If you participate in the VRS Group Life Insurance Program, your employees are covered from the first day of employment. Some employers may pay the member’s portion of the premiums.
- 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.
Natural Death Benefit
The benefit amount is equal to the member’s creditable compensation, rounded to the next highest thousand and then doubled.
Example If the member’s creditable compensation is $41,400, an additional amount of $84,000 will be paid for accidental death, for a total benefit amount of $168,000.
Accidental Death Benefit
If the death is determined to be accidental, an additional amount equal to the natural death benefit will be paid.
Example If the member’s 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, the member’s benefit is equal to his or her creditable 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, the benefit is equal to the member’s creditable compensation rounded to the next highest thousand and then doubled.
If the member dies or suffers dismemberment in an accident while driving or riding in a private passenger vehicle, life insurance will pay an additional amount equal to 10% of the accidental death or dismemberment benefit or $50,000, whichever is less. The member must have been using a seatbelt. This benefit is not payable if the member or another person was driving without a license, under the influence of alcohol or drugs or otherwise impaired.
If the member dies in an accident 75 miles or more from his or her home, life insurance will pay for the cost of transportation to return the remains home, up to $5,000.
Felonious Assault Benefit
Members' basic group life insurance coverage provides additional benefits if they die or are dismembered as a result of a felonious assault while performing their job duties. The incident must have occurred at the member’s normal place of business or while the member was on work-related travel. No benefit is payable if the assaulter is an immediate family member. Felonious assault benefits include:
- $50,000 or 25% of the accidental death or dismemberment benefit, whichever is less.
- Virginia College Savings Plan account for each qualifying child if the member dies as a result of the assault. The amount is approximately equal to the average cost of four years of tuition and mandatory fees at a public college or university in Virginia. The child may attend any accredited college or university that participates in federal student financial aid programs.
Accelerated Death Benefit
If the member is diagnosed with a terminal condition and has fewer than 12 months to live, he or she can withdraw some or all of the life insurance coverage to use for any purpose. The member’s beneficiary or survivor will receive any amount remaining in the member’s coverage upon his or her death.
Additional Information About Group Life Insurance
Coverage While on Leave without Pay
If a member goes on leave without pay or goes on military leave, the member’s basic group life insurance coverage will continue for up to 24 months or for as long as he or she is on military leave, provided the premiums are paid. If the member has optional group life insurance, coverage will continue as long as he or she pays the premiums and continues to be covered under the basic group life program.
Members own their rights in their group life insurance coverage. They may transfer their ownership rights to another living person or entity, such as an eligible trust or charity. However, this is an irrevocable assignment; they cannot change it once it is made. Before making an irrevocable assignment, members may contact a legal advisor or Securian Financial toll-free at 1-800-441-2258 for assistance. Depending on the member’s circumstances, he or she may want to consider the Accelerated Death Benefit.
Members may not borrow from or use group life insurance coverage to secure a loan.
Imputed income is based on 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 the employee receives from you. When the member retires, VRS will deduct FICA taxes and report taxable or imputed income for as long as the group life insurance benefit exceeds $50,000. For more information, see Insurance in Retirement.
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 the member’s death.