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Review the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Handbook
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If you are put in a nonpay status while on military duty, you can keep your Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) coverage for up to 12 months. This coverage is free. Being called-up to active duty does not affect the amount of your FEGLI coverage. At the end of 12 months in nonpay status, the coverage terminates. Employees get a free 31-day extension of coverage and have the right to convert to an individual policy. You also get the 31-day extension of coverage and the right to convert. Public Law 110-181, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, enacted January 28, 2008, authorizes the continuation of FEGLI coverage for an additional 12 months for Federal employees called to active duty whose coverage terminated after the law's enactment.
The law allows employees who enter on active duty or active duty for training in one of the uniformed services for more than 30 days to continue their FEGLI for up to 24 months. FEGLI coverage is free for the first 12 months. However, employees must pay both the employee and agency share of the premiums for their Basic coverage, and also pay the entire cost (there is no agency share) for any Optional insurance they may have for the additional 12 months of coverage. See more details in BAL 08-203 [30 KB].
Being called up to active duty status or being sent to a combat zone does NOT cancel FEGLI coverage. Nor does it automatically make an employee ineligible for accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) coverage. All FEGLI coverage remains in effect for the period of time described above. If a Federal employee with FEGLI is called-up to active military duty and is killed, "regular" death benefits are payable to the employee's beneficiaries. Accidental death benefits are also payable under Basic insurance (and Option A, if the employee had that coverage) unless the employee was in actual combat (or unless nuclear weapons were being used) at the time of the injury that caused the employee's death. The determination is made on a case by case basis after a thorough review of the facts and documentation surrounding the death.
Accidental death benefits are in addition to regular death benefits. Even if accidental death benefits are not payable, regular death benefits ARE payable.
Living Benefits payments come from the Employees' Life Insurance Fund (Part of the U.S. Treasury). Viatical settlement firms are private firms not connected with the Federal Government.
The Federal law determines the amount of insurance available and the requirement for receiving a Living Benefit payment. Viatical settlement firms set their own requirements and payment amounts.
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If you separate from service to enter the military you are considered to be in a nonpay status for FEGLI Purposes. As long as you have reemployment rights under USERRA, you can keep your FEGLI coverage for up to 12 months, or until 90 days after your military service ends, whichever date comes first. This coverage is free. At the end of 12 months (or 90 days after the military service ends), the coverage terminates. You also get the 31-day extension of coverage and the right to convert. Public Law 110-181, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, enacted January 28, 2008, authorizes the continuation of FEGLI coverage for an additional 12 months for Federal employees called to active duty whose coverage terminated after the law's enactment.
The law allows employees who enter on active duty or active duty for training in one of the uniformed services for more than 30 days to continue their FEGLI for up to 24 months. FEGLI coverage is free for the first 12 months. However, employees must pay both the employee and agency share of the premiums for their Basic coverage, and also pay the entire cost (there is no agency share) for any Optional insurance they may have for the additional 12 months of coverage. See more details in BAL 08-203.
At the end of 12 months, or 90 days after your military service ends, whichever date comes first your former agency must complete an Agency Certification of Insurance Status (SF 2821) and a Notice of Conversion Privilege (SF 2819). If a claim needs to be filed while you are still covered under FEGLI, you or your survivors should contact your former employing agency.
First of all, Basic and any Optional insurance is payable no matter where your death occurs.
The only amount in question is the Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage payable under Basic and Option A. AD&D coverage is payable if you receive bodily injuries solely through violent, external, and accidental means (with some exceptions) and if, as a direct result of the bodily injuries, independently of all other causes, and within one year afterwards, you lose your life, limb, or eyesight. One of the exceptions is if your death or loss is caused directly or indirectly by war (declared or undeclared), any act of war, armed aggression, or insurrection, in which you are, at the time bodily injuries are sustained, in actual combat.
The Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance decides whether to pay AD&D only after the death or loss has occurred and after thoroughly studying the facts surrounding the situation. We can't give definitive answers beforehand.
Submit the designation form to your human resources office. If you do not know how to contact your human resources office, you can ask your supervisor or your Agency Benefits Officer.
Submit the designation form to: Office of Personnel Management, Retirement Operations Center, P.O. Box 45, Boyers, PA 16017-0045.
If you receive benefits from the Department of Labor, Office of Workers Compensation Programs and you've been receiving these benefits for less than 12 months and you are still on the agency's rolls as an employee, submit the designation form to your human resources office.
If you are on compensation and are separated from your agency or have been receiving compensation for 12 months or more, submit the designation form to OPM's Retirement Office at the address on page 3.
Important: The appropriate office must receive the Designation of Beneficiary form before your death in order for the Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI) to pay the benefits. If you do not file it with the proper office, OFEGLI will pay benefits in accordance with the next prior designation on file or under the order of precedence, if there is no designation.
A per stirpes designation means that if a named beneficiary dies before the Insured dies, the children of the named beneficiary are entitled to the benefits, or the grandchildren of the named beneficiary if the children aren't alive, or the great-grandchildren of the named beneficiary if the grandchildren aren't alive, etc.
Designations using per stirpes designations are unacceptable. You may want to consider a designation like this, instead:
Hector Gonzales, my son, 100%, if living
Otherwise to the estate of Hector Gonzales
You could then specify the per stirpes terms in your will. If Hector is not living when you die, OFEGLI will pay your estate. The estate will follow the terms of the will which include the per stirpes terms.
You can download the FEGLI Life Insurance Designation of Beneficiary form here.
If you are under age 65 when you retire, you will continue to pay premiums for your Basic and Optional insurance at least until you turn 65. Your retirement system will withhold the premiums from your annuity each month.
When you retire, you make reduction choices that determine whether your FEGLI life insurance (and premiums) reduce beginning at age 65 or when you retire, whichever is later:
Reductions begin the second month after you turn 65 or the second month after you retire, whichever is later. If you do not submit a Continuation of Life Insurance (SF 2818) to your human resources office before you retire, your Basic will be defaulted to 75% Reduction, and your Option B and Option C will be defaulted to Full Reduction.
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