Overview of Federal Employee Group Life Insurance Program & Retirement Benefits

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1 Overview of Federal Employee Group Life Insurance Program & Retirement Benefits For producer use only. Current as of October, US (10/12)

2 Table of Contents What is FEGLI?... 3 Face Amount and Cost Calculations of FEGLI... 3 Basic Life Insurance Premium Calculation:... 4 Option A: Face Amount and Premium Calculation... 4 Option B: Face Calculation... 5 Option B: Premium Calculation... 5 Option C: Coverage... 5 Conversion to Individual Policy... 6 Face Amount and Cost Calculations of FEGLI- retirees... 6 What are the requirements to keep life insurance in retirement?... 6 Retirement Systems:... 7 Survivor Annuity... 8 CSRS Retirement Benefits... 9 Social Security Benefits How many allotments can a Federal employee have? Federal Employee Allotment Forms and Procedures Federal Employee Publications... 11

3 Foresters TM would like to support you as you work with Federal Employees to determine their life insurance needs. It is advisable that your clients work with their benefit administrator at their local personnel office. The information provided below is for informational purposes only. Federal policies, laws, regulations, statistics and addresses continually change. And although Foresters has attempted to provide information that is accurate and current as possible, Foresters provides no warranties to the accuracy or completeness of the information below. Foresters is the trade name and a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9; its subsidiaries are licensed to use this mark. Federal Employees Almanac It is critical that you always have a current copy of the Federal Employees Almanac. You can get a printed or digital version from the Federal Daily website ( This resource will allow you to help any Federal employee understand his/her life insurance and retirement benefits. What is FEGLI? The Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program was established by the Federal Government on August 29, The FEGLI Program protects over 4 million Federal employees and retirees as well as many of their family members. Most employees are eligible for FEGLI coverage. FEGLI provides group term life insurance. As such, it does not build up any cash value or paidup value. It consists of Basic life insurance coverage and three options. In most cases, if you are meeting with a new Federal employee, they are automatically covered by Basic life insurance and their payroll office deducts premiums from their paycheck unless they waive the coverage. In addition to the Basic, there are three forms of optional insurance to choose from, however, the employee must have Basic insurance in order to select any of the options. Enrollment in optional coverage is not automatic -- they must take action to elect the options. The cost of basic coverage is split between the employee and the Government. The employee will pay two-thirds (2/3) of the total cost and the Government pays one-third (1/3). Age and gender do not affect the cost of Basic insurance. Employees pay the full cost of any optional insurance, and the cost will vary based upon their age and the amount of coverage. Face Amount and Cost Calculations of FEGLI The group life insurance coverage available to most federal employees, including part-time employees, is through the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program and is administered by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company under a contract with the Office of Personal Management. Under FEGLI Basic Coverage, federal employees are provided with two kinds of coverage: a) group term life insurance without a medical examination (if the employee does not waive coverage when first eligible or if he/she elects it during an open enrolment period) b) accidental death and dismemberment insurance that provides double indemnity protection. Eligible employees are automatically covered for Basic insurance upon hiring unless they specifically state in writing by the end of the first pay period that they do not want it. Calculating the Basic Life Insurance Face Amount An online FEGLI benefits calculation is at Active employees unsure of how much coverage they have should contact their personnel offices. They also may check most recent Standard Form 50. Notification of Personal Action, block 27, which shows a code that, can be looked up at sf50tbl.asp. Retirees should call (888) or In summary, The amount of Basic Life Insurance is equal to an employee s annual pay rounded to the next higher thousand plus $2,000. The minimum amount of Basic Life Insurance is $10,000 (at all times during active employment) for all those earning 3

