Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program

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Postal /Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)

Life Insurance: The Office of Personnel Management administers the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program. Nearly all Postal employees are eligible to receive Basic Life Insurance coverage, however,  there are some exceptions. (e.g. Substitute Rural Carriers, Casual or Temporary Employees generally are excluded from the program). Full-time employees are covered by an amount of basic insurance based on their annual basic pay, while part-time employees are covered by an amount of basic insurance based on multiplying their basic hourly rate.


Basic Life (Free - for Postal Employees)

Your basic life insurance coverage amount depends on your annual basic pay (excludes COLA). see charts below

For those postal employees wondering how much life insurance coverage they have now, the answer is in their earnings statement (middle column). Look for a 5-digit code: INxxx. The last two digits is their insurance code. To translate it, they can look it up in the table at  http://www.opm.gov/insure/life/handbook/sf50tbl.asp  What does the middle digit represent?  Their age bracket. Don Cheney,Auburn, WA
New from OPM: Expanded Dental, Vision Benefits To Be Available In 2006
March 23, 2005

By Reg Jones

A Pair of Life Insurance Options
There are two features of the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program about which you are probably unaware. First, you can now irrevocably assign your life insurance benefits to another person or persons. Second, you can cash in your Basic insurance when you have been diagnosed as being terminally ill. However, by law, these options are mutually exclusive. If you elect one, you can’t elect the other.

Assignment of Benefits
Before October 3, 1994, only those with private life insurance could make an irrevocable assignment of their FEGLI insurance as part of an estate planning effort, to obtain cash before their death, or for other valid reasons. Under current law, you can transfer ownership and control of your Basic, Standard Optional, and Additional Optional insurance to any individual (s), corporation or irrevocable trust – with one exception. Under a 1998 law, you can’t transfer ownership if a court has issued a decree of divorce, annulment or legal separation and specifically stated that your FEGLI benefits must be paid to someone else. On the other hand, if you can make an irrevocable transfer, you won’t be able to cancel your life insurance or make any changes in your beneficiary.

Living Benefits
There are companies that are willing to buy the insurance policies of people who are terminally ill. Such companies will purchase a policy at less than its face value. How much less depends on your life expectancy. These are called viatical settlements.

As of July 26, 1995, the law provides that anyone who is terminally ill and has a life expectancy of nine months or less may elect what is called a “living benefit.” It’s an accelerated payment of Basic life insurance benefits to the policyholder, rather than to a beneficiary or survivor.

The government’s living benefit provision differs from the private sector viatical settlements in several ways. Here are the two most important ones. First, only Basic insurance can be cashed in. Second, viatical settlements may be made with individuals whose life expectancy is greater than nine months.

A living benefit may be elected only once, and that election can not be reversed. So, if you elect a full living benefit, you will be cashing in your entire Basic policy. If you elect a partial living benefit, you will only be cashing in a portion of that policy. That can be done in multiples of $1,000. With a full living benefit, you would no longer pay any premiums. With a partial benefit, your premiums would be reduced. Note: Retirees and compensationers may only elect full living benefits.

Clearly, if you elect a full living benefit, your survivors will not be eligible for any Basic insurance benefit. A partial benefit will leave them with the remainder of your policy. However, you need to understand that the dollar value of the remaining amount will be frozen. It will never change, even if your salary goes up.

If you are eligible for a FEGLI living benefit, the amount you receive will be less than the face value of your policy. That reduction represents the interest lost to the life insurance fund because they paid you ahead of schedule. Fortunately, there is no profit margin included in a living benefit; therefore, the amount you receive will usually be higher than that offered by a viatical settlement firm.

Like viatical settlements, living benefits are based on the expectation that you will shortly die. But that doesn’t always happen. Some people who have been diagnosed as terminally ill don’t die as soon as expected or even recover from their terminal condition. If you are one of the lucky ones and have elected a living benefit, the good news is that you won’t have to repay any of the money you received.

Living Benefits from OPM  

You may elect to receive a lump-sum payment called a living benefit if you are terminally ill and have a documented medical prognosis that you are not expected to live more than nine months. Eligible annuitants may elect a full lump-sum payment equal to their Basic life insurance amount, plus any extra benefit for persons who are under age 45, that would be in effect nine months after the date the Office of Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI) receives a completed claim for living benefits. If the life insurance is reducing, the lump sum will be the reduced amount payable nine months after OFEGLI receives the completed claim form. Annuitants cannot elect a partial living benefit payment; this option is available only to employees.

If you have assigned your life insurance coverage, neither you nor the assignee may elect living benefits. However, if you elected a living benefit, you may assign any remaining life insurance.

Your living benefits payment will be reduced by a nominal amount to make up for lost earnings to the Life Insurance Fund because of the early payment of benefits.

If you receive living benefits after retirement, no Basic life insurance will be payable after your death. We will stop withholding any Basic life insurance premiums from your monthly annuity. If you elected living benefits before you retired, the amount of Basic life insurance payable after your death and the premiums we withhold from your annuity depend upon the amount of living benefits you received before retirement.

Your election of living benefits has no effect on the amount of any optional life insurance you may have. We will continue to withhold any premiums for optional insurance.

