Issue Briefs

The regulations include amendments by Public Law 106-522, which changed the entitlement to Federal employee benefits for the District of Columbia (D.C.) Offender Supervision Trustee and employees of the Trustee. Previously these employees were treated as Federal employees for purposes of Federal employee retirement and insurance programs only if they transferred to the DC government within three days of separating from Federal service. These employees now have retroactive entitlement to be treated as Federal employees on the date of their appointment or the date their sub-organizations transferred to the Trustee’s office, whichever is later.

Concurrent Employment: Basic and Optional Insurance Amounts

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If an employee legally serves in more than one position at the same time, and at least one of those positions entitles the employee to life insurance, the amount of Basic insurance and Option B insurance is based on the combined salaries. Previously, if an employee accepted a temporary position while in nonpay status from a covered position, the amount of insurance was based on whichever salary was higher. We eliminated this exception, so that this situation will be treated the same as other instances of concurrent employment.

The regulations stipulate that the amount of Basic insurance and Option B insurance is based on the combined salaries in all instances of concurrent employment.

Electing Coverage Based Upon Medical Information (SF 2822)

The regulations allow Basic insurance to become effective on the date of OFEGLI’s approval if the employee is in a pay and duty status on that day. Previously, the earliest coverage could become effective as a result of providing satisfactory medical information was the day after the

date OFEGLI approved the employee’s request for coverage. Now, it is effective on the day of approval if the employee is in pay and duty status. If the employee is not in pay and duty status on the date of OFEGLI’s approval, the insurance is effective the first day the employee returns to pay and duty status, as long as it is within 60 calendar days of OFEGLI’s approval. If the employee is not in pay and duty status within 60 calendar days after OFEGLI’s approval, the approval is revoked automatically and the employee does not have Basic insurance.

Option A and/or Option B coverage also is effective on the date of OFEGLI’s approval, if the employing office receives the employee’s SF 2817 on or before that date and the employee is in pay and duty status. Otherwise, Option A and/or Option B coverage become effective the first day in pay and duty status after receipt of the SF 2817 by the employing office.

If the employee is not in pay and duty status on the date of OFEGLI’s approval, the Optional insurance becomes effective the first day in pay and duty status after receipt of the SF 2817 by the employing office, as long as it is within 60 calendar days of OFEGLI’s approval. Like Basic, if the employee is not in pay and duty status within 60 calendar days after OFEGLI’s approval, the approval is revoked automatically, the employee cannot elect Optional insurance, and s/he must start over.

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Address Changes for Designated Beneficiaries of Assignees

The regulations eliminate the requirement for designated beneficiaries of assignees to notify the appropriate employing office of any change in address, since we do not require any other designated beneficiaries to make such a notification. Assignees must continue to notify the appropriate employing office of any address changes.

Reconsideration Requests

The regulations eliminate the requirement for the insured to provide a social security number when filing a request for reconsideration. Agencies can identify employees by their names, addresses, and dates of birth. Retirees and compensationers may be identified by their retirement and compensation claim numbers.

Optional Coverage Portability Demonstration Project

The regulations remove portability language. Beginning April 24, 1999 and continuing until April 24, 2002, eligible employees could elect portability for Option B coverage that would otherwise terminate. The 3-year portability demonstration project expired in 2002, and employees are no longer able to elect portability. We removed subpart L and all references to portability from the regulations, including the definitions of “Portability Office” and “ported coverage.”

CLARIFICATIONS

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Incontestability: Option C Cancellation; Retirement

Option C Cancellation

The regulations clarify that if the erroneous coverage obtained based on Incontestability is Option C and there are no eligible family members, then the cancellation of Option C is retroactive to the end of the pay period in which there stopped being any eligible family members. The regulations provide for a refund of the Option C premiums for this period of erroneous coverage.

Retirement

The regulations clarify that retirees cannot elect FEGLI after retirement. Any erroneous coverage obtained must be corrected even if two years pass and the retiree paid the applicable premiums.

Effective Dates of Coverage

The regulations clarify the term “on or after” when describing the effective date of coverage. Most elections require that the employee be in a pay and duty status before coverage can become effective. In these instances, the coverage becomes effective the day the employing office receives the election, if the employee is in a pay and duty status on that date. If the employee is not in a pay and duty status on the date the employing office receives the election, the coverage becomes effective the next date the employee is in a pay and duty status.

Computation of Premium and Availability Pay

The regulations clarify that the employee’s annual rate of basic pay is multiplied by the applicable percentage factor to determine pay for FEGLI purposes.

Election of Coverage While In Nonpay Status

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The regulations clarify that the election of coverage while in extended nonpay positions with employee organizations, state government, local government, or an institution of higher education, must be in writing.

Other Terms Clarified

The regulations add some clarity to definitions, including definitions of “covered position”, “beneficiary”, “acquisition of an eligible child”, “accidental death and dismemberment”, and “court order”.

The “Acquisition of an eligible child” definition has been expanded and includes the following:

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(1) a child is born to the insured; (2) the insured adopts a child; (3) the insured acquires a foster child; (4) the insured’s stepchild or recognized natural child moves in with the insured; (5) an otherwise eligible child’s marriage is dissolved by divorce or annulment, or his or her spouse dies; (6) the insured gains custody of an eligible child.

The prior exception for acquiring a foster child no longer applies. Basic, Option A, Option B (up to the maximum of 5 multiples) and Option C (up to the maximum of 5 multiples) can be elected by an employee upon acquisition of an eligible child, including acquiring a foster child.

The foster child certification must be completed and file in the employee’s Official Personnel Folder (OPF) or its electronic equivalent.

CORRECTIONS

Premium Rate for Insured Individual

The regulations state that premiums are based upon the amount of insurance last in force for an individual during the pay period. Previously, they stated that the premiums were based on the amount in force on the last day of the pay period. In most instances this is the same thing; however, if an individual dies or separates during a pay period, the amount of insurance in force on the last day of the pay period is $0. In these instances, the amount of the withholding from the final pay must be based on the amount of insurance on the date of death or separation.

UPDATED INFORMATION ON THE WEB

This information will be posted on the FEGLI website at: www.opm.gov/insure/life. We are also updating the FEGLI Handbook and FEGLI forms to reflect the new information.

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