4 $8,000 or less. There is no maximum basic insurance amount. However, if the employee s salary is "capped" by law, the amount of their Basic insurance is based on the capped amount, the amount they are actually being paid. There is also an amount of accidental death and dismemberment protection included with Basic Life Insurance equal to the amount calculated above. There is no additional cost for this coverage. Employees 35 and under are eligible for basic insurance coverage in an amount calculated above (annual pay rounded to the next higher thousand plus $2,000) times two (2). Beginning at age 36, the multiplication factor for the amount of basic insurance will decline by 10% (0.1) each year, until it reaches one (1) for employees age 45 and over. Example: Let s look at an employee who is under the age of 35 earning $37,586 per year. They would have $80,000 of Basic Life Insurance of $37,586 rounded up to $38,000. ($38,000 + $2,000 = $40,000 and then $40,000 x 2 = $80,000) The amount of Basic coverage for the employees at ages 35 and beyond would be: divided by $1,000 (without any adjustments in face amounts for employees under the age of 45). Example: Let s look at an employee earning $37,586 per year. They would pay $6.00 biweekly for Basic Life insurance. $37,586 rounded up to $38,000 $38,000 + $2,000 = $40,000 $40,000 / $1,000 = x $0.15 = $6.00 (bi-weekly) (32.5 cents monthly) $6.00 x 26 pay periods = $ premium per year There is no premium charge for the additional coverage adjustments in face amounts on employees age 44 and younger. There also is no charge for the Accidental Death and dismemberment coverage (AD&D is not available to retirees). Postal employees receive their Basic Life coverage free. Optional Insurance: Employees have 31 days from their entry date to sign up for any Optional life insurance. If they do not make an election, they are considered to have waived optional insurance. Age 35 or under $40,000 x 2.0 = $80,000 Age 36 $40,000 x 1.9 = $76,000 Age 37 $40,000 x 1.8 = $72,000 Age 38 $40,000 x 1.7 = $68,000 Age 39 $40,000 x 1.6 = $64,000 Age 40 $40,000 x 1.5 = $60,000 Age 41 $40,000 x 1.4 = $56,000 Age 42 $40,000 x 1.3 = $52,000 Age 43 $40,000 x 1.2 = $48,000 Age 44 $40,000 x 1.1 = $44,000 Age 45+ $40,000 x 1.0 = $40,000 Basic Life Insurance Premium Calculation: The cost of basic insurance is shared by the employee and the government. The employee s share is two-thirds of the cost and is withheld from the worker s salary. Non-Postal employees will pay $0.15 per $1,000 of face amount biweekly. The annual cost for Basic Life Insurance is determined by multiplying the premium per $1,000 (bi-weekly) times the Basic Life amount Option A: Face Amount and Premium Calculation Option A is a fixed amount of $10,000 of face amount only. The bi-weekly cost for the $10,000 coverage is: Ages Cost per $10,000 (bi-weekly) Under 35 $ $ $ $ $ $ $6.00 An employee must have Basic Coverage to be eligible for Option A coverage. At age 65 or retirement, whichever is later, the Option A Coverage of $10,000 begins to decrease 4

5 at the rate of 2% each month until it reaches $2,500. At this time premium payments cease. Option B: Face Calculation An employee may elect Option B coverage in the amount of 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 times their actual rate of basic pay (rounded to the next $1,000). Example: An employee earning $37,586 and electing for 5 multiples of Option B coverage would have a face amount of $190,000. $37,586 rounded up to $38,000 $38,000 x 5 = $190,000 Option B: Premium Calculation The bi-weekly premium per $1,000 cost of Option B coverage is: Ages Cost per $1,000 (bi-weekly) Under 35 $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $2.40 Example: An employee age 46, earning $37,586 with 5 multiples of Option B coverage will have a $190,000 Face amount: $190,000 / $1,000 = x.173 = $32.87 monthly premium An employee must have Basic coverage to be eligible for Option B coverage. These costs are subject to increases as the rate per thousand changes as the employee gets older as shown on the chart above). Coverage for Option B begins to decline at age 65 or retirement, whichever is later, at the rate of 2% each month for 50 months; at which point coverage ceases. At this time, premium payments cease. At retirement, an unreduced election can be made and the cost will follow the schedule shown above for Option B. Option C: Coverage Option C insurance is Family Optional Insurance. Eligible family members are an employee s spouse and unmarried dependent children under age 22. An employee can have 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 units of option C coverage. One unit is $5,000 (for a maximum of $25,000)for spouse and $2,500 (for a maximum of $12,500) for each child. The employee pays the full cost of the family optional insurance. The bi-weekly cost for 1 unit of Option C coverage is: Ages Cost per Unit (bi-weekly) Under 35 $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $6.60 Example: An employee age 46 signed up for Option C coverage will pay $.63 bi-weekly for the Family Optional Insurance. As the chart above illustrates, these costs are subject to increases as the rate per thousand changes as the employee gets older. Coverage for Option C begins to decline at an employee s age 65 or retirement, whichever is later, at the rate of 2% each month for 50 months; at which point Option C coverage ceases. At this time, premium payments cease. Option C, Family coverage, can be continued past age 65 by making the unreduced election at retirement. The cost schedule is shown above. Accidental death and dismemberment coverage is not included in this coverage. 5

