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Introduction to the FEGLI Program

The Federal Government established the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program on August 29, 1954. It is the largest group life insurance program in the world, covering over 4 million Federal employees and retirees, as well as many of their family members.

FEGLI provides group term life insurance. As such, it does not build up any cash value or paid-up value. It consists of Basic life insurance coverage and three options. In most cases, if you are a new Federal employee, you are automatically covered by Basic life insurance and your payroll office deducts premiums from your paycheck unless you waive the coverage. In addition to the Basic, there are three forms of Optional insurance that you can elect. You must have Basic insurance in order to elect any of the options. Unlike Basic, enrollment in Optional insurance is not automatic -- you must take action to elect the options.

The cost of Basic insurance is shared between you and the Government. You pay 2/3 of the total cost and the Government pays 1/3. Your age does not affect the cost of Basic insurance. You pay the full cost of Optional insurance, and the cost depends on your age.

The Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI), which is a private entity that has a contract with the Federal Government, processes and pays claims under the FEGLI Program.

It is important to us that you have the information you need to make the right decision on your insurance coverage. We designed this Web page with your needs in mind. Hopefully, it gives you what you need to make an informed decision.

Please let us know how we are doing. Send your questions and comments to us via email to fegli@opm.gov.

The answer to your question may be already posted on our web site — see our Frequently Asked Questions pages.

Please note that we do NOT have information to tell you:

  • The types and amounts of your FEGLI coverage, if any, or
  • Whether you've designated a beneficiary, or
  • Who your current beneficiary is.

You need to contact your human resources office (for employees) or email your retirement system (retire@opm.gov) for this information.

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