Basic insurance


Q. I noticed that my Basic life insurance has a 75 percent reduction. I’m aware of the fact that I chose that. What has me puzzled is the amount of insurance before reduction and the amount of insurance after the final reduction.

A. Your Basic insurance amount is the one you had when you retired. You will pay the same amount for that coverage until you reach age 65. At that point you will cease paying premiums and your coverage will be reduced by 2 percent per month until the face value reaches 25 percent. It will stay there until your death, when it will be paid out to anyone to whom you have assigned that benefit or, if there is no beneficiary, in the standard order of precedence. 


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to


  1. I’m retiring 3JAN2020 with 44+ years under CSRS @ age 63. I currently have Basic + Option B (1x) + Option C (5x). Is it worthwhile to carry this into retirement or lower the package? My wife is 61. Thank you for your response in advance.

    • Only you can determine what your wife’s financial needs would be if you were to die. You might want to discuss the matter with your financial adviser, if you have one, or with an outside adviser who has no stake in your decision.

  2. I am planning to apply for disability retirement and will select 75% reduction for basic FEGLI. Will my family get the full basic unreduced coverage if I die before age 65 while the premium I will pay for basic FEGLI stays the same as pre retirement? Thanks in advance.

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