6 Conversion to Individual Policy Although life insurance coverage will terminate the day after retirement, an automatic 31-day extension will be provided at no cost to the employee. During that extension period, a retiree has the option of letting the insurance terminate or converting coverage to an individual policy. Not surprisingly, an individual policy will be more expensive than the group insurance policy under FEGLI because there will be no government contribution. To convert to an individual policy, a retiree will need to complete standard form 2819, "Notice of Conversion Privilege," and pay the first premium to the insurance company before the 31-day extension ends, and designate a new beneficiary because the FEGLI policy will no longer be valid. If circumstances prevent conversion to an individual policy within 31 days, a belated request can be sent to the Office of Federal Employee's Group Life Insurance, P.O. Box 2627, Jersey City, NJ That request must be made within six months after insurance coverage ends. Face Amount and Cost Calculations of FEGLI- retirees The amount of Basic coverage begins decreasing at age 65 or retirement, whichever is later, at the rate of 2% per month until 25% of the Basic coverage remains. At this time, premium payments cease. However, retirees have options available that can provide more coverage being available after the age of 65 at a cost. These elections are made at retirement. i) 75% Reduction - Coverage is reduced by 2 percent a month beginning at age 65, with an ultimate reduction to 25 percent of the basic policy value. Retiree must pay the same premium as active employees until age 65 ($.325 per month per $1,000 coverage). No further premiums will ii) be withheld after the calendar month in which the retiree becomes % Reduction - Amount of insurance reduces at the rate of 1 % per month after the later of age 65 or retirement age to a minimum of 50% of your basic insurance amount at retirement. There is a higher premium charged for this lesser reduction ($.965 per month per $1,000 of coverage until age 65 and $.64 a month per $1,000 of coverage thereafter). iii) No Reduction - 100% of your Basic coverage is retained after age 65. This choice resulted in a larger premium being charged. $2.265 per month per $1,000 for coverage until age 65 and $1.94 per month per $1,000 of coverage thereafter. (no cost for Postal employees) To be able to carry any of Federal Employee's Group Life Insurance into retirement, employees must start coverage at the first opportunity to enroll, or be enrolled for five years. Most retiring employees meet this requirement, but some do not. What are the requirements to keep life insurance in retirement? Employees can keep their basic life insurance in retirement if all of the following conditions are met: They had coverage when they retired; They have not converted coverage to an individual policy; Their annuity begins within 30 days, (However if they are retiring under the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) plus 10 provision of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and they have postponed the commencing date of their annuity, health and life insurance coverage is suspended until their annuity begins) and, They were insured for life insurance for the five years immediately preceding retirement or the full periods of service when coverage was available. 6

