Delivered on: Wednesday, July 28, 2021
FEGLI Choices in Retirement
Keep it, ditch it, or customize it in retirement
- Explore why many people wish to keep some or all of their life insurance in retirement
- What FEGLI coverage you are allowed to take into retirement
- What choices you have to customize that coverage to suit you and your family’s needs
- How you make the election when you plan to retire
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Prefer to read instead? Below is a transcript from the video:
Hello, everyone and welcome to today’s webinar on FEGLI Choices in Retirements. By far, this is one of the least favorite topics for federal employees to talk about, and frankly, anyone to talk about, which is what everybody does with the money that you leave behind. It is important to put our business hat on when were thinking about elections for the FEGLI coverage and what that’s going to look like in retirement, and kind of take off that emotional hat that a lot of people carry into this decision, just so we’re really clear, and we kind of leave out some of those biases that we have as we’re thinking about a topic as important as this one.
Now, of course our audience today, we’ve got lots of different types of federal employees on the call. Some who have just been hired, some who are about ready to retire, and then even some who are already in retirement. So great to be able to have everyone with us today.
Now, for questions. We do have a Q&A panel here in the webinar platform. Our support team is standing by to be able to answer your questions. So a couple of things. I’m going to stay focused on delivering the material and our support team will focus on answering the questions that you have about this topic. I suspect you’re probably coming here with lots of questions on lots of different topics with respect to your benefits, but do please try to keep your questions to today’s topic so that our support team can get to everyone’s questions today.
They’re really great, and it’ll be wonderful to be able to get some one-on-one attention, but don’t lose sight of the bigger material and the real message that we’re sending in today’s session by getting tangled up in the Q&A area. So pay very close attention to what we’re showing on the screen and what I’m sharing with you as well.
Now, the handouts. They’re available for download. So you can either go to the handout section here in the webinar platform, which is right next to Q&A, or right down here at the bottom in the box that you see there. There’s a special link that you can download the handouts as well.
Now, today’s session is recorded. We will send out the replay once we get it all up and live and you’ll have that to be able to reference. Of course, you’ll have the handouts as well. We’ll include that in the emailed recording.
Now, do stay until the end. We’ve got some great examples of how FEGLI works in retirement where we actually plug in some numbers so that you can see how everything works. I want to make sure that you stick around to be able to see that.
I’m your presenter today. My name is Chris Kowalik. I’m the founder of ProFeds. Of course, we do training for federal employees all over the country. I’ll say even the world. We’ve got, of course, U.S. federal employees all over the globe. So were happy to support each of you. Of course, remember our support team is standing by for your questions. So excited to be able to share everything today.
Now, I have, I’ll say a unique perspective on life insurance. I, of course, work with a number of widows and surviving children of federal employees and federal retirees. So this is a topic that after the fact, after you’re gone, your family is going to have to figure out how to utilize this. I don’t know a widow or a surviving child that ever said, “Gosh, they just left me too much.” So it is important to remember to put that business hat on, take off the emotional hat when it comes to thinking about life insurance so that you can have a clear head when you’re making these decisions.
So today’s topic is all about the FEGLI choices that you have in retirement. Do you keep it? Do you ditch it? Or do you customize it in retirement? So we’re going to talk about all those different options today. Now, our agenda. We’re going to talk about why many people decide to keep some of their life insurance in retirement, what FEGLI coverage are allowed to take in retirement. You can’t keep all of it, even if you want to pay. What choices you have to customize that coverage? It’s not an all or nothing thing. There are some choices that you have with each part. And then how you actually make the election when you plan to retire.
Now, let’s start with keeping life insurance in retirement. This is a question that we get an awful lot of like, “Hey, once I’m retired. Why do I need life insurance?” Let me share a couple of thoughts with you that I think are helpful in thinking through the life insurance decision. The first is, there are two truths about life insurance. Nobody likes to talk about it and nobody likes to pay for it. So let’s all get over that and maybe the bias that we have about a product like this.
But recognize that even though it’s a super uncomfortable topic for a lot of people to talk about, the reality is, is that having this coverage in place when you die, either FEGLI or any other kind of life insurance, this could very well be the determining factor between financial chaos and financial peace for your family.
