Assignment is the transfer of ownership of life insurance to another individual, corporation, or trustee. You are still the insured person, but you no longer own the insurance.
The law allowing all employees, annuitants and compensationers to assign their insurance was effective October 3, 1994; before that, only certain Federal judges were permitted to assign their insurance.
Assignment is voluntary. You can't be forced to make an assignment.
An assignment can't be revoked. Once an assignment is made, you can't change it at a later date.
When you make an assignment, you assign Basic insurance, and Option A and Option B insurance, if you have them. You can't assign dismemberment insurance or Option C.
You can't make a partial assignment or assign only one type of insurance.
If you elect a partial Living Benefit, you may later assign all remaining insurance (Basic and/or Optional). If you elect a full Living Benefit, you can later assign Optional insurance.
You can't elect Living Benefits if you have already assigned your insurance.
Following are the most common reasons why people make assignments:
You may assign insurance to comply with an order issued by a divorce court requiring that a former spouse and/or children from a previous marriage be named as the beneficiary of FEGLI proceeds.
If a court order requires you to make an assignment, you must still complete an assignment form for the assignment to take place.
Provisions of Federal and/or State laws may give certain advantages when insurance has been assigned. When you die, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) determines whether FEGLI proceeds are included in your gross estate. If you wish to make an assignment for tax advantages, you should consult with a competent estate tax advisor. See "Tax Implications."
You can assign your insurance to a viatical settlement company instead of taking a Living Benefit. Assignment of Basic, Option A, and Option B can be made to a viatical settlement company in exchange for cash paid to you before your death. A Living Benefit only allows Basic insurance to be paid before your death. Also, a Living Benefit is available only if you have a prognosis of nine months to live. With assignment, a viatical settlement company may make benefits available earlier.
You may assign your insurance to pay off a debt; however, you cannot cancel the assignment once the debt is paid.
You should consult a tax attorney and consider getting a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) before you assign your life insurance.
This is especially important if you want to make an assignment to a trust or want to avoid inheriting the FEGLI coverage upon the death of your assignee.
A tax attorney has specific information about tax laws and IRS regulations and can make a determination about the tax effect of an assignment.
Qualified payments from viatical settlement companies received on or after January 1, 1997, are not subject to Federal income tax (Pub. L. 104-191, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, Subtitle D, Treatment of Accelerated Death Benefits). Payments received from a viatical settlement company before that date were subject to Federal income tax.
This law sets qualification standards for viatical settlement providers, terminally ill insured persons, chronically ill insured persons, and in the case of chronically ill insured persons, how the payment may be spent. If you are considering assigning your insurance to a viatical settlement company, you should consult a tax advisor to determine if you and the viatical settlement company meet the qualification standards. Under this law, to be considered terminally ill, a person's life expectancy can be no more than 24 months.
This law amends the Federal Internal Revenue Code, which directly affects Federal income taxes, not State taxes. However, many States have laws, regulations, or rulings concerning the taxability of payments received from viatical settlement companies. You should consult a tax advisor or your State's tax department for specific information concerning State income tax laws.
After making an assignment, you still have the right to:
After you assign your insurance, the assignee has the right to:
An assignee cannot:
Each assignee is responsible for keeping your employing office aware of his/her current address. Employing offices must attach an assignee's change of address notice to the assignment form in your Official Personnel Folder.
You make an assignment by completing the Assignment of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance form (RI 76-10). The RI 76-10 must be signed by two witnesses. An assignee cannot be a witness to the assignment.
An assignment is effective on the date your employing office receives the properly completed, signed, and witnessed form.
An assignment can be made to more than one individual, corporation, or trustee.
The assignment must specify percentages or fractions of the insurance to go to each assignee. The percentages must total 100% (or fractions must equal 1). You cannot name conditional assignees in the event the primary assignee(s) predeceases you.
All assignees must agree to any cancellation action.
Your employing office will not accept an Assignment of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance form (RI 76-10) if it is not completed properly. These are some of the things that will cause an assignment to be invalid:
Please note that any erasures or corrections made on the assignment form may have the effect of invalidating the assignment.