7 Employees can keep their optional life insurance in retirement if all of the following conditions are met: They are eligible to continue their basic coverage; and, They were covered by optional life insurance for the five years immediately preceding retirement or the full periods of service when coverage was available, if less than five years Retirement Systems: All Federal employees are in either the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) depending on their date of hire. CSRS: Most employees hired before 1984 are under CSRS unless they elected FERS coverage during the open season in 1987 or FERS: Employees hired after December 31, 1983 are automatically covered under FERS. FERS Benefits Retirement Benefit: Retirement Benefit is calculated according to the following rules: An employee must be: 1. Age 62 and have five years of service, or 2. Age 60 and have 20 years of service, or 3. Attain the minimum retirement as outlined in the schedule below and have 30 years of service. If Born Minimum Retirement Age Before In and 2 months In and 4 months In and 6 months In and 8 months In and 10 months In In and 2 months In and 4 months In and 6 months In and 8 months In and 10 months In 1970 and after 57 7

8 Retirement Annuity Calculation: If under age 62; 1% x high three salary average x years of service If at least 62 years old and at least 20 years of service: 1.1% x high three salary average x length of service Example: An employee born in 1963, projecting to retire at age 56 with 30 years of service and the final 3 years of income being $71,500, $72,750 and $74,000 would have an annual annuity subject to a reduction if a survivor annuity is elected. ($71,500 + $72,750 + $74,000) 3 = $72,750 ($72,750 x 1%) = $ x 30 years = $21,825 annuity, the employee must provide the office of Personnel Management with either: 1. The spouse s signed and notarized consent to the loss of or reduction in survivor benefits or 2. A request for waiver of spousal consent by OPM NOTE: In order for a surviving spouse to continue on the health insurance plan at the death of a federal employee, they must receive an annuity benefit of some amount, or have a dependant minor child eligible to receive the minor child annuity benefit. Annuity Rule applying to Firefighters, Law Enforcement Officers and Air Traffic Controllers Employees in these categories are eligible for unreduced benefits at age 50 with 20 years of service or any age with 25 years of service. Retirement Annuity Calculation: 1. Take 1.7% of High Three Salary average and multiply the result by years of service up to Add: 1.0% of High Three Salary average and multiply the result by service years over 20 Survivor Annuity There are two Survivor annuity options, 50 percent or 25 percent of the full annuity. The employee may elect not to provide a survivor annuity. The 50% annuity option means that if the employee dies, the survivor will receive an annuity at one half of the base annuity. The cost for this option is a reduction in the employee s annuity by 10%. The 25% annuity option means that if the employee dies, the survivor will receive an annuity of one quarter of the base annuity. The cost for this option is a reduction in the employee s annuity by 5%. If, at retirement, the Federal employee elects the 25% annuity option or not to provide a survivor 8

9 CSRS Retirement Benefits High Three Salary Average: This figure is calculated by adding the highest consecutive 36 months of salary (annual salary with an annual estimated increase) prior to retirement and dividing by three. Retirement Benefit: Retirement Benefit is calculated according to the following rules: An employee must be at least: 55 with 30 years of service, or 60 with 20 years of service, or 62 with 5 years of service Retirement Annuity Calculation: 1. Take 1 ½ % percent of the High Three Salary Average and multiply the result by service up to 5 years. 2. Add: 1 ¾ % percent of the High Three Salary Average and multiply the result by service over 5 years and up to 10 years. 3. Add: 2 percent of the High Three Salary Average pay multiplied by all years of service over 10 years. 4. The retirement annuity amount cannot exceed 80 percent of the High Three Salary Average. than 50% of an employee s High Three Salary average. Annuity Rule Applying to Law Enforcement and Firefighter Personnel Law Enforcement Personnel, who investigate, apprehend or detain persons suspected or convicted of offenses against the civil laws of the United States, or Firefighter Personnel who control and extinguish fires or maintain fire fighting apparatus and equipment are under the following retirement rules: With 20 years of service an employee may voluntarily retire with an unreduced pension by age 50. With 20 years of service a Law Enforcement employee must retire by age 57 and Firefighter personnel must retire by age 55. Retirement Annuity Calculation for Law Enforcement and Firefighter Personnel: 1. Take 2.5% of the High Three Salary average and multiply the result by the years of service up to 20 years. 2. Add 2% of the High Three Salary average and multiply the result by the years of service over 20 years. Example: An employee born in 1963, projecting to retire at age 56 with 30 years of service and the final 3 years of income being $71,500, $72,750 and $74,000 would have an annual annuity... ($71,500 + $72,750 + $74,000) 3 = $72,750 ($72,750 x 1.5%) x 5 = $5, ($72,750 x 1.75%) x 5 = $6, ($72,750 x 2.00%) x 20 = $29, $5, , $28, = $40, $40, < $72,750 x 80% = $58,200 Annuity Rule Applying to Air Traffic Controllers Air Traffic Controllers can voluntarily retire with an unreduced pension at age 50 with 20 years of service or at any age with 25 years of service. The annuity calculation is the same as above except that the minimum annuity cannot be less 9