I know this firsthand, because, again, I deal with widows and the aftermath of what happens when you’re gone. And I can tell you how important these types of products become when you’re no longer around to provide income for your family, whether that’s working or whether that’s your retirement check, that’s still income.
Now, when it comes to life insurance, there are two types of life insurance. There’s permanent coverage. It’s intended to meet needs that will always be there no matter how old you are when you die. Then there’s temporary insurance that’s designed to only be there for a defined period of your life. Perhaps when you’re your much younger and you have young children, you have a mortgage, those types of things.
So let’s take just a quick peek at a couple of examples of each of these categories of life insurance. On the left-hand side, this is permanent coverage. So permanent needs need permanent life insurance coverage. If you always have an intention to provide income for your family, you have final expenses. We’re not getting out of here alive, right? So your burial, your medical bills, your legal bills, taxes, all of those last things that have to be paid after your passing.
Then here’s one that a lot of people maybe don’t give enough credit to, but it’s something that’s on the hearts of a lot of people as they move into retirement and that is your legacy. What are you leaving behind when you go? Some people call that gifting, where you’re simply trying to pass on a bigger legacy to your children, your grandchildren, a church, a charity, a cause, something that you care about. And if you want to make sure that that is available to be paid when you die, no matter how old you are when you go, it needs to be permanent coverage, right? And that guarantees that it’s there.
So as long as you pay that premium, that coverage is there and will be distributed according to your wishes. You have to name a beneficiary and all of that, or several beneficiaries, if you wish, but that is a guaranteed way to make sure that that legacy happens like you have in your head.
Now, when it comes to legacy, this is something that I think a lot of people probably appreciate, and that is when you’re young and you have young children, you are most concerned about making sure if something happens to me, are my kids taken care of? Is my young spouse taken care of? But eventually, your children grow up and they’re out on their own. Hopefully, they stop asking for money, but they’re out there in the world. You no longer have this need to protect them.
You might still have a desire to protect them or to, again, leave a legacy. But what happens a lot of times is our children go out and they create the greatest beings alive, which are our grandchildren. And the legacy thought really kicks in for a lot of people when they’re thinking about what legacy they could leave to that generation of their grandchildren. My mother always said, if she had known her grandchildren were going to be so great, she would have been nicer to their parents. Grandchildren can really trigger something else in our mind about what that legacy really looks like.
On the right-hand side, these are examples of temporary needs that are typically covered by temporary insurance, or term insurance is another word for it. So your mortgage. You will eventually have your mortgage paid off, college bills will be done presumably for your children, any debt. Hopefully you’re working yourself out of debt instead of into debt as you approach that retirement window. But eventually those things go away. So you don’t need permanent coverage to cover those things because they’re not going to last for your entire life. At least we hope not, right? A mortgage, college bills, debt, we want those things taken care of.
So, for those of you who have been through our workshop, you’ve seen a little bit of review here. I want to set the stage for everybody. So if you have not been to our workshop, you have a little bit of context of what we’re talking about—we’re going to get to the nitty-gritty of the choices that you have in retirement here in just a couple slides. But it’s important to know what your life insurance needs are. Please don’t guess and don’t wing it. You don’t want to just assume that whatever you chose 25 years ago when you were first hired by the government is still the right amount of coverage today.
You want to objectively and unemotionally think through how much life insurance you and your family need if your income were to disappear. If you’re not honest with yourself about what that looks like, and you might need a little help to get this really figured out. But if you’re not honest with yourself about what that looks like, you can’t really know whether you have the right type and the right amount of coverage in place.
And please do yourself a favor. Avoid these rules of thumb that you hear out there that very well may leave your family under protected. So things like you should always have five times your annual salary in life insurance coverage. Is that enough? I don’t know. Beats me. But I would rather you sit down and for 20 minutes, go through a needs assessment and actually figure out what the number is.
Now, you need to be working with a financial professional who does this, so that they can just make sure that your thinking about all the things that you should be during this process. But really, really important to make sure that you have a good mindset as you’re thinking through what you’re doing.
Now, as far as FEGLI in retirement. When you go to retire from federal service, you have to make an election of what happens to each part of the FEGLI coverage that you have. The Basic and then the three options: A, B, and C. So the question is do you keep all of it? Do you keep some of it? Do you keep none of it? And then how do your premiums change with each one of those choices?
