FEGLI Beneficiaries

 

Have you reviewed your FEGLI (Federal Employee Group Life Insurance) beneficiaries lately?

When was the last time you checked to see who you chose as the beneficiary of your FEGLI life insurance coverage?  Maybe you haven’t designated one through the FEGLI program yet, or maybe things have changed such as marriage, new children or divorce and your beneficiaries need to be updated.

It is encouraged to designate a beneficiary so that your death benefit will go to the persons or purpose(s) that you intend. Otherwise, the beneficiary will be decided by law.  So what happens in the event that you have not designated a beneficiary?  Your life insurance will be paid in the Beneficiary Order of Precedence that is noted below. (Taken from the FEGLI Handbook at https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/life-insurance/reference-materials/handbook.pdf).

 

Beneficiary Order of Precedence

If you assigned ownership of your life insurance by filing an Assignment, Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (RI 76-10), OFEGLI will pay benefits: First, to the beneficiaries designated by your assignee(s), if any; Second, if there are no such beneficiaries, to your assignee(s).

If you did not assign ownership and there is a valid court order on file, OFEGLI will pay benefits in accordance with that court order.

If you did not assign ownership and there is no valid court order on file, OFEGLI will pay benefits:

  • First, to the beneficiaries you validly designated;
  • Second, if no such beneficiaries, to your widow or widower;
  • Third, if none of the above, to your child or children in equal shares, and the descendants of any deceased children;
  • Fourth, if none of the above, to your parents in equal shares, or the entire amount to the surviving parent;
  • Fifth, if none of the above, to the court-appointed executor or administrator of your estate;
  • Sixth, if none of the above, to your other next of kin entitled under the laws of the State where you lived

 

 

How to Designate or Change Beneficiaries

If there are no named beneficiaries, and you are satisfied with your death benefit being assigned according to the Beneficiary Order of Precedence, you do not have to do anything. However, in order to designate or make any changes to current beneficiaries for the FEGLI program, you must complete a form and return it to your Human Resources department. The form, and other pertinent information in regard to its processing, is located at https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/life-insurance/reference-materials/publications-forms/designation-of-beneficiary/.

Examples of how to complete your designations are on this form, such as if you have more than one beneficiary, have contingent or tertiary beneficiaries. Basically, you have 3 types of beneficiary options. You do not have to have all 3 types. You could have only one primary beneficiary if that is what works in your best interest. There is not right or wrong answer — the right answer to your beneficiary designation is what works best for you and what you are working towards accomplishing in the event of your death.

 

Beneficiary types 

  1. Primary beneficiary: this is the first person(s) that your death benefit will be paid to
  2. Contingent beneficiary: this is the person(s) that your death benefit will be paid to in the event that the primary beneficiaries have passed.
  3. Tertiary beneficiary: this is the person(s) that your death benefit will be paid to in the event that both primary and contingent beneficiaries have passed.

Don’t wait — make sure your death benefit is set up correctly today by visiting the OPM website.