You know you should get it taken care of. You know you shouldn’t procrastinate. But it’s so complicated. As a federal employee, researching and choosing the best life insurance plan can be a headache. How much do you need? Which plan is best? How can you make the smartest financial decision while ensuring your family is protected?
Clients ask me these questions all the time. So I decided to put together a quick cheat sheet giving an overview of your best options. Let’s start with the most well-known federal plan: FEGLI.
Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)
The FEGLI program is a “group term” policy provided by the federal government, which offers coverage amounts based on multiples of your salary. All federal employees are automatically enrolled in the Basic plan, which covers the amount of your salary plus $2,000. For eligible employees, there are no limits on participation in this program (no medical exams, age restrictions, etc.).
There are three additional options you can add to your Basic coverage. Option A adds $10,000 of insurance. Option B adds a multiple of your salary to the amount of coverage (maximum of five times your salary). Option C adds protection for your spouse and dependents. As far as cost goes, the premiums for the FEGLI program are broken down into age brackets and increase every five years. (1)
Worldwide Assurance For Employees Of Public Agencies (WAEPA)
WAEPA is a nonprofit organization that offers another popular group term life insurance policy for federal employees. Unlike FEDLI, WAEPA offers a maximum personal coverage of $1.5 million and does not depend on your salary. So, in most cases, you’ll be able to get a higher maximum coverage with WAEPA. WAEPA has similar age brackets to FEDLI, with premiums increasing every five years. In order to qualify for a WAEPA plan, a medical examination may be necessary. (2) This calculator will help you compare FEDLI and WAEPA premiums based on your specific situation. (3)
Alternative Life Insurance Options
As a federal employee, you are not limited to just FEDLI or WAEPA. There are many appealing private life insurance offerings available as well. The cheapest and most popular option is to buy a term policy (usually 10, 20, or 30 years) depending on your needs. Generally, the premiums for a term policy remain the same for the entire duration of the term. Because of this, a term policy (with the same amount of coverage as FEGLI or WAEPA) ends up being significantly cheaper in the long run. (3)
Which Is Best For Me?
At first glance, it may seem like a term policy is a much better option than FEGLI or WAEPA. In reality, it depends on your situation. The advantage of FEGLI is that as an eligible federal employee, there are no restrictions on participation. This means you can join regardless of whether or not you have health problems or a “high-risk” occupation or lifestyle. This isn’t the case with a term policy (or WAEPA), where it may be impossible or too expensive to be accepted under certain conditions. (3)
So, as you can see, there is no one right answer to the question of which life insurance solution is best. Every situation is unique. The smartest thing to do to ensure you choose the best plan is to get in touch with a financial advisor—ideally someone with expertise in working with federal employees. If you’re interested in a complimentary consultation, call our office at 913-593-0176 or email email@example.com.
Kyle Hammerschmidt is the founder of MoKan Fed Financial and an independent financial advisor specializing in providing retirement and income planning to state and federal employees. As a financial advisor, he understands that every person’s situation is unique and that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to retirement and income planning. To address this, he has created a process that is specifically dedicated to helping federal employees worry less about money and benefits and more on their passions in life. Through extensive training, Kyle is well versed in the particulars of the various federal benefit programs, and helps federal families to make the most of those benefits—both while working and in retirement. He is committed to being the go-to resource for those pursuing well-rounded, customized advice. Learn more about Kyle by connecting with him on LinkedIn or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Investment advisory services offered through Brookstone Capital Management, LLC (BCM), a registered investment advisor. BCM and Mokan Financial Incorporated are independent of each other. Insurance products and services are not offered through BCM but are offered and sold through individually licensed and appointed agents.
Brookstone Capital Management (BCM) and its Investment Advisor Representatives act as fiduciaries for all of our investment management clients. We have an obligation to act in the best interests of our clients and to disclose any conflicts of interests and all associated fees. Additionally, the recently enacted Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary Rule imposes a fiduciary duty upon advice given to any retirement account, including qualified insurance annuity products. Please refer to the BCM firm brochure (Form ADV 2A) for additional information regarding the fiduciary standard.