Expert's View

Recent articles have focused on the impact of certain life events on health benefits; now let’s look at their impact on life insurance.



If you enrolled in the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance program (FEGLI) when you were hired, you filled out a designation of beneficiary form and specified who you wanted to get the proceeds of that policy if you die. When you get married, you may want to change that designation. The decision is entirely up to you. Whether you are an employee or a retiree, you would do that by filling out Standard Form 2823, Designation of Beneficiary, available at

Separation, Annulment or Divorce

As a rule, you can name anyone to receive the proceeds of your FEGLI policy when you die. If you had named your then-spouse – and that benefit is not assigned to him or her in a court order – you may want to change that designation. That’s also done by filling out a Standard Form 2823.

See more on FEGLI at


If you enrolled in the FEGLI program and have a Standard Form 2823 on file, FEGLI benefits will be distributed to the person or persons you named on the form. If you don’t have one on file, the proceeds will be distributed according to the standard order of precedence:

* first, to a surviving spouse;
* second, if none, to your child or children, with the share of any deceased child distributed among the descendents of that child, if any;
* third, if none of the above, to your parents in equal shares or in its entirety to the lone survivor;
* fourth, if none of the above, to the executor or administrator of your estate; and
* fifth, if none of the above, to your next of kin as determined under the laws of the state where you lived.

Note: You are the beneficiary upon the death of a spouse or child covered under Option C family coverage.