Life Insurance Benefits for Active & Retired Members

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 for basic group life insurance coverage.

If you are covered under the Basic Group Life Insurance Program, you are eligible to purchase additional life insurance for yourself as well as your spouse and dependent children through the Optional Group Life Insurance Program. You pay the premiums for this additional coverage through payroll deductions.

Keep Your Beneficiary Up to Date

VRS pays benefits according to the latest beneficiary designation in your record. For more information, see Naming a Beneficiary.

In the Event of Your Death

If you die while you are an active member, your beneficiary or family member should contact your employer. The employer will assist in coordinating any benefits that may be due. If you die while you are retired, your beneficiary or survivor should call Securian Financial toll-free at 800-441-2258. VRS has contracted with Securian Financial as the insurer for the Group Life Insurance Program. For more information, see Losing a Loved One: Guide for Families.

Life Insurance Benefits Just for Retirees

If you were covered under the VRS Group Life Insurance Program as a member, some benefits continue into retirement, or if you are eligible to retire but defer retirement. Your coverage will end if you do not meet the age and service requirements for retirement or you take a refund of your member contributions and interest.

Your coverage includes

  • Death benefit equal to your creditable compensation at retirement, rounded to the next highest thousand and then doubled. The provision that allows for payment of double the death benefit for accidental death ceases upon leaving employment. Dismemberment insurance also ceases upon leaving employment.
  • If you have 20 or more years of service, your death benefit is equal to twice your highest annual creditable compensation in your history of VRS-covered employment, even if your creditable compensation is lower when you leave employment.
  • Accelerated death benefit. If you are diagnosed with a terminal condition and have fewer than 12 months to live, you can withdraw part or all of your Basic Group Life Insurance coverage for any purpose. Any amount remaining in your plan is paid to your beneficiary.

Coverage

Your coverage begins to reduce on January 1 following one calendar year after your employment ends. You may end employment and defer retirement until a later date; however, the Group Life Insurance will begin reducing based on the last month of employment. The reduction rate is 25% each January 1 until it reaches 25% of the total life insurance benefit value at retirement. If you have at least 30 years of service credit, your coverage cannot reduce below $8,616. This minimum will be increased annually based on the VRS Plan 2 cost-of-living adjustment calculation.

Title
When... Then... Example

You retire/defer retirement;

Your life insurance benefit is equal to your creditable compensation at retirement, rounded to the next highest thousand and then doubled

You retired on March 1, 2020. Your creditable compensation at retirement was $49,780; for your life insurance coverage, that amount is rounded to $50,000 then doubled to equal $100,000 at retirement

On January 1 following one calendar year after your employment ends (January through December)

Your life insurance coverage reduces 25%

Your first 25% reduction will be on January 1, 2022 with remaining coverage of $75,000

On January 1 following three calendar years after your employment ends (January through December)

Your life insurance coverage reduces a final 25% and remains at that value for the rest of your retirement.

Your final reduction will be on January 1, 2024 and your coverage will remain at $25,000 for the rest of your retirement.

Your coverage begins to reduce on January 1 following one calendar year from the month you reach your normal retirement age. The reduction rate is 25% each January 1 until it reaches 25% of its value at retirement. Note: If you took either service or disability retirement before July 1, 2001, your Basic Group Life Insurance reduces 2% per month until it reaches 25% of its value at retirement.

If you are on long-term disability through the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP), refer to the current VSDP Handbook for Members for information regarding your life insurance coverage.

Keep Your Beneficiary Up to Date

To change your beneficiary, complete the Designation of Beneficiary (VRS-2) and mail it to:

Virginia Retirement System,
P.O. Box 2500
Richmond, VA 23218-2500