Of course, we always want to make sure that your decisions are being made in the context of the bigger financial picture that you have and perhaps the larger life insurance strategy that you have. Many of you have private life insurance in addition to FEGLI, and all of these decisions need to be made together. Not in a bubble. So we don’t want to look at just FEGLI. We have to look at the bigger financial picture.
The FEGLI trap. Let’s talk about this. The FEGLI program looks so good while you’re working that many of you don’t ever look at alternatives out there, until you get older and that cost continues to just chip away at your check, right? Even when you’re still working, this can get very, very expensive. Now, typically people aren’t still working beyond the age of 65. And that’s really where these premiums kick it up a notch and you really start to feel it. Unfortunately, you’ve taken a pay cut in retirement and now your premium gets more, and more, and more.
Now, the other reason that people tend to realize that they’re in this trap is when they retire and that cost just becomes unbearable to keep. So we want to recognize there’s a trap that’s ahead on our path so that we can do something about it.
So we wanted to lay that foundation a little bit because we don’t want you to believe that just because you retire your life insurance needs go away. In fact, you’re as close to your mortality as you’ve ever been in your whole life and we want to make sure that you have that coverage in place, for the level and the kind of life insurance that you actually need.
So what parts of FEGLI are you allowed to keep? We have to first start by understanding what this program is and then be able to break down what the requirements are and what you’re allowed to have. So FEGLI was designed to be a group term life insurance program. Remember the temporary insurance that we talked about before or the temporary needs that are covered by temporary insurance? Well, that’s the kind of coverage that FEGLI is. The term that the government put in place was while you’re employed.
They’re happy to provide you relatively inexpensive life insurance while you’re employed. But it was not designed to be kept in retirement. Can you keep it in retirement? Sure. But it’s going to get so expensive that it’s just going to twist your arm until you cry uncle and then you’re going to be left to make some really tough decisions. Because OPM, in order to discourage employees from keeping it too long, simply makes it too expensive to keep all of it.
And this isn’t a knock on OPM, this is simply the recognition that this program was not designed to be kept forever. So we can’t really judge a program too harshly when we’re trying to make it do something it wasn’t designed to do, okay? Something important that I want everyone to know is although you can cancel or reduce your coverage at any time, there’s no cash value or refund of premiums paid. And once you cancel, it is very difficult to get it back as an employee and it’s impossible to get it back as a retiree.
So we’ll talk about that a little bit more. But please if you listen to today’s session and you’re like, “Whoa, that thing got way too expensive. I’m just going to cancel it.” Please don’t do that. I want to make sure that we’re giving great education here and we’re giving some perspective, but really, really important that you don’t make a rash decision without exploring the other options that you have to be able to get life insurance in place first.
With FEGLI, there is a five-year rule. So in order to be able to keep FEGLI in retirement, you must be retiring on what they call an immediate annuity. If you are retiring under a deferred annuity or deferred pension, you are not eligible to keep FEGLI coverage. If you are retiring under MRA+10, that is you’ve met your minimum retirement age and have at least 10 years of service, but not the 30 needed to be fully eligible. If you decide to take a retirement like that and voluntarily postpone receiving your pension to avoid a penalty, you’ll be able to pick up FEGLI when you start drawing your pension.
If you leave at 57, but don’t plan to take your pension until 60 or 62, then you won’t have any FEGLI coverage during that time where you’re not receiving your pension, or your annuity. Now, the other requirement is you must be enrolled in the Basic coverage and any options you wish to keep for the five years immediately prior to retirement. Those are the basic rules to be able to keep this coverage.
Let’s get a foundation for everybody especially those who have not been through our workshop to have a clear understanding of what the different choices are, as far as while you’re still working. So we’ve got the Basic coverage. This is your salary rounded up to the nearest thousand and add 2,000. Option A is a flat $10,000 of coverage. Option B is a salary multiplier. We’re going to take your salary, round it up to the nearest thousand and multiply by the number of multiples that you’ve selected. So somewhere between one and five.
Now, Basic, Option A and Option B is coverage on your life as the employee. Option C is coverage on the life of your family members. So your spouse can be covered somewhere between $5,000 and $25,000, again, depending on the multiples that you’ve elected and your children would be covered $2,500 up to $12,500, again, if you had the five multiplier on Option C.
But when it comes to retirement, there are some important decisions that you get to make. I’ll summarize what those decisions are here and then we’ll dive into greater detail. With the Basic coverage, you’re allowed to keep all of it, half of it or 25% of it. Option A, you’re only allowed to keep 25%. Option B, you can keep all of it or none of it. And then Option C, same thing. All of it, none of it.
Now, there are some default elections. So if you’re not paying attention when you go to retire and you don’t complete the form, this is what’s going to happen to you. Your Basic coverage goes down to only 25% of the face value, the coverage amount. Same thing with Option A. And Option B and C totally go away. Now, if this is your intention, that’s fine, but we would want to make sure that you’re not idly standing by and simply forgetting to complete a form and then coverage that you really, really needed all goes away. So we’ve got to be proactive in these decisions.
Let’s take an example that we use in our workshop to show you how this works. So let’s say we have an employee that has a final salary of about $52,000. We’re going to show them having and keeping all of the FEGLI coverage that they could have on their own life. This is the Basic, Option A and five times Option B. Now, if you have a salary twice this or three times this, you can do the math and figure out what yours would look like, but we wanted to give an easy number to work off of for our example today.
So at 54, right before this person retires, they have $330,000 of coverage and they pay about $83 a month for that coverage, again, while they’re still working. At 55, when they step into retirement, they still have $330,000 of coverage, but it now cost them $254 a month to have it. Again, this is the Basic, Option A and Option B all added together and keeping it in retirement.
Now, at 60, again, you’ll notice that premium jumps to $400 a month. There’s a small jump at 65. You’ll see part of that coverage goes down a little bit. That’s due to Option A that we’ll see here in a minute. At 70, at 75, at 80, you’re seeing those premiums just ratchet up during that time. These are real numbers. Don’t worry. I’ve not inflated any of these. These are legitimate premiums, but you’ll see that each five years that premium ratchets and we have to know what to do with it.
I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is at age 80, your premium stops going up. The bad news is the premium for this example is $1,600 a month. And again, if you make twice this, if you make three times this amount of money in your salary, you’re going to double and triple this premium.
Now, something interesting. By age 87, this person has paid more in FEGLI premium than the death benefit will pay to their family. Again, this coverage was not designed to be kept forever in retirement. So it’s going to be painfully expensive to keep it. We have to understand how FEGLI limits the amount of coverage and the pricing for us. The question really becomes in retirement, can FEGLI provide the right type of insurance, the right amount of insurance, and at the right price for you?
I don’t know the answer to that question. You might not even know the answers to those questions, but it is important that that’s what we’re aiming to figure out in this process. But there are inherent limits in the FEGLI program. So while you’re working, there’s only so much that you can get. The government limits that coverage amount, like we just reviewed a couple of slides ago.
But in retirement, the limit becomes a little bit different and that is that it’s increasingly more difficult to afford the coverage because it wasn’t designed to be kept in retirement. Now, there are parts of the FEGLI program that can be really advantageous to keep. Typically, it’s part of a larger life insurance strategy that you have and not just FEGLI in a bubble.
So let’s take a look at the choices to customize the FEGLI coverage. When it comes to making these decisions about FEGLI, it’s super important that you have a clear understanding of what your life insurance needs are prior to making this irrevocable decision. Once you drop FEGLI in retirement, you are not allowed to regain it. We don’t want to do silly stuff and make bad decisions without realizing the consequences.
Oftentimes, we find folks that look to the private life insurance sector to find a different kind of flexibility like on the amount of coverage. Let’s say they do a needs assessment and it turns out that they need a lot more coverage than the government is willing to give them. You can find that out in the private world, but you can’t find that in FEGLI. There’s only so much you can get.
As far as control on the cost, that’s all going to be based on the product that you choose out in the private sector. I’m not here to make a pitch on private life insurance, but I do recognize that FEGLI in conjunction with private life insurance helps to solve the bigger need that most people have, but you have to make these decisions early enough to be able to qualify for that kind of coverage.
So let’s talk about the Basic coverage. So we’re going to break each one of these down. It’s going to probably make your head spin a little bit. You might need to watch this part of the webinar a couple of times and maybe in slow motion. With the Basic coverage, you have three choices when you go to retire of what you want to happen to your FEGLI coverage. The first is a 75% reduction. We’re going to look at that second column. So if you choose the 75% reduction option, you’re going to have full coverage out to age 65. Then at 65, your coverage begins reducing by 2% per month until there’s only 25% of it left.
Up until the age of 65, you’re going to pay 32 and a half cents per $1,000 of coverage which happens to be the exact same premium that you pay right now while you’re working regardless of how old you are. And then the perk here with the 75% reduction is that at 65 and later, this coverage is free.
Now, this is the coverage that everyone asks us about because they want the free part of FEGLI, which I can appreciate where you’re coming from. The question is, is only 25% of your Basic coverage enough? That’s really where the catch is. We’ll see an example here in just a second. So that third column over says 50% reduction. If you choose this option, again, you have full coverage all the way out to 65 and then the coverage begins reducing by 1% per month until there’s only half of it left.
So you’re going to pay just comparatively from what you’re paying as an employee about three times as much for that coverage up until the age of 65 and then it drops down a little bit at the age of 65 and stays level from that point. The next option is what we call no reduction. So you’re going to have 100% of the coverage in place forever in retirement. Up until the age of 65, this coverage is going to run you $2.45 per $1,000 of coverage. Again, we’re going to see an example here, so don’t get too wrapped up in the cost per thousand here.
We’ll put some real numbers to this, an example. And then you’ll notice that 65, the no reduction option drops in cost slightly. It’s all relative, right? So let’s take a look at an example. This same person who had a final salary of about $52,000, we’re going to show them retiring at age 55. And what all of this coverage looks like with the different choices that they have.
If they chose the 75% reduction, you’ll notice that they have $55,000 of coverage and it cost them $18 a month up until the age of 65. At 65 and beyond that point, the coverage begins reducing to a final level of $13,750. Now, at 65, that coverage is free from that point forward. But again, you only have about $14,000 of coverage. Is that enough for what you are trying to do for your family? Only you can answer that you might even need a little bit of help answering that by putting pen to paper and really getting a strategy in place.
Next choice is if you were to do the 50% reduction. Again, full coverage out to 65. So you still have the $55,000. But in order to have that, it costs $57 per month up until that 65 mark. At 65, the coverage reduces to $27,500. Again, incrementally, each month it begins to go down. But we’re looking at $27,500 and it costs you $39 a month from that point forward, from 65 on.
Now, the no reduction option. A lot of people are forced into this because they might not be able to get life insurance out in the private sector because of their age or their health. And so it’s really important that you understand what’s coming for you if you have to keep this coverage in place under the Basic program. If you select the no reduction option, you’re going to keep $55,000 forever. It’s just going to cost you different amounts along the way. So up until the age of 65, it’ll cost you $135 per month. And then at 65, it drops slightly to the $117 per month and it stays that way for the remainder of your lifetime.
Again, if you make double or triple this amount that this example is showing, you know what it’s going to do to the coverage and to the cost that you’re seeing on this page. So that’s the Basic coverage. Option A is much simpler. Remember this is just the flat $10,000 of coverage and there’s not a choice here. The only thing that can happen to your Option A other than canceling it is for it to do what we call an automatic 75% reduction. So you’ll have the full $10,000 up until the age of 65 and then the coverage begins to reduce until there’s only $2,500 left.
Let’s take a look at an example. We have the employee retiring at 55 again. So at the time that they retire, they have $10,000 of coverage and it cost them $2 per month. At 55, it goes to $4. At 60, it goes to $13 per month. And at 65, when the reduction begins, again, 2% per month until only 25% of it is left, that coverage becomes free. Again, great to get the free part, but recognize it’s only $2,500 of coverage. That can’t even cover a funeral, so just to give a little bit of perspective. Option A is the easiest one that we get to teach today. Pretty straightforward. The other ones get a little bit more complicated.
Option B. So this is the one that gets pretty darn expensive in retirement. There are two choices with respect to Option B. You keep none of it, which is the full reduction, or you keep all of it, which is no reduction. With the full reduction, you’re going to keep coverage all the way until 65 at whatever amount you retired with. And then, it will begin reducing by 2% per month until there’s no coverage left.
Conversely, the no reduction, you’re going to keep all of it, but it’s going to get more and more expensive. So let’s take a look at an example. Same employee that we’ve been following. They have a final salary of $52,250 and they have five times Option B. So the most coverage that they could possibly have. And again, they’re retiring at 55. So at the time that they retire, they have $265,000 of coverage. Let’s take a look at that full reduction column. So that middle column on this table.
Right before they retire, they have $265,000 of coverage and it cost them $63 a month to have that. At 55, that cost goes to $115. Five years later, it goes to $253. Same amount of coverage, it just costs more. Now at 65, because we’re doing a full reduction in this example, it begins reducing again by 2% per month until there’s nothing left. So it goes to zero. And while it’s reducing, it’s free. But of course by the age of 70, there’s no more coverage left.
So we can’t really say it’s free because there’s nothing there. Now, we contrast that with the no reduction option. So at retirement, again, $265,000 of coverage, they pay $63 a month. And you’ll notice those premiums are identical on those two columns, $115 and $253. But at 65, things are different. Because you’re keeping all of this coverage in retirement, the premium is going to continue to rise. So at 65, it goes to $310 a month, to $551 a month, to $1,034 to $1,516. So it gets more and more painfully expensive to keep this coverage. We want to be honest with ourselves about the true financial ability to keep this coverage in place.
The last part of the FEGLI program is Option C. Now remember, this is coverage on the life of your family members. So a spouse, or eligible children who are under the age of 22. So I’m going to assume that by this point in time, your children are grown and that you do not have any disabled children. That opens up another rabbit hole that we can go down. But for the sake of today and our time here, I’m going to assume that by this point, by the time you’re retiring, that you simply have a spouse.
The two options for Option C are identical to B, and that is either all of it goes away or you keep all of it. Relatively simple and you’ll see that the cost, again, continues to rise over time. Let’s again take a look at an example for this employee. We’re going to show them having the most C coverage possible which is five times multiplier and that they only have a spouse, like I mentioned before.
So if this is you and you do a full reduction option, which is that middle column, at retirement you’re going to have $25,000 coverage on your spouse’s life and it costs you 10 bucks a month to do it. Not bad. But at 55, when you retire same amount of coverage, but now it gets more expensive. Incrementally of course. This is no big deal when you compare it to Option B as far as that price increase.
At 60, the coverage goes to $29 per month and at 65, again, it begins reducing from $25,000 down to zero. And while it’s reducing, it’s free, but by the time we get to 70, there’s nothing left in this coverage. So if your spouse were to pass 70 or later, there’s nothing payable to you.
The other option here is to take a no reduction on Option C. So in this case, the $25,000 stays nice and level as you can see all the way through 80, but the cost goes up pretty drastically for the amount of coverage that you actually have. So those are the decisions with respect to the FEGLI options in retirement. Whether you choose one or the other in retirement is really a personal decision, but I would encourage you not to make this decision lightly.
It is worth talking with a qualified financial professional that knows what they’re looking at here and can make sure that you’re leveraging these parts of FEGLI that are free, but knowing that we need to look at the bigger context of the life insurance strategy that you have. Again, working with widows and surviving children, I know how critical this piece is, and it’s one that’s really easy to avoid, and I would encourage you not to do that.
When it comes to making the election for retirement, before you make that final election, I said it a few slides ago, I’m going to say it again, please do yourself a favor and do a professional needs assessment. It’s about a 15- to 20-minute exercise where you’re sitting down with a professional and you’re getting to the bottom of what that strategy needs to look like. Forget the coverage that you have for a moment. Just figure out what the need is of what you’re trying to protect.
At that point, you can explore some of those private life insurance options to see if there is coverage out there that gives you more coverage than FEGLI would offer or at a lower price. And presumably one that locks in, that you don’t experience those rising costs in retirement. Next step, you want to get approval for any of that private life insurance. Again, you’re doing this before you make that final election for your coverage because you don’t want to make a decision in FEGLI to reduce it, if it turns out that you’re uninsurable out in the private sector because of maybe a health condition that you have.
Once you get that approval then you can start leveraging the really cost effective parts of FEGLI that you wish to keep. For instance, that Basic coverage that was free, it’s great to get free stuff when it’s piled on a bigger strategy. It’s maybe not great to get free stuff when you actually needed the full coverage in place because of what you were trying to accomplish as far as protecting your family or you’re leaving a different kind of legacy.
So it’s a big balancing act, but we don’t want you to just hone in on the idea that something’s free and just go get that part when you might be kind of tripping over a dollar to pick up a penny. We want to look at the bigger strategy that you have.
So two helpful documents. When you retire, you’re going to make your final FEGLI election on your application to retire. So this is a separate document and one I wish that they would just include in the actual application because feds leave this out all the time. They forget to submit this. And if their HR department doesn’t catch it, then all those defaults just happen.
So it’s really, really important to fill out the SF-2818 which is you telling FEGLI and specifically OPM what it is that you want to have happen to your coverage in retirement. So again, the 75%, the 50%, the no reduction, all of those different choices are going to be made on this document. And while we’re at it, let’s make sure that you have up-to-date beneficiary designations. There is nothing more painful than knowing that a death benefit check went to the person it wasn’t intended for. An outdated person, an old girlfriend, boyfriend, a former spouse, someone else that you’ve fallen out of love with. It is important that these are up to date, easy to do, complete the SF-2823 designation of beneficiary.
So hopefully today’s session was helpful to you, at least get your brain wrapped around what the different choices are. Again, I know that this was a lot to take in. I appreciate that you might need to watch this again and maybe try to plug in your numbers. But what I’d prefer that you do is to attend one of our workshops, because the life insurance decisions have to be made in the context of the bigger financial decisions that you have. And the workshop is a great place to be able to see all of the benefits and how all of them have the potential to change pretty drastically in retirement and know how FEGLI fits into the rest of the story.
We do have virtual options still available, live options are opening in lots of different cities, and so we’re excited about that so that you can have no distractions and be fully engaged in that training. Of course, there’s no cost to attend our workshops and we cover all of the benefits topics and those decisions to be made. At the end of those workshops, you have an opportunity to meet with a financial professional in our network who will map out exactly the FEGLI coverage that you have available to you.
So there’s a benefits report that’s prepared for each attendee who wishes to do so and it will include all of the choices for FEGLI that we’ve shown you today. So really important. If you’re not really great with the math and the calculator of trying to figure all these things out for yourself, please just let us do it. We have a report that will show you exactly what is going to happen to your particular coverage when you retire, so you know you’re making the right choice.
And of course doing the needs assessment to really get clear on the kind of coverage that you have, whether that’s through FEGLI, whether that’s through a private coverage or something else, we want to make sure that we’re really thinking those through. So you can see all of the workshops available. Go to FedImpact.com/attend. We have a link to all those workshops at the bottom of the webinar as well.
Now, for handouts and replay. These will be emailed to you, both the link and the handouts. So stand by for that so that those are nice and handy for you. Of course, for anybody who registered, they’ll get the handouts in the replay as well.
For our next webinar, we’re going to cover a topic that we get loads of questions on, and that is how do I maximize my annual leave and my sick leave? So we’re going to do this on August 12th at 1:00 Central. We’re going to talk about how to strategize the accrual of your leave and carrying over leaves so that you can get top dollar for it when it’s finally time to leave the government.
So we’ll break each one of those down. We’ll dispel tons of myths that we have under the leave programs. A lot of bad information floating around out there that we’re going to get to the bottom of and cover that in our next webinar. So you can sign up for that just like you did for this one at FedImpact.com/webinar.
Thank you so much. I know I went a little bit over on time. I need to change this. It’s never going to be 30 minutes. I have so much to be able to share with you that I really want to give you everything I have for each one of these topics. Again, to find a workshop close by, go to FedImpact.com/attend. And to register for our next webinar, go to FedImpact.com/webinar. Thank you all very much for joining us and stay tuned for updates on your federal retirement.
Register for our next 30-minute webinar: FedImpact.com/webinar
Find a comprehensive retirement workshop for your area: FedImpact.com/attend