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News Release

Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Contact: Brenda Bertrand
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Kay Coles James Marks FEGLI 50th Anniversary with First Open Season in Five Years

James said, "This program is an excellent example of the quality benefits available to American civil servants as they plan a secure future for themselves and their families..."

Washington, DC - In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program, U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James hosted the FEGLI Anniversary Event on Tuesday, September 7, 2004 at 1:30 pm in the OPM Pendleton conference room.

The event included the kick-off of the 2004 FEGLI Open Season, the first in five years and highlighted a message from Director James, representatives from MetLife and FEGLI members who have been with the plan since its inception 50 years ago.

"This program is an excellent example of the quality benefits available to American civil servants as they plan a secure future for themselves and their families," James said. "And so importantly today, it also protects the families of many reservists called to active duty in the war against terrorism."

James added, "FEGLI, as we affectionately call it, is the longest-running benefits program in the Federal government, established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on August 29, 1954. Today, fifty years later, it is still one of the important protections and acts of personal responsibility employees can provide for their families."

During the Open Season, September 1- September 30, 2004, Federal and postal employees in eligible positions can enroll in the FEGLI program or increase or change current coverage without having a physical or answering any questions about their health. The earliest that newly elected coverage will be effective is September 1, 2005.

The FEGLI program consists of basic life insurance coverage and three options that include coverage for up to five times an employee's base salary plus coverage for eligible family members. In most cases, a new Federal employee is automatically covered by basic life insurance.

Since 1954, the FEGLI Program has grown to cover over four million Federal employees, retirees and their families, making it the largest group life insurance program in the world.

OPM launched a special FEGLI 2004 Open Season website,, which contains the election form and more information about the program and Open Season.

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