You may contact the Office of Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance at 1-800-633-4542 to obtain Form FE-8, Claim for Living Benefits, to elect living benefits. This form is not available from agencies or from your retirement system.

Postal employees may obtain additional information in FE-76-20, FEGLI Booklet for Postal-Service Employees, at OPM website.

If you are retired, you may obtain additional information concerning living benefits in Pamphlet RI 76-12, Information for Retirees and their Families at OPM website or you can contact the Office of Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI) at 1-800-633-4542.

To celebrate this year's 50th anniversary of the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is conducting a FEGLI Open Season from September 1 through September 30, 2004. Elections made during this open season will become effective no earlier than September 1, 2005 (1 year later), and only for employees who meet pay and duty requirements. 

OPM will mail directly to each employee's home address an open season package including the Open Season Election Form, FE-2004. The Material Distribution Center (MDC) also will make an automatic distribution of FEGLI Open Season materials to field personnel offices before the open season. Field personnel offices are responsible for publicizing this open season (see pull-out poster on page 3). 

If you are making an election, fill out the form and forward it to your field personnel offices. Field personnel offices must collect the filled-out FE-2004 forms and enter the data from those forms into the Complement Management and Selection (CMS) system. 

The Inspection Service and the Office of the Inspector General must order the FEGLI Program Booklet (FE 76-21, formerly RI 76-21) in accordance with OPM Benefits Administration Letter 04-205, dated July 16, 2004. (Postal Bulletin 8/19/04)

Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI) Open Season Begins September 1, 2004-The Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program will hold its first open season in five years, starting Sept. 1 and ending Sept. 30, OPM announced. The open season marks the program's 50th anniversary and is being sponsored by OPM as a reminder to employees to re-evaluate their need for life insurance. During the open season, employees will be able to enroll or increase or change their insurance coverage without having a physical or answering questions about their health, OPM said. The earliest that newly selected coverage will be effective is Sept. 1, 2005 according to OPM (5/25/04)
Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program: Revised Claim Forms -FEGLI recently revised the claim forms for FEGLI life insurance benefits. The two forms, FE-6 "Claim for Death Benefits", and FE-6 DEP "Statement of Claim-Option C" were revised to update IRS tax language for backup withholding, and to make a MetLife money market account available to a greater number of beneficiaries. The revised forms are dated April 2004. Previous editions are not usable. You can download the revised FE-6, and the revised FE-6 DEP. Note: These electronic forms use Adobe Acrobat 5.0 or above. For further information, see BAL 04-201 (3/24/04)
  Premiums for Employees-These rates were effective on the first pay period that starts on or after January 1, 2005.
Basic Life (Free - for Postal Employees)
Basic life insurance coverage amount depends on your annual basic pay (excludes COLA). Here's how to figure your total Basic Life Insurance:
  • Take your current annual base pay
  • If not an exact thousand, round up to next thousand
  • Add $2000 - This is your total Basic Life
  • Your annual base pay is $42,323
  • Round up to $43,000
  • Add $2000
  • Total: $45,000 - This is your total Basic Life
Extra Benefit:
Age Factor Age Factor
0-35 2.0 41 1.4
36 1.9 42 1.3
37 1.8 43 1.2
38 1.7 44 1.1
39 1.6 45 0.0
40 1.5    
To figure your total coverage with the extra benefit multiply your total Basic Life times the appropriate factor. For example:
  • You are 36 years old
  • Total Basic Life (from example above) $45,000
  • Multiply $45,000 x 1.9
  • Total: $85,500 - Total Insurance
Option A - Standard ($10,000)
Age Cat. Group Bi-Weekly Monthly
1 Under age 35 $0.30 $0.65
2 35 through 39 $0.40 $0.87
3 40 through 44 $0.60 $1.30
4 45 through 49 $0.90 $1.95
5 50 through 54 $1.40 $3.03
6 55 through 59 $2.70 $5.85
7 60 through 64 $6.00 $13.00
8 65 through 69 $6.00 $13.00
9 70 and over $6.00 $13.00
Option B - Additional
You can purchase 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 times your Basic Life (rounded up to next thousand).

Withholding per $1,000 insurance

Age Cat. Group Bi-Weekly Monthly
1 Under age 35 $0.03 $0.065
2 35 through 39 $0.04 $0.087
3 40 through 44 $0.06 $0.130
4 45 through 49 $0.10 $0.217
5 50 through 54 $0.15 $0.325
6 55 through 59 $0.31 $0.672
7 60 through 64 $0.70 $1.517
8 65 through 69 $0.90 $1.517
9 70 and over $1.40 $1.517
Option C - Family
Purchase 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 times:
Spouse - $5,000        Child (also eligible for Foster) - $2,500
Age Cat. Group Bi-Weekly Monthly
1 Under age 35 $0.27 $0.59
2 35 through 39 $0.34 $0.74
3 40 through 44 $0.46 $1.00
4 45 through 49 $0.60 $1.30
5 50 through 54 $0.90 $1.95
6 55 through 59 $1.45 $3.14
7 60 through 64 $2.60 $5.63
8 65 through 69 $3.00 $6.50
9 70 and over $3.40 $7.37

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