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U.S. Office of Personnel Management - Ensuring the Federal Government has an effective civilian workforce

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Insurance Services Programs

Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance Program

Designation of Beneficiary


We recommend that you designate beneficiaries to receive your life insurance benefits. However, if you are happy with the order of precedence, you don't have to do anything.

It is necessary to designate a beneficiary if:

  • you want benefits to go to a person, firm, organization, or other legal entity not listed in the order of precedence;

  • you want benefits to be paid differently than the order of precedence;

  • you want benefits to go to a trust, for example, one you have established for your minor children; or

  • evidence of a valid marriage or dissolution of a marriage is not readily available.

You cannot designate beneficiaries if you have assigned your insurance.

Important Things to Remember about Designations

  • Only the insured can sign the designation of beneficiary. Exception: If you assigned your insurance (using an RI 76-10 Assignment form), only the assignee(s) has(have) the right to make a designation.
  • Your employing office must receive the completed form before you die. A designation delivered on a weekend or Federal holiday is not "received" and is not valid until the next workday. If you die before your employing office receives the new designation, the Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance will pay benefits according to the next prior designation on file or under the order of precedence, if there is no prior designation.
  • Two persons must witness your signature. These witnesses must sign the form and give their addresses.
  • A witness cannot be someone you are naming on the form as a beneficiary.
  • Be sure to keep your designation up to date. If you marry or divorce, complete a new form. If your beneficiary's address changes, complete a new form.