Federal Employees’ Life Insurance (FEGLI) Open Season
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced last year:
The Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program, FEGLI, is having an Open Season from September 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016. This is the first FEGLI Open Season since 2004.
During the month of September 2016, if you are a Federal employee eligible for FEGLI, you can elect any coverage that FEGLI offers, including Option C coverage on the lives of your eligible family members. Employees who are in their first 12 months of workers’ compensation are also eligible but they must meet pay and duty status requirements before their coverage can come into effect.
You do not need to be currently enrolled in FEGLI to elect coverage during the Open Season. Open Season elections have no medical exam required and no health questions to answer.
Elections made during the FEGLI Open Season have a one-year delayed effective date. Coverage you elect in the September 2016 FEGLI Open Season will be effective on the first day of the first full pay period on or after October 1, 2017, as long as you meet pay and duty status requirements.
For most biweekly employees, this means your coverage will be effective on October 1, 2017. For most Postal employees, this means your coverage will be effective on October 14, 2017.
Your new premiums will be effective when your new coverage is effective. You will not pay your new premiums during the one-year waiting period.
The FEGLI Open Season is for FEGLI-eligible employees and qualifying compensationers only. Annuitants are not eligible to make FEGLI Open Season elections. By law, annuitants are never allowed to elect or increase their FEGLI life insurance coverage, even during an Open Season. Like employees, annuitants can cancel or reduce FEGLI coverage at any time unless assigned. (PDF file)
Annuitants cannot participate in the Open Season unless they are reemployed in a position which conveys FEGLI eligibility.
It is important to note that FEGLI coverage obtained under a dual pay appointment such as a FEPCA appointment cannot be used for retirement purposes. A dual pay reemployed annuitant cannot continue coverage elected during the open season into retirement.
Making Your FEGLI Open Season Election
There is no special election form to use during the FEGLI Open Season. You make your Open Season election using the existing FEGLI election form, Standard Form SF 2817 (PDF file) [1001.09 KB], or its electronic equivalent if your agency offers one. Submit your election to your agency’s human resources office.
If you submit your election by hand or electronically, be sure to indicate to your agency that this is an Open Season election. If your agency uses a shared service center or if you submit your election by mail, your agency may have a cover letter for you to attach to show that yours is an Open Season election.
Your agency will give you a copy of your election as proof of receipt. Your agency will give you another copy of the election when your coverage becomes effective after you meet pay and duty status requirements.
Be sure to elect ALL the FEGLI coverage that you want on your Open Season election, not just the coverage you want to add or increase. Any coverage you do not elect is waived or cancelled.
If you like your current FEGLI coverage, you do not need to take any action during the Open Season. If you do nothing during the FEGLI Open Season, you will keep your existing election. You are not required to re-elect your coverage.
Retiring after the FEGLI Open Season
All regular rules still apply for continuing FEGLI into retirement (PDF file) [2.19 MB]. This includes the requirement that for any types or multiples of coverage you wish to bring into retirement, you must have that coverage throughout your last five years of Federal service, or your entire period or periods of service if you retire with less than five years.
Because coverage elected during the FEGLI Open Season will be effective no sooner than October 2017, this means that if you want to bring your Open Season coverage into retirement, you must retire in October 2022 or later, five years after the coverage becomes effective.
If you plan to retire before October 2022, consider this when deciding whether to elect coverage during the FEGLI Open Season. By law, there are no waivers for the five-year rule under the FEGLI Program.