, the court order must be received by that date.  By law, a court order on file before the above effective date is not valid for designating a former spouse as beneficiary.  Any orders which are filed before July 22, 1998 and designate a former spouse as beneficiary of Office of Federal Employees Group Life Insurance will not be honored. 

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