10 Survivor Annuity Under CSRS an individual may use all or any portion of the Retirement Annuity for determining the Survivor Annuity. The Survivor Annuity benefit is 55% of the Retirement Annuity or whatever portion of it is selected for use. The cost of the Survivor Annuity is: 2.5% of the first $3,600 used as a base for the survivor annuity; plus 10% of any amount over $3,600 used as a base for the annuity. Example: The Federal employee elects to use 67% of the $40,922 Retirement Annuity $40,922 x 67% = $27,418 $27,418 - $3,600 = $23,818 $3,600 x 2.5% = $90.00 $23,818 x 10% = $2,382 $ $2,382 = $2,472 (Survivor Annuity cost) $40,922 - $2,472 = $38,450 (reduced Survivor Annuity) Social Security Benefits All employees under the FERS system are covered by Social Security and do pay Social Security taxes. CSRS does not include Social Security (in most cases) and employees under this plan do not pay Social Security taxes. How many allotments can a Federal employee have? Allotment from a federal employee means a recurring specified deduction for a legal purposes from pay authorized by an employee to be paid to an allotee. 5 CFR Voluntary Annuity Allotments are withholdings that can be withheld from employee s monthly annuity benefit. Federal and State Tax and Financial Allotments are examples of Voluntary Annuity Allotments. The election to make an allotment or withholding change can be made online with Services Online. A Federal employee is only allowed to have two allotments being paid to his/her personal account (s) at a financial institution. 56 FR 12837, Mar. 28, In most cases, the employee will only have one of these allotment slots filled. There will be times though when both allotment slots will be filled. On these occasions use another means of paying the premium. If a Federal employee chooses to stop one of the allotments (a discussion you need to be careful in recommending), make sure you submit a stop allotment request at least a week before you request a new allotment to be started. If you send the stop request and the start request at the same time, the luck of the draw could determine if the allotment gets started. If the clerk picks up the start first and sees that both slots have been filled, the allotment form is thrown away. Then the stop will be processed. By submitting them a week apart, this will not happen. To stop or start voluntary allotment Federal Employee Allotment Forms and Procedures Federal Employees use various ways to set up allotments with their local personal service center depending on their employing agency Pay Center. Some of the ways Employees may set up financial allotments include: 1. Employee Express online 2. Employee Express by Phone 3. Allotment form (1199A) delivered to and processed by local personnel service center. It is advisable each of your Federal Employee clients contact their local personnel service center to confirm their benefit and allotment procedures. Employees may also use Services Online or call U.S. Office of Personnel Management to make one-time or recurring membership payments to organizations. zational.asp 10

11 Federal Employee Publications The following publication will help you in learning about the Federal market and keep you in touch with what is happening in the world of the Federal employee. We strongly recommend that you annually purchase the Federal Employees Almanac. Federal Times Weekly 6883 Commercial Drive Springfield, VA (800) Federal Employees Almanac PO Box Washington, DC (800) Federal Employees News Digest PC Box Washington, DC (800) Federal Personnel Guide Key Communications Group, Inc. PC Box Washington, DC (301) Postmaster Gazette NAPUS Publication 8 Herbert Street Alexandria, VA (703) Postmasters Advocate 1023 N Royal St. Alexandria, VA U.S. Federal Government Agencies U.S. Office of Personnel (salary listings) 11

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