If your assignment is unacceptable, your employing office will write "VOID" across the front of the form, and return it to you with an explanation of why it is unacceptable. Your employing office's failure to return an incorrect RI 76-10, Assignment of Federal Employees Group Life Insurance form, does not make your assignment valid.
After making an assignment, you continue to pay the premiums. Your employing office must continue to withhold the premiums from your salary and must continue to make the Government contribution. The assignee may not pay the premiums.
An assignment automatically cancels your prior Designation of Beneficiary. (However, the agency must continue to retain the cancelled Designation(s) in your Official Personnel Folder in case the assignment is later found to be invalid.)
Once an assignment is effective, you no longer have the right to designate a beneficiary.
Assignees should designate beneficiaries. An assignee's beneficiary will receive the designated amount of assigned insurance upon your death.
An assignee can designate him/herself as the primary beneficiary and name some other person(s) as contingent beneficiary(ies) in case he/she dies before you. By naming a contingent beneficiary, your assignee can simplify life insurance payment. See "Who Receives the Insurance Proceeds?."
Your assignee is the beneficiary if he/she doesn't designate a different beneficiary.
If an assignee dies before you, ownership of the insurance is inherited by that assignee's heir(s)according to the laws of the state in which your assignee lived when he/she died. The new owner of the insurance has all of the rights the assignee had before his/her death, and should designate beneficiaries to receive the assigned insurance proceeds upon your death.
When you die, benefits are paid to your assignee's beneficiary. If your assignee doesn't designate a beneficiary, benefits are paid to your assignee.
If your assignee dies before you and:
upon your death benefits will be paid to your assignee's heirs according to the laws of the state in which your assignee lived when he/she died.
Karen, the insured, assigned her FEGLI benefits to Mary Ann. Mary Ann named Barbara the beneficiary of Karen's insurance. Mary Ann, then Barbara, predecease Karen. When Karen dies, benefits will be paid to whomever inherited Mary Ann's ownership of Karen's insurance (or to the inheritor's beneficiary(ies)).
It is your employing office's responsibility to advise you of your right to make an irrevocable assignment and the permanence of the assignment.
If you assign your insurance, you cannot make another assignment (unless your assignee reassigned your insurance back to you), designate a beneficiary, elect a Living Benefit, or cancel or reduce insurance. Therefore, whenever you want to take any of these actions, your employing office must verify whether you are eligible to do so by determining whether you have a valid assignment on file.
If you are hired after a break in Federal service of less than 31 days, your employing office must check your Official Personnel Folder to determine whether there is a valid assignment on file. Your assignment remains valid unless your break in service is 31 days or more. See "Termination."
When you want to assign your insurance to a viatical settlement firm, the firm will ask your employing office to provide information about your FEGLI coverage.
Your employing office must have a release signed by you before providing the information; the viatical settlement firm will give you the necessary release form. Your employing office will file copies of the release and the information disclosed to the viatical settlement company in your Official Personnel Folder.
Some of the items that may be requested by a viatical settlement firm are:
When you make an assignment, your employing office will notify each assignee that you have assigned ownership of your life insurance to the assignee. The notice will include the types of insurance you assigned and will give the percentage of the total insurance that the assignee now owns. The notice will also inform the assignee of his/her responsibility for notifying the employing office of any change of address.
Your employing office must also provide each assignee a copy of the FEGLI Booklet (RI 76-21), a copy of the Assignment of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance form (RI 76-10), and a blank Designation of Beneficiary form (SF 2823).
This is a sample notice that your employing office can use:
Dear (assignee's name):
This is to notify you that (employee's name) has assigned _____% ownership of his/her coverage in the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program to you. (Employee's name) has Basic insurance (as applicable: plus Option A-Standard and Option B-Additional at _____ times his/her annual pay). The enclosed booklet explains the features of the different types of insurance.
You are the beneficiary of the life insurance coverage, and you will be entitled to the benefit upon (employee's name)'s death. However, we urge you to designate a contingent beneficiary to receive the benefits in the event that you die before (employee's name). To do this, complete the attached Designation of Beneficiary form and return it to (name and address of employing office). To designate a contingent beneficiary, name yourself as primary beneficiary and another person to receive benefits in case you die before the insured person. See example 3 on the Designation of Beneficiary form.
