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 > Basic Group Life Insurance Program Features

Basic Group Life Insurance Program Features

If your employer participates in the VRS Group Life Insurance Program, you are covered from the first day of employment. Your employer may pay your portion of the premiums.

Eligible Employees

  • Full-time permanent, salaried state employees and faculty of Virginia’s public colleges and universities. Some part-time permanent, salaried state employees also are covered under the Basic Group Life Insurance Program.
  • Full-time permanent, salaried instructional and management employees of the state’s local public school divisions. These employees include teachers, school administrators, school managers and clerical staff.
  • Full-time permanent, salaried employees of VRS-participating political subdivisions, provided the political subdivision has elected to participate in the Group Life Insurance Program. Political subdivision employees may include school maintenance, janitorial and cafeteria employees and school bus drivers as elected by the school division. Contact your human resource office to find out if you are eligible.

Natural Death Benefit

The benefit amount is equal to your compensation, rounded to the next highest thousand and then doubled.

Example: If your compensation is $41,400, that amount would be rounded to $42,000 and then doubled for a natural death benefit of $84,000.

Accidental Death Benefit

The benefit amount is double the natural death benefit.

Example: If your natural death benefit is $84,000, that amount would be doubled for an accidental death benefit of $168,000.

Accidental Dismemberment Benefit

For the accidental loss of one limb or the sight of one eye, your benefit is equal to your compensation rounded to the next highest thousand. For the accidental loss of two or more limbs, total loss of eyesight or the loss of one limb and one eye, your benefit is equal to your compensation rounded to the next highest thousand and then doubled.

Safety Belt Benefit

If you die or suffer dismemberment in an accident while driving or riding in a private passenger vehicle, your life insurance will pay an additional amount equal to 10 percent of the accidental death or dismemberment benefit or $50,000, whichever is less. You must have been using a safety restraint. This benefit is not payable if you or another person was driving without a license, under the influence of alcohol or drugs or otherwise impaired.

Repatriation Benefit

If you die in an accident 75 miles or more from your home, your life insurance will pay for the cost of transportation to return your remains to your home, up to $5,000.

Felonious Assault Benefit

Your basic group life insurance coverage provides additional benefits if you die or are dismembered as a result of a felonious assault while performing your job duties. The incident must have occurred at your employer’s normal place of business or while you were on work-related travel. The assaulter must have used force with intent to cause harm and be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. No benefit is payable if the assaulter is an immediate family member. Felonious assault benefits include:

  • $50,000 or 25 percent of your accidental death or dismemberment benefit, whichever is less.
  • Virginia Education Savings Trust account for each dependent child if you die as a result of the assault. The amount is approximately equal to tuition and mandatory fees to attend a public college or university in Virginia. Your child may attend any accredited college or university in the United States that participates in federal student financial aid programs.

Accelerated Death Benefit

If you are diagnosed with a terminal condition and have fewer than 12 months to live, you can withdraw some or all of your life insurance coverage to use for any purpose. Your beneficiary or survivor will receive any amount remaining in your coverage upon your death.

Additional Information about Your Group Life Insurance

Coverage While on Leave without Pay

If you go on leave without pay or go on military leave, your basic group life insurance coverage will continue for up to 24 months or for as long as you are on military leave, provided the premiums are paid. If you have optional group life insurance, your coverage will continue as long as you pay the premiums and continue to be covered under the basic group life program.

Irrevocable Assignment

You own your rights in your group life insurance coverage. That means you can designate a beneficiary or exercise the accelerated death benefit option of your policy. You may give your ownership rights to another living person or entity. However, this is an irrevocable assignment; you cannot change it once it is made. Before making an irrevocable assignment, contact a legal advisor or Minnesota Life toll free at 1-800-441-2258 for assistance.

Loans Prohibited

You may not borrow from or use your group life insurance coverage to secure a loan.

Imputed Income

Imputed income is the value of life insurance in excess of $50,000, as determined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is subject to FICA and income taxes and is reflected in the W-2 you receive from your employer. When you retire, VRS will deduct FICA taxes and report taxable or imputed income for as long as your group life insurance coverage exceeds $50,000. For more information, see Insurance in Retirement.

Child Support Liens

The Department of Social Services may file child support liens against proceeds payable under the Group Life Insurance Program. VRS is required to pay life insurance proceeds to the Department of Social Services to satisfy any outstanding child support obligations at your death.

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