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Federal Benefits Q&A

Question: “I am set to retire Dec. 31, and plan to increase my spouse's life insurance to five multiples of coverage during the FEGLI open season Sept. 1-30. According to the OPM site: ‘Coverage elected during the open season will be effective the first pay period beginning on or after October 1, 2017.’ If I increase my Option C during open season, then retire on Dec. 31, 2016, will my change be eligible, or will I be stuck with my current election?”

Question: “I am set to retire Dec. 31, and plan to increase my spouse's life insurance to five multiples of coverage during the FEGLI open season Sept. 1-30. According to the OPM site: ‘Coverage elected during the open season will be effective the first pay period beginning on or after October 1, 2017.’ If I increase my Option C during open season, then retire on Dec. 31, 2016, will my change be eligible, or will I be stuck with my current election?”

Answer: To retain in retirement any type of FEGLI election, including Option C made during the September "open season," an employee would have to have that added coverage for at least the five-year period leading up to his or her retirement date. That means because the added coverage does not become effective until Oct. 1, 2017, the earliest an employee could retire to retain the added coverage would be Oct. 1, 2022. Since you are retiring Dec. 31, 2016, you will not have the additional Option C coverage for your spouse in retirement. You should therefore not elect any additional coverage in September.

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