It is important that you tell us when your address changes, so that we can notify you if events occur that affect the life insurance coverage that has been assigned to you. When you write to tell us about a change of address, be sure to include the name and Social Security number of the insured employee. Whenever your named beneficiary's address changes, please submit a new Designation of Beneficiary form showing the updated address.
Employing Office Official
When you die, your employing office will send a Claim for Death Benefits (FE-6) to each assignee at the last known address. If an assignee has designated a beneficiary, the FE-6 will be sent to the assignee's beneficiary(ies).
When you separate from service (when the Nature of Action Code for SF 50 begins with a 3), your employing office will include on your separation SF 50 Remark B69: "Employee has assigned ownership of life insurance coverage."
When you retire or become covered as a compensationer and you are eligible to continue FEGLI coverage, your assignment remains in effect, unless your assignee(s) choose(s) to convert your insurance to a private policy.
When you have assigned your insurance and you retire or become insured as a compensationer, your employing office will send a Notice of Conversion Privilege (SF 2819) to each assignee. Your employing office must also send each assignee a copy of the Agency Certification of Insurance Status (SF 2821) and a copy of the Assignment of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance form (RI 76-10) by which you made the assignment.
When there are multiple assignees, some may choose to let their share of the FEGLI coverage continue and some may choose to convert their share to a private policy. The amount of insurance continued or converted depends on the assignee's share of the total; if the amount is not a multiple of $1,000, it is rounded up to the next thousand dollar amount.
John has Basic and Option A and assigns his insurance to 3 assignees as follows: Tom gets 50%, Dick gets 30%, and Harry gets 20%. At the time he retires, his Basic Insurance Amount is $60,000.
Tom wants to let his share of the insurance continue into retirement; Dick and Harry want to convert their shares.
John will carry $30,000 of Basic insurance and $5,000 of Option A into retirement (Tom's share [$60,000 x 50% and $10,000 x 50%]). Withholdings from his annuity will be based on these amounts.
Dick can convert up to $18,000 of Basic insurance and up to $3,000 of Option A ($60,000 x 30% and $10,000 x 30%). Harry can convert up to $12,000 of Basic insurance and $2,000 of Option A ($60,000 x 20% and $10,000 x 20%).
If your assignee(s) choose(s) to continue FEGLI coverage, rather than convert, you must make a post-65 reduction election on the Continuation of Life Insurance Coverage form (SF 2818). If you choose other than 75% Reduction for Basic insurance, the assignee(s) can change to 75% Reduction (unless you previously elected a partial Living Benefit). You must also make a post-65 reduction election for Option B, if you have it. If you choose No Reduction, the assignee(s) can change to Full Reduction.
Annuitants and compensationers can assign their insurance in the same manner as employees.
If you are an annuitant and wish to make an assignment, you must contact the Retirement Operations Center, P.O. Box 45, Boyers, PA 16017-0045.
If you are a compensationer still insured as an employee and wish to make an assignment, you must contact your employing office. If you are insured as a compensationer (you have separated or completed 12 months' nonpay status), you must contact OPM at the above address.
Your assignment terminates 31 days after your FEGLI coverage terminates, unless you are reemployed during the 31-day period in a position in which you are eligible for life insurance.
Once terminated, an assignment is not reinstated if you get FEGLI again at a later date. If you still want the insurance to be assigned, you must complete a new Assignment of Federal Employees Group Life Insurance form (RI 76-10).
When your assigned insurance terminates (other than by voluntary cancellation by all assignees), each assignee has the right to convert his/her share of the insurance to a private policy on you. If an assignee's share is not a multiple of $1,000, it is rounded up to the next thousand dollar amount.
Your employing office will send a Notice of Conversion Privilege (SF 2819), a copy of the Agency Certification of Insurance Status (SF 2821), and a copy of the Assignment of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance form (RI 76-10), to each assignee.
If you also have Option C coverage, your employing office will send you a Notice of Conversion Privilege (SF 2819) and a copy of the Agency Certification of Insurance Status (SF 2821). You can use these forms only to convert your Option C coverage.