Fedweek

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Previously announced changes in Federal Employees Group Life Insurance coverage will take effect for both employees and retirees with the start of the new fiscal year October 1, as will some changes to per diem reimbursement rates for employees on official travel.

The FEGLI rate change of the most interest will be the rise in the cost of Basic for non-postal employees from $.15 to $.16 per $1,000 of coverage; employees must have Basic (equivalent to salary rounded up to the next $1,000 plus $2,000) to have any of the optional forms of coverage. The Postal Service, however, pays the full cost of Basic for its employees although not for its retirees.

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There will also be increases in Basic for retirees, whose cost depends on their age and whether they have kept their full coverage or are allowing it to reduce. For optional coverage for both employees and retirees there will be a mix of minor increases, decreases and unchanged rates.

Regarding per diem, the locations with their own specific lodgings rates will remain unchanged at more than 300 as will the rates; for other destinations, the flat $96 daily lodging rate will continue.

However, the “meals and incidental expenses” portion of per diem for destinations with specific rates will range in fiscal 2022 from $59 to $79, up from the fiscal year 2021 rate of $56-$76, while the standard “M&IE” rate for other destinations will increase to $59 from $55.

Meanwhile, an “emergency paid leave” fund from which agencies could draw to provide additional paid leave to employees who cannot work because due to certain pandemic-related conditions is expiring. In practice, that fund was used mostly at the Postal Service and as of the most recent accounting less than $300 million of the $570 million that was available had been used.

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