Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (10/05/1998)

Federal Employees Life Insurance Improvement Act - Directs the Office of Personnel Management to conduct a study on the following life insurance options for Federal employees: (1) group universal life insurance; (2) group variable universal life insurance; and (3) additional voluntary accidental death and dismemberment insurance.

(Sec. 3) Amends requirements relating to Federal employee life insurance to repeal the maximum limitation on: (1) group accidental death and dismemberment life insurance; and (2) additional optional life insurance.

(Sec. 4) Modifies the definition of "family member " to include a foster child.

(Sec. 5) Prohibits the invalidation of an employee's group life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance policy based on a finding that the employee erroneously became insured, or erroneously continued insurance upon retirement or entitlement to compensation for work injuries, if such finding occurs after the erroneous insurance and applicable withholdings have been in force for two years during the employee's lifetime.

(Sec. 6) Permits an employee who is subject to withholdings for group life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance, optional life insurance, additional life insurance, or optional life insurance on family members and whose pay, annuity, or compensation are insufficient to cover such withholdings to nevertheless continue such insurance if such employee arranges to pay currently into the Employees' Life Insurance Fund, through the agency or retirement system that administers pay, annuity, or compensation, an amount equal to the withholding that would otherwise be required.

(Sec. 7) Provides for the amount of additional optional life insurance of any employee who retires on an immediate annuity or who becomes entitled to receive compensation because of disease or injury to the employee, to be continued, with or without reduction, in accordance with the employee's written election at the time eligibility to continue insurance during retirement or receipt of compensation arises. Permits the employee, instead of the option under current law, to elect to have the full cost of such insurance continue to be withheld from such employee's annuity or compensation on and after the date such withholdings would otherwise cease pursuant to an election, in which case the amount of such insurance continued shall not be reduced. Allows an employee whose additional optional insurance would otherwise stop, and who is not eligible to continue insurance, to elect to continue such insurance at group rates, in lieu of conversion to an individual policy.

Requires an employee or former employee who elects to continue such insurance following separation from service or 12 months without pay to submit timely payment of its full cost, plus any amount the Office determines necessary to cover associated administrative expenses.

Disallows any election to continue such insurance from being made three years after an effective date. Terminates, on and after the date on which an election may no longer be made, all such insurance for former employees, subject to a provision for temporary extension of life insurance coverage and for conversion to an individual policy of life insurance under conditions approved by the Office. Requires the Office, not later than three years after the enactment of this Act, to report to the Congress on such insurance, including recommendations on whether continuation for such insurance should terminate as provided, be extended, or be made permanent.

(Sec. 8) Revises requirements relating to optional life insurance on family members.

(Sec. 9) Requires the Office to conduct an open enrollment opportunity for purposes of obtaining life insurance. Permits an employee during this period: (1) if the employee previously declined or voluntarily terminated any coverage, to elect to begin, resume, or increase group life insurance (and acquire applicable accidental death and dismemberment insurance) without submitting evidence of insurability; and (2) if currently insured for optional life insurance on family members, to elect an amount above the minimum insurance on a spouse.

(Sec. 10) Amends provisions relating to the judicial review of decisions of the Merit Systems Protection Board to: (1) revise the time period (from 30 to 60 days) any petition for judicial review of a final order or decision of the Board must be filed; and (2) permit the Director to obtain review of any final order or decision of the Board by filing within 60 days (currently, no limitation) after the date he or she received notice of the final order or decision of the Board.