With the likelihood of RIFs and buyouts on the horizon, your Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) coverage takes on greater importance. You want to know if you’ll be able to keep it if the axe falls. The answer is yes, if you are retiring and have either been enrolled continuously in it for the five years immediately preceding retirement or from your first opportunity to enroll in the program.

You also want to know if you could lose your FEGLI coverage. The answer is yes, but only if you 1) leave government for any reason other than retirement, 2) are in a non-pay status for more than 12 months, or 3) your annuity is terminated

If you resign from the government, you’ll get a cost-free 31-day extension of coverage and have a right to convert any coverage you have to an individual policy without having to provide evidence of medical insurability. However, if you go that route, you’ll be paying the entire cost of that coverage. How much it will be depends on how much insurance you apply for, the type of policy you want, your age, and your risk category on the day your FEGLI insurance ends.

That coverage can be for the amount you currently have or a lesser amount. However, you’ll have to apply for that coverage within 31 days after your FEGLI coverage ends. To get detailed information and apply for such a policy, write to the following address:

Office of Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance

P.O. Box 6080

Scranton, PA 18505-6080

Or call 1-800-633-4542 (overseas number: 1-212-578-2975).

Note: If you have lost your FEGLI coverage, the only way to get it back is to return to work for a federal agency that provides that coverage to its employees. While that coverage will be automatic, you are free to either adjust the amount or decline it if doesn’t